Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thank-filled

Wow. Here we are... Thanksgiving Day! Nothing too deep or ground-breaking... just simply thankful... or thank-filled.

I have thought about the meaning of today through the somewhat blurry days and middle-of-the-night feedings. Undoubtedly, there is so much to be thankful for today... for my amazing husband who has walked through the fire with me this last year... for my precious Deacon... for my life-changing Maddox... and for my beautiful Faith Clare. I am incredibly thankful for our families that have loved us, supported us, and come at the drop of a hat as we have needed help. I am so grateful for our fabulous friends and church family that have never forgotten us or neglected to make us feel so loved and cared for. I am so filled with thanks for all of the tremendous blog readers and prayer partners that have lifted our family to the Lord in petition, praise, and thanksgiving. I am thankful for our home, for our freedom, for our ability to laugh. I am thankful for puzzles and crayons and play-dough. I am thankful for tears, for worship, for child-like innocence. I am thankful for the truth, for the cross, for salvation. I am SO filled with thanks.

Despite the intensity of this last year, the Lord has been so good to us. I stand AMAZED to see His handiwork in our lives and when I take a step back I can get a glimpse of the "bigger picture" of His plan for our family. There is no possible way that at this time last year I could have imagined where we would be today, just one year later. We were so entrenched in the journey with Maddox that it is only due to the Lord's providence and sovereignty that I can stand here today, with our next child in my arms, and to my core be thank-filled... joy-filled with my life.

Special Prayer Request: Please pray for us, especially for Faith Clare right now. We had a BIG scare last night as she struggled to breath for about 20-30 minutes. We ended up calling 911 because we couldn't keep her stimulated and she briefly turned blue and would go limp. It was almost like she forgot how to breath for a period of time... We have prayed so much over her and although exhausted were pretty fearful to go to sleep. We are asking the Lord for protection over her breathing, her health and her little life. THANK YOU for praying!

"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."- 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Sunday, November 23, 2008

10 Months

Today has been a hard day. Really hard in fact. I woke up knowing that it was the 23rd, but not fully anticipating all of the emotion that accompanied this date... on this day. I kind of feel like I am all over the place emotionally, and I know that is to be expected. I continue to covet your prayers as we celebrate the beautiful miracles of our two precious children here with us and thank the Lord for our beautiful miracle baby in Heaven.

Through the tears, joy still overflows. I couldn't help but smile today as I looked at newborn pictures of both of our boys with Faith Clare in the flesh lying in the middle... what a beautiful sight. I am filled with gratitude when I look into the precious face of our baby girl. In her face I see hope, love, peace, restoration... She has created a new place in my heart that could only be fully realized by seeing her, by holding her, and by whispering sweet prayers to her that are shared only with our Lord. When I look into her eyes, I am so thankful... thankful that her presence today was made possible by the Creator of the Universe... thankful that her presence was preceded by her tiny brother Maddox.

Maddox, we love you! Your baby sister has arrived to our family and we feel so blessed... yet we still miss you greatly on this, your 10 month birthday. We hope you had a beautiful day with our Lord and all your friends!

My babies...
Faith Clare
Maddox
Deacon

"He said to them, 'Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.' And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them."- Mark 10:13-16

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Attempting Normalcy- One Week

It's Wednesday night... one week after our precious baby girl joined us on the "outside" and we are attempting normalcy. My family arrived safely back in Nebraska this morning and Dusty's mom flew in this evening to stay through Thanksgiving... So, needless to say, we have had lots of help and continue to be so thankful for all the support from our family and friends.

I feel like there is so much to share, which I will definitely do soon, but for now I will simply say that we are blessed. Having our baby girl home with us is better than we could have ever imagined... Deacon is fulfilling my prediction of constant kisses for his "baby sister" and Dusty and I continue to treasure the tiny, curled-up legs and beautiful face that burrows into our chests while sleeping (about 99% of the day and night). I am feeling pretty good, although very tired, as can always be expected with a newborn and also after being on extended bed rest. Faith Clare is doing great and even though her jaundice is higher now than after 20 hours of bili lights at the hospital, we are fairly confident that we won't have to be readmitted to the hospital to repeat the phototherapy (as we had to do with Deacon).

