Tuesday, December 28, 2010

2010 - revisited

This year has been oh SO FAST! I know they say that it just gets faster as you get older.... not real excited about that - but seriously, does it not feel like yesterday that we all celebrated 2010?

So, the highlights. I really thought about not doing this, but even though I don't have all the blogs to tell the story, I feel like I need to mark the big stories - good and bad - of 2010.

My baby showers in waiting for Josiah in April and May - how wonderfully humbling it is to have so many people that loved my baby before he even arrived!

Jon-Jon came home in May... as hard it is has always been to say goodbye to him - - the joy of celebrating his return is OH SO MUCH GREATER!

The end of the Congressional primary in June... it is always fun to be on the winning team!

Of course, the highlight of the year happened July 10 - when my precious son arrived on the scene. He has changed our lives in SO many ways! Our family went from 2 to 3 but that little addition has multiplied our love so much! I love Ronnie even more than before when I watch the way he loves his son! We are so blessed.

The most difficult part of my year came about 18 days later, when my friend, Brianna passed away while giving birth to her daughter. My heart hurt for Brianna's family, and even more for her daughter... such a beautiful little girl whose mom loved her so much! Even last week, when taking pictures of that little baby, so many times I just wanted to ask Brianna what kind of pictures she wanted me to take! It is hard to say goodbye to someone like that.

August, September, and October are a bit blurry. There were trips to Alabama - holidays, MANY firsts - and LOTS of pictures.... but the awe of being a mother was still a little overwhelming to me... and then November brought Josiah's first flights - just he and I, while Ronnie went to Thailand for 10 days. I have rarely been more proud of my husband than when watching him do what is right in the sight of God.

And, December, well - J's first Christmas has been amazing. and busy. But we celebrated Christmas in Gatlinburg first - and had a blast.... and then at home... and that was awesome with the three of us celebrating together, and cooking together, and eating together... I LOVED it! and then in Alabama... the first time since 2006 that EVERYONE has been together. my brother was not at war - I was not in VA.... we were together... mawmaw, pawpaw, mamaw, dena, danny, kelsie, paul, suzy, matthew, jon-jon, brantley (and their new one on the way!), jen, andy, aubrey, barrett, ronnie, josiah and me :)

crazy? yes. but, fun? yes.

it has been a year. a full year. a wonderful year. a tragic year. what does 2011 hold? I can hardly wait!

Monday, August 16, 2010


I guess it's official. I am a rookie. rookie mom.....

I have a to-do list that will most likely not get done
I have a did-do list that most people would not be very proud of
I am more aware of insanity than ever before.
I sometimes talk in baby voice
I no longer feel bad about myself when I say "I stay at home." I am kinda proud of it now
I find myself rocking even when not holding a child.
I just got a text asking me to do something - it included the phrase "childcare is provided" and it applied to me!
I have had conversations in public about poop and spit-up
I find myself reading about controversial topics that use to not even matter to me! (vaccines, CIO, attachment parenting, co-sleeping, etc. etc.) (no - I will not discuss them on my blog....)

It's definitely different than ever before... But, its so stinkin rewarding and he is so stinkin' cute....

I am still the same person. I have not lost my identity. I have not lost my passion for life, music, or people. I have not forgotten that friends are valuable and I need to take time for them. (for my own sanity.) I have not lost my desire to be involved in the world around me-to make it a better place. As a matter of fact, I now desire even MORE to be involved - to make a difference - for every difference I make for the good will have a direct impact on the little one I love so dearly! I have not lost who I am..... I have grown! As when I got married, and everything changed around me.... I have become much more - not less. I have not gone backwards and become "just a mom."

So, for those that know me personally - please realize, that while my "did-do" list may look different than yours, it will still include time with you if you allow it!

I did not intend on this being some vent.... and it is definately NOT intended to be directed at anyone.... simply a statement as to what I have learned in the last 5ish weeks....

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

and heaven is richer for her life here

Wednesday I lost a dear friend. I have waited to put this in writing for fear that I could not represent her life well in words... and so, here goes.

She loved all. She was patient with people. She taught at the detention school here in our town and loved those children dearly. She made it clear that she knew she could have an impact on lives that were not always easy to love.