I also wanted to express our THANKS! Thank you for continuing to check in on us, for all the wonderful comments about our sweet girl... and for praying. I would ask right now that if you have a few extra seconds, please pray for the roller coaster of emotions I have been feeling these last few days. Certainly I know there is a lot going on with my body as I get "reacquainted" with not being pregnant, but I also have been experiencing a deep sense of loss that I haven't felt since the time right after Maddox was born. I have to say that it is amazing to look at my perfect daughter and know that God has fabulous plans for her life, just as He did for Maddox, and that God-willing, His plans for her will unfold before my eyes... I am so thankful and yet, just now somehow realize how much I have been missing. A part of me, a part of my heart, is missing.

Thank you Lord Jesus for my Faith Clare... for my Deacon... and for my Maddox. Always praising you!

Our First Week With Faith Clare









"For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever. Praise the LORD."- Psalm 117:2

Saturday, November 15, 2008

We're Home!


We're home... and Faith Clare is kicking up her feet and getting comfortable. It's now time to start settling in. Praise the Lord for His abundant blessings!

"They will celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness."- Psalm 145:7

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Day One News




Hello all! Proud daddy checking in with a picture update. Things are going well...Faith's blood-sugar levels are good, her bilirubin has risen but is still OK and her temperature is good too. She has also taken a couple of very big poops (in a very lady-like fashion though!) which we have been extremely proud of. We are soooooo happy and I just can't stop looking at her and smiling! Thanks for all of the prayers and kind comments. Kenzie is just wrapping up some lunch and is getting ready to feed little miss but wants everyone to know how awesome you guys are. I promise there will be more pictures to come, I just need to edit myself out of them (Dude, I look fat!). To those of you from the great state of Oklahoma...sorry for the misspelling in my previous post. It has been corrected. I have fired the editor of the blog and will be taking over that role personally.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Faith Clare Stanfield


Introducing...
Faith Clare Stanfield
November 12th, 2008
6:24PM
6lbs 11oz
18 inches

Our baby girl is wonderfully healthy- breathing great and starting to root! Her blood sugar was critically low when she arrived in the nursery so they fed her some formula and we haven't had her back yet... but hopefully soon! We will obviously post many more pictures in the days ahead. She has tons of black hair and blue eyes, just like her two brothers. She looks so much like Deacon... and therefore SO MUCH like her daddy!

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR BEAUTIFUL PRAYERS FOR OUR FAMILY...
GOD IS SO FAITHFUL!





"...Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it."- Malachi 3:10

It's Baby Time...

This is Dusty. I'm very excited to be posting on Kenzie's blog...but I'm even more excited to let everyone know that today around 3:30pm, Kenzie's water broke and she was transferred to Labor & Delivery, where we are currently awaiting the arrival of Ms. Faith Clare. Things are going very well (her epidural is working well...but not too well) and her mom and sister made it in from Nebraska last night . The nurse estimated that she thinks ETA should be sometime around 9pm...guess we'll see. Thanks to everybody for your continued prayers. I will make sure to keep everyone updated over the next few hours and will try and make another entry sometime tonight. And oh yeah, since I never get to post on the blog, here are a few random thoughts...
It'll be soooo nice to have Kenzie back (finally some clean underwear!)...I'm not too thrilled about the new Prez...Deacon has been really funny the last few weeks...Still not 100% sure how I feel about all the pink in my house...Firehouse subs has a new brisket sandwich that is AWESOME...I think Oklahoma is going to beat Texas Tech and finally...baby Faith has told me through telepathy that she really likes cookie cake...mmmmmm cookie cake!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Anticipating Her

I'm not sure I have too much to say. I've been here, hanging out at the hospital now for about 10 days. I have constantly been oscillating between restlessness/urgency/anticipation and peace-filled waiting. Tomorrow, Wednesday, I will be 36 weeks, THE ultimate target I kept setting back in September when I was admitted at only 26. In those days I reminded myself over and over again, "I can do anything for 10 weeks"... and now that we're at that point... well, I have to admit that I'm thrilled!

Today was a day unlike most of the others I've spent here... it was a day of rest. (WHAT? you're thinking... ) My resting consisted of reading some scripture, and listening to music- no TV, reading or playing games, and not much time on the web. Honestly, I laid in the ever-comfy hospital bed for four hours straight drifting in and out of sleep, praying, and thinking about this last year while my Ipod cycled through my beloved worship music. Many of the songs that played softly against my thoughts were ones that brought me to tears. They were those songs that sparked so much emotion on our journey to meet Maddox and then in the grieving time after we lost him... Now those songs still resonate deep within me. They remind me of the precious hours with our second tiny son and often bring with their chorus' a steady stream of tears. Many tears today were for that tremendous sense of loss and for the sadness that comes less and less frequent these days, but, gratefully, intermingled with those were the ones of deep thankfulness, and restored hope. God continues to prove to be ever-faithful.

As we anticipate the arrival of our little baby girl, the child I prayed for while I was still pregnant with Maddox and the one that has been able to bring certain healing to a place inside me that nothing else quite could, I am filled with emotion. The trace amounts of fear and anxiety I feel right now are mostly overridden with joy, trust, peace and gratitude. ... As I look to the days ahead, I eagerly await the touch of Faith Clare's soft baby skin, the precious little face with eyes that will gaze into her daddy's, the tiny little fingers that will quickly take hold of mine, and the sweet lips that will surely get never-ending kisses from her biggest brother. This little girl will grow up knowing what a huge blessing she is to our family and will be raised with a love for the Lord and a knowledge of His saving grace. She will know about the sweet big brother that came to us just 10 months prior and lived for only a moment, but upon the Lord's calling was returned to Him. She will understand one day that each of us truly belong to our Heavenly Father and that He places a certain calling on every life, including her own. Goodness, she will learn so much in her time here, and will likely teach others so much in return.

I am so anticipating each of those moments and all the things we will learn together in the coming years... But mostly, right now in these moments leading up to her arrival, I'm simply anticipating her.

"The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing."- Zephaniah 3:17

Happy Veterans Day to all of our brave soldiers...
the men and women with us now and those that have gone before!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Baby Koplin

I am so excited to announce the birth of my third niece,
Koplin Lynn
(pronounced like Copeland)

My youngest sister Karli and her husband Matt welcomed their first baby into the world at 4:45am yesterday morning, November 7th. This precious little girl weighed 7lbs 13ozs and was 21 inches long. They are both doing great and are excited to be going home soon! Below is Koplin, this sweet girl, in her daddy's arms.

Thank you so much for all the prayers for my family and our babies. We are so incredibly blessed!

"...Stand up and praise the LORD your God, who is from everlasting to everlasting. 'Blessed be your glorious name, and may it be exalted above all blessing and praise.'" - Nehemiah 9:5

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Celebrating October

It dawned on me today that the next time I return home, we'll be a family with one more little addition! October was busy and filled with lots of excitement... excitement I captured mostly from the couch! So, here are some pictures to mark our last month as a family of 3 (plus a sweet baby in Heaven)... Here's to celebrating October!

Happy 3rd Birthday D!

A Pirate Boy's Birthday

His choice dinner- Cici's Pizza

Mama & Deacon

Daddy & Deacon

A Toasty Pirate Breakfast

After Dusty's Deacon Ordination (my one night off bedrest)

Kenzie, Dusty, Brent & Jess

Mama and Faith Clare at 34 weeks

"...their sorrow was turned into joy and their mourning into a day of celebration..."- Esther 9:22

Monday, November 3, 2008

Long Haul

Well friends... a decision was made this evening... I will remain in the hospital until Faith Clare makes her arrival. We're here for the l-o-n-g h-a-u-l...

This has been a tough decision and one that wasn't taken lightly, by us or by my doctor. She spent the day debating what would be best for everyone and ultimately decided that our goal is to leave the hospital with a healthy baby girl. With that in primarily in mind, she felt that the safest and most sure way for that to happen was to keep me here.