She taught children. At church she was a consistent children's/AWANA worker. She loved children. She wanted more than anything else to be a mother. She went to children's camp. I was always impressed by her desire to see children know her Savior the way she did.

She was persistent. There were times when we would go weeks without talking. She always reached out to be sure we got back together. She was there for me last year in my miscarriage. She made sure I left the house to go get ice cream... at Bubba's. We sat for hours that day and talked about life. She let me cry, let me vent. Smiled and prayed with me.

She included everyone. I honestly can't remember her ever having issues with anyone! She loved dearly.

She was already such a great mother, to the little one growing inside her. She wanted to be a mother to her own daughter so badly. I remember the day she told me, with tears in her eyes... merely weeks after I had made my announcement about being pregnant with Josiah. We were so happy to be going through this together. She had battled infertility and won... I had battle the loss of a child and won. We walked the last 9 months together. Our due dates - 19 days apart.

She was a co-host of one of my baby showers... we went together with Heather to Buy Buy Baby after work - in Raleigh - to just look at baby stuff. We spent time at Starbucks together - usually not drinking coffee because it would keep us up too late. We laughed at our husbands running out of room in the bed. Ruby Tuesday, our last meal together, the week before Josiah was born, we laughed. Traded some gifts. Compared the difference in preparing for boys and girls. We discussed going late - past 40 weeks. We knew the risks.

We both had doctor appointments at 40 weeks and 6 days.... both to start inductions on that day. I was simply 19 days ahead of her. It is in this process that our pregnancy story would go different directions. Mine... through scary moments, came out with a healthy delivery... She came to see us in the hospital. She held Josiah. We discussed that I would be doing the same thing a couple of weeks later. It was not supposed to be this way. Her induction... well... That induction would cost her life. Her last gift to this world is a beautiful baby girl. As I held her in my arms last Saturday, the tears poured knowing how much this baby girl was loved by her mother. It was not supposed to be like this. How she had smiled with big tears in her eyes that day... the day she couldn't hold it back anymore.... how she glowed when she talked about her daughter. The concern she had when the risky days came within the pregnancy. The faith she had that everything would be ok. It was supposed to be different.

This is what I will always remember about my dear friend. So few people on earth are as loving and open as she was. Our lives are changed because she was a part of them. We will do out part to be sure her daughter always knows that her mother loved her dearly - and loved others unconditionally.

Friday, July 16, 2010

J has arrived

Weighing in at 7lbs 13 oz, 22 inches long... J arrived on July 10 at 5:03am.

The birth story

I am afraid if I wait, I might never write this down, and one day, I will forget details - so here ya go little J.... the story of the day you were born.

Friday morning, July 9. We had a Doctor's appointment. At that time I was 40 weeks and 6 days. I didn't want to be induced, but since we were already 6 days late, I knew that we were about to have a conversation with the doc about when induction needed to be scheduled. I expected her to tell us to come back Tuesday or Wednesday of the next week. As we were driving up to the doctor's office, I asked Ronnie, what if she says we should go today? (of course, since we live about an hour away from the hospital, I already had the car packed just in case!) We both kinda nervously laughed it off.... knowing that was impossible!

We went in, went through the motions, weight, blood pressure, heartbeat, etc. etc. and then Dr. Fogleman walked in. She listened, measured, checked to see if I had progressed... I had not done much... She sat back and discussed the risks of inducing, not inducing etc. with us... and I asked the question "if it were you, in our shoes, what would you do?" She has had kids before and had been very honest with us up to this point... so, I trusted her.

Her response:

"I would go today."

In my mind, this is what happened:


What I said...

"today? really?"

She said yes, she was on call that weekend, so we could know for sure she would be delivering, and it would outweigh many other risks.

We left the office, a bit stunned.

Ronnie texted my parents in Alabama while we were walking down the hall of the Doctor's office. I think I was a bit shocked to even text! He just said "start driving."

We were checked in after a few phone calls to tell people what was going on, and I was plugged in to the Pitocin at 11:45.

At 4:30pm, I was still not progressing much - so my water was broken.

WOW did that change things. Doctor Fogleman had said right before breaking my water that they needed to speed stuff up, I was still texting through contractions. It wasn't going fast enough yet.

It still took a while to gt from 4-5cm. At that point, it was 1:30am, and J's heartbeat was slowing down into the 70's with each contraction. They were getting concerned that I might have to have a C-section. I am so thankful for a team of Doctors and nurses that are willing to try every other option first.

They started with changing my position. I already had my epidural. I got it at 4cm... I had been having contractions every 2 minutes for the last 8 hours and couldn't take it anymore. I wanted to be at 6 cm.... but I just wasn't tough enough for that.

I laid on my left side, then my right side... nothing was fixing it. They even had me get as close to laying on my belly as possible to try to move J around just in case he was laying on his cord or holding onto it with the contractions. At 2:30, the heartrate was still dropping with about every other contraction. They started an amnioinfusion.

I was kinda nervous about this, as I had never heard of it before.

They just pumped fluid back into my uterus in one last effort to keep his heartrate up during the contractions. They were getting concerned that he might not make it through birth if his heart rate was slowing so much.

This worked....

By 3:30, the nurse checked, and asked if I was ready to have a baby! yep... She started prepping me for delivery!

There was a short delay, and we started the pushing phase around 4:15 or so. I pushed a few times and then heard the nurse make the call "please tell Dr. Fogleman that we are ready for delivery."

Ronnie and I made eye contact... Of course we have known this moment would come... but it has felt like FOREVER to get here!

The excitement, love, impatience, expectation, and fear, all merged into one in my body.

Here we go.

It was much harder than I thought - I could feel the tightness of contractions. I had heard that epidurals made you rely on the machine to tell you when you were having the contraction. That was not true in my case. Honestly, the machines were failing. I had been looking forward to only knowing the contraction was happening except for the little screen beside me. This was not the case. My monitor would not stay in place. I couldn't see the screen and if I could, it wasn't registering the contractions accurately. I had to feel for the contractions myself! I had to tell them when it was time. At this point, the fear of "what if I don't know how to do this?" was overwhelming. I didn't want this responsibility.

I pulled it back together in my mind as best I could. Looking at Ronnie between each contraction watching his face for signs of concern, fear, anything. There was none - just absolute love and devotion for what he was watching take place.

At 5:03, the final pushes delivered a precious little boy. I had wanted him placed on my chest for nursing immediately afterwards. So, I knew immediately that there was a problem when the doctor cut the cord and stood up quickly.

Ronnie just kept telling me "pray" I kept asking... "why isn't he crying?" "why isn't he breathing?" "why isn't he crying?" Ronnie's steady answer... "pray Julia, just pray."

His cord had been wrapped tightly around his neck, which was what had been causing the lower heartrate during contractions earlier in the night.

The nurse made a call, the Doctor was doing the suction thing, it felt like forever.

Dr. Fogleman said "he is in shock."

She passed him off to a team of people that had rushed into the room - I don't remember how many. Ronnie looked at me again and said "pray." I sent Ronnie over to stand with J.

Before Ronnie got over there, we heard it - that amazing sound.... one loud cry! My heart jumped. Ronnie looked back at me and smiled. I then wanted to hold him so badly! I had to wait for the doctors to get finished with the initial check out.

Finally they brought him to me. He was amazing. Perfect. Breathing. Life.

So much that day could have gone wrong. I am so thankful for a team of doctors that responded so quickly to save my son's life.

Little J - your first day was stressful - but your life is already precious and we are so thankful for you. Your dad is amazing and stayed so focused on the important throughout the whole process. Without him I would have panicked... He already takes such good care of you.

We love you so much!

Monday, June 28, 2010

he's coming

little baby Mayhew is on the way - due date is Saturday.... we are (not so) patiently waiting. For now, we are waiting for God and the baby to choose his birthday!

I haven't blogged in a while...

Here is what is in my thought process for the arrival of this child:
- I am nervous about the birth. So many unknowns
- I am also excited about seeing his little face
- I am nervous about being responsible for his life
- Ronnie and I sometimes walk by his room and wonder why we have it all decorated
- We sometimes feel overwhelmed already!
- The miracle of the tiny feet that kick my ribs, jar my spine, and punch my kidneys regularly is already amazing to me.
- Can this really be my child?