The plan right now is pretty simple- any more bleeding and we will be ready to take immediate action. I have been on antibiotics and IV fluid, but am now "wireless" except the intermittent monitoring during the day and night. I am free to move around the room as needed (... gosh, I don't know what to do with all this excess space!) and am getting my 3 square meals a day. We discussed how long this hospital stay could be, since I'm a day shy of 35 weeks, and she said that if nothing changes she won't officially induce until 38-39 weeks (basically a month away). However, she doesn't feel that we will go that long and at this point, if things progress we won't take any measures to stop labor. She will be checking me a few times a week to monitor any progression and will be watching the fairly regular contractions.

Invariably this new living situation will add some additional stress to our "home life"- Dusty being a full-time working dad, managing Deacon and his schedule and getting up here to see me- but he is completely on-board and is already starting to make some plans. I am so thankful for my wonderful husband and the amazing support that he continues to provide as we enter these last few weeks. It has definitely been a hard year and there is so much on his plate but he is incredibly capable and completely agrees with the plan to ensure the best outcome possible~ our Faith Clare being healthy and coming home with us when we leave the hospital.

Deacon and Daddy did get to come up and visit tonight and we had an awesome time. Deacon was in a great mood and I explained to him that the next time I came home we would be coming home with Faith Clare. His eyes just lit up and said, "she's coming home with us?" Oh, that precious face and that sweet innocence... if only I could bottle it up!

I have to say that we are SO THANKFUL for all of the comments and texts and especially for the prayers that are being sent up to our Lord. I love hearing all of the stories of your precious babies and how well they did, NICU or not, nursing or pumping! Thank you for the wonderful encouragement... it has given me such a renewed hope for when this little missy arrives.

If you would, please continue to pray for the things mentioned previously, and also for patience and a smooth transition to life in the hospital. I know that I will be fine... of course my mind and heart are just at home with my boys. Please also be praying for my little sister Karli, who is 39 1/2 weeks pregnant with their first child... also a baby girl. This is so hard for my family, especially my parents, as they feel torn as to where to be. All of my family is out of state in Nebraska and we are down here in Texas... just a short 14-hour drive away!

Thank you again for the prayers and so-needed encouragement! We are trusting our doctor, as she greatly understands what is at stake here... and we are trusting our God, who knows exactly what is ahead. We are so excited for the blessing of this little girl and can't wait to see her face... sometime soon.

"From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another."- John 1:16

Unclear

I've been slightly hesitant to post anything this morning because the path we are on right now is unclear. Our doctor came in earlier and checked to see where we are... Just like they said yesterday, definitely more progressed than this past Wednesday when I was in the office. During the day today I am supposed to closely mimic what I would be doing at home (yes, that is slightly difficult because although I have been on bedrest at home with a nanny helping us out, I don't have a 3-year-old at my feet here in the hospital). Our doctor will be back to check me sometime this late afternoon and from there we will make a decision.

Right now I am off the monitors because Faith Clare's heartrate has been excellent and without any problems. I have also been having contractions, but that is normal for me... they are just a little stronger than they have been before.

Now... what to do. Due to the "issues" (mostly bleeding) Dr. M is still concerned because we haven't ever been able to definitively determine where it is coming from; if it is cervical or placental. At this moment it seems pretty unclear what road to take and so the doctor is waiting until the afternoon to see if something sways her one way or the other. On one hand, Faith Clare is still a little smaller than we would prefer and things such as a possible NICU visit and nursing could be concerns that we will have to address if we deliver in the next few days. On the other hand, because we are unsure where the bleeding is coming from, the concern is that it could be placental which would then put Faith in danger if the bleeding suddenly became significant (possibly indicating placental abrupture). We also have to consider that she is at a pretty good weight for this gestation and we know now that she is alive, healthy and would likely not incur any long-term or short-term problems this far into the pregnancy. We are simply praying for clear direction at this point... to know what God's will is... for us to stay at the hospital for a while longer until she is ready, for me to be able to go home for a few more weeks, or for us to go ahead and begin planning for a delivery.

It's all so unclear...