And here is what I want Little J to know:

Precious son of mine,

You are a treasure. The day your dad and I found out you were on the way was a surprise. You see, you already have a sibling in heaven. We knew we wanted you, but we weren't sure if it was time yet. We had been praying that we would be able to meet you one day - but we were also praying that you would not come until it was the right time.

I didn't even tell dad I was going to take the test that Sunday morning. So, he was surprised when I woke him up with "Ummm... I think there are two lines....." He responded with "huh?" I said "I think I am pregnant - come look!"

We both stared and stared at that little test waiting for more confirmation - but it was still fuzzy.

We went to church. I remember singing a song that morning that had been sung the Sunday after we found out our last child was not going to live. The line that rung in my head was "You give and Take away, you give and take away, my heart will choose to say, Lord blessed be your name." I knew immediately, even though the line was fuzzy at home on the test, that you were the gift. I also know that we would consistently say blessed be your name.

We told all of your grandparents that week, I called and told Jenifer and Brantley, and then, I had to wait to talk to JonJon. He was in Afghanistan.

We were so excited, we could barely wait to tell the world!

We saw you first on an ultrasound in November. You were jumping around. I really think you were excited to be seen... Your dad and I both cried to see you moving so much!

It was February that we found out you were a boy. I really think I knew the whole time. We had not even chosen a girl name. We were so excited to hear the ultrasound tech say "It's a boy!" We saw your face for the first time that day. You have already changed a lot - but I loved you immediately.

Your last two ultrasounds have been fun for us as we could see portions of your face. You keep part of it a secret with your arms. The priceless part to me, is that you are already making motions with your hands that are like pictures of your dad when he was a baby. You prop your right hand just above your eye, as if you are thinking.

The nurses and doctors tell us each time that you will be slowing down your movements as you get ready to be born... So far, you haven't slowed down one bit!

Here we are, about 5 days from your due date. I don't know what date you will choose to be your birthday. Many people are pulling for July 4. I think that would be nice, but I am really not going to be picky about this decision. I want you to be as healthy as possible. I know that there will even be days when I miss your little kicks to my ribs. I do look forward to seeing your face. and watching your motions. You consistently have one leg that is sticking out to my right side. It looks funny to me. I am sure you will be propping that leg up on everything you can see when you get out.

Dad and I are so ready to meet you. We are so excited to have you as the next part of our family. We are a little nervous about being parents - so be patient with us. We haven't done this before. We know that you are our gift, our treasure, and we promise to do everything we can to be sure you know that you are loved deeply, by us and by your Creator. We want you to know that God loves you even more than you will ever understand. He gave you to us to take care of for a while. We promise to do our best.


Monday, January 11, 2010

jon-jon is home - and predictions

well - my little brother made it back safely for his two weeks "break" from the sandbox... Mom has a post and pics from meeting him in the airport.

We will hopefully get some time to visit with him before he heads back over for the final months of this deployment.

In other places - I am now 15 weeks pregnant. Last trip to the Dr. had a heartbeat of 150. The heartbeat wives tale says its a girl - the chinese calendar says its a girl - all those silly quizzes I have taken online say its a girl...

However, Ronnie is of course a first (and only) born son.... his dad is a first born son.... his grandad was one of a couple of sons.... I am not sure who the oldest in that clan is - but I know the first born was a son... and all of those "sons" (his grandfather's brothers) have had first born sons. So.... if genetics tell us more than the chinese calendar - and heartbeats - then it should be a boy.

My aunt says its a boy - others that have guessed have said its a boy...

I always thought that it would have been awesome to have a big brother - so, I figured I should have a boy first - - which is probably the influence in my head that it is probably a boy.

My sister says its a girl.... I think she was just arguing with my aunt. :)

The fun part is that all the guessing will (hopefully) be over on Feb. 8!! We are hoping baby mayhew participates and allows us the opportunity to know the answer to that question... boy or girl?

Anyone out there got a fool-proof way to guess boy or girl?