Please pray- "...that too God will make clear to you."- Philippians 3:15

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Can you guess where we are?

Yep... you probably guessed it... back in the hospital. There were some more "issues" last night and as they continued this morning we decided to check in with the on-call doctor, who told us to check in to the hospital. I have been admitted, which means I'll be here at least tonight and then will talk with my doctor in the morning to see what the plan is.

News? Faith Clare now seems to be weighing in around 5lbs 11ozs which is great for 34 1/2 weeks. The ultrasound again looked good and they didn't see any reason for the issues that keep arising. I have progressed further, both dilated and effaced, and the contractions are coming. At this point I am on IV fluids to see if the fluid and the shot of breathine will slow things down. Today was supposed to be my last day on the procardia so that will be discontinued this evening as planned and we'll see what happens.

Right now I feel good about making it this far. Of course a few more weeks would be great, but I know that the Lord has a perfect plan for us and will make that known. If things slow down, we'll see what she says tomorrow about me going home or just staying in the hospital until Faith Clare arrives. If things continue or progress, our little bundle might be here sooner than we thought.

As I mentioned, I am so thankful that we are at this stage... knowing that our baby should be healthy and strong if she arrives on this hospital stay. But I also can't help but think about some of the "smaller" issues right now, such as her breathing on her own and also her ability to nurse. I knew with Maddox that nursing wasn't going to be possible, whatever the outcome, but what I didn't realize was that not being able to breastfeed would be one of the hardest things, both emotionally and physically, after losing him.

Please, if you would be praying for several things right now, we would be so grateful! Please pray for wisdom for our doctors, for strength and health for our baby girl, for her lungs to be developed and her ability to breath on her own, for no overnight stay in the NICU, for our peace of mind, and for her ability to nurse. I know that is a lot of requests and that God will chose to answer each one as He sees fit... Thank you for praying for us through this emotional time... through this very emotional year!

I will be sure to update with any news soon!

Love & blessings.

David's Prayer- "Then King David went in and sat before the LORD, and he said: "Who am I, O Sovereign LORD, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?"- 2 Samuel 7:18

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Our Choice... Now

I have seen so many videos regarding the importance of this election and many of them have been great... but either I haven't felt convicted to share them or I haven't felt that they are appropriate. This video, however, is one that is appropriate for all ages and has conversation from both candidates regarding their positions on life.

I know this is a very personal, very controversial subject, but as each day passes, I feel more and more strongly about the importance of who we elect... who will be the leader of this land. Dusty and I have had many conversations recently about LIFE. Yes, I do understand that this seems to fall under "religious issues", but life is not based solely on religion- it also pertains to the morality of a nation. Murder, theft, drugs, abuse... these are also moral issues, whether we have laws to condemn these acts or not. In our family, we feel that abortion also falls under this category.

After some extensive discussion about this, neither Dusty nor I feel that we will be able to one day stand before the Lord and explain how a president of our country was elected based on monetary issues and the economy over the essential issue of life. Now please don't think that I am suggesting that either of the two predominant candidates are giving adequate attention to this critical issue. I am also not suggesting that either one of these men are a perfect fit for the issue of life, or many other issues for that fact, that are facing this country, but as Ms. Kay Arthur has stated, we must vote for that person who most closely represents those morals and ideals we hold most high.

Many of you, like Dusty and I, have already voted. If not, though... consider this. Is it possible that we are standing idly by as the fabric of our nation is ripped apart? How do we one day reconcile our inactivity to speak up as millions of little ones are not given a chance at life... one like each of us was given? Are we saying that it is a "personal decision" for each woman when in fact none of these moral issues only affect the person making that choice? It is instead time to equip ourselves to help women feeling like they have no hope, no choice. Each of us, in our own world, can make a difference. Whether volunteering at a help pregnancy center, counseling with those struggling to come to terms with their new reality, or praying... we all can have a hand in turning this around.

If you feel led, please take a few minutes to watch this video for yourself. Life is a precious, precious gift.

http://americaschoicenow.com/

"O LORD, God of our fathers, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you."- 2 Chronicles 20:6
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