Perfectly …

Today is my daughter Libby’s 17th birthday. To say that time has passed quickly since the day she was born is an understatement. I remember her beginning like it was yesterday.

I was standing in a deli after church on a Sunday morning when I realized that I was pregnant with Libs. I had just prayed the day before, that if the timing was PERFECT, that I would love to have another baby one day. Life was definitely not perfect at that time. I had just returned back to work and was loving the contract that I took with a local hospital. My head was in a different place. Yet there I was in that deli, already stricken with ALL DAY sickness and knowing that I was headed into what would likely be my third high-risk pregnancy. NOT the perfect time but it definitely all turned out PERFECTLY! God knew that our family needed Libs and He knew exactly when we would need her. I saw God move so much when I was pregnant with her. It was truly miraculous. And she came in God’s PERFECT timing. Libs was born into this world to a room full of laughter. All of us, doctors and nurses included, were laughing and having a wonderful time. Her birth was honestly like a party. I remember when I first held her, I felt an unexplainable familiarity with her. I felt like I had held her my whole life. She fit PERFECTLY into my arms, my heart and our family. I can’t imagine us without her! Libs is one of the funniest people you will ever know. I love how she sees and relates to this world. She is genuine and honest. She has always been a justice-seeker and she is incredibly fair. Libs is a gifted artist and brilliant, but most of all, Libs is kind and compassionate. This girl has a HUGE heart. I couldn’t be more proud of the young woman that she has become and of all the things that she has already accomplished. Life will take a lot of twists and turns for her over this next year. But I have no doubt that her future will turn out exactly how she came into this world … perfectly.

Well, I hope you all have a day where things turn out PERFECTLY!!!

An unexpected God gift …

Last night, after a very long and very exciting day (I’ll explain why in a later blog), I somehow got Reese into bed early. This is good because she has her hernia repair surgery tomorrow and I want her going into it as strong as possible. Sleep is so important leading up to something like this and it will be a huge part of how her little body will recover after. But, I guess her mama’s body was needing that sleep too.

Last night I laid down with Reese. We said her prayers and snuggled. And I don’t remember another thing after that. I woke up three hours later, thinking I had just dozed off. Talk about completely disorienting! I thought for sure I would never fall back to sleep. I was wrong. I slept for almost another 7 hours! WOW! With as conscientious as I am about my health, I am often amazed at how much I fail to see what my body really needs. Tomorrow will be long and stressful so I am glad that today I feel great and ready to tackle anything. And I am once again thankful for God’s hand in helping me be at at my best for Reese. As a mom, I just keep going, often times piling more on my plate than I have room for. I’m grateful that God sees this. And despite the piles of unfolded laundry and the dirty dishes in the sink, God knew it was more important to give me rest than it was to give me more time in my day to complete chores. He is awesome that way.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you receive an unexpected gift from God!!!

Faith, love and miracles …

Despite posting these words every year they still bring me to tears. Happy tears. Tears that warriors cry after winning a long battle. I don’t think I will ever be able to change how I tell this story. To do so would be an injustice to her and to me. And to all of our family and friends who stood by us then and who continue to walk through this life with us now. This story is about our beginning together. The story that we all fought so hard to tell. It is a story about faith, love … and miracles.

When I was about 11 weeks pregnant we were told that she did not look quite so “typical” … I didn’t care. I loved our baby. And I prayed.

A few weeks later we were told, that not only was our baby “not typical”, but that there was a chance I would be delivering her stillborn. I wanted our baby even more fiercely than I had before. And I prayed.

Several weeks later, we almost lost our baby … to which I screamed an angry and adamant “NO!” And I prayed.

A month later we were told that our baby had a “very large hole in her heart” … to which I said, “I don’t believe you.“ And I prayed.

Two months later we were told, “Your baby is small” … to which I laughed and said, “Of all the things that you have told us, this seems pretty manageable.” And I prayed.

Two weeks later, on what was supposed to be a brief doctor’s visit before we headed to our local water park, we were told that our baby was not growing, that she was too small and that she was not acting the way that she should be. We were told that I would be given another amniocentesis to see if her lungs were developed. If they were, my doctor wanted to take her right away. I felt like my body was failing her. And I prayed.

My doctor gave me a drug to speed up our baby’s lung development. The results of the amniocentesis were not what we had hoped for. My doctor told us that our baby’s lungs were not developed, our baby could not breath on her own. Now we had a team of medical professionals. They hoped nothing would go wrong for the next 48 hours so that the steroid they had given me would have time to help our baby’s lungs grow … to which I said, “OK”. And I prayed.

Less than 24 hours later I had a hospital room full of people wearing blue. They were running around and pumping my body full of fluids and drugs. We were told that we could no longer wait. We were told that our baby would not be breathing and that she would be very small and weak … to which I cried in her father’s arms and said, “I’m scared.” And I prayed.

Minutes later I was strapped to a table. I had refused anything that would alter my mental state. I wanted to be there for our baby. It took a long time to get her out. I was told that she was so small that she kept slipping through the doctor’s hands. I kept screaming, “Is she out?!?!” And I prayed.

Then, I heard a cry … to which I thought, “That is a loud cry for a baby who is supposed to be weak, small and not breathing.” And I prayed.

A few minutes later our baby was brought over to me, warmly swaddled, pink as could be, breathing all on her own and with no hole in her heart. (Sure, she had some extra chromosomes, but who cares about that?) And when I saw her I thought, “You are my miracle and I love you.” And then, I praised God for our beautiful daughter.

Nine years ago today, through God’s amazing grace, Reese Lindsey Grace Henry was born by emergency cesarean section. She was 6 weeks early. She weighed 2lbs 15oz and was 15 ½ inches long. My world has not been quite the same since that day … and I would have it no other way.

Happy 9th Birthday to my precious miracle! Reesey Roo you are my JOY, the smile on my face and my WHY! Mommy loves you and all of your extra parts 💕

Well, I hope you all have a day where you celebrate a miracle … and always remember to pray!!!

I hope He is right …

Some days I am faced with some stressful junk. I really try to make peace with moments like this. One way is by telling myself that this is God’s way of reminding me of how strong God thinks I am. BIG SIGH.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you hope He is right!!!

Awake again …

Meningitis makes you tired. Very. It’s not just during the active part of the virus either. At least not for me. The two times I have had it the fatigue lasted a very long time. The first time it took me about 8 months for my family to really notice a difference. That’s a long time. And I think that must be my standard. Where I felt the heaviest of my fatigue pass in about April this, 6 months after I was diagnosed, my mornings remained very difficult.

I have ALWAYS been a morning person and for most of my life I’ve needed less sleep than is typical. But not since October. And it has been a hard adjustment. Don’t get me wrong, I am very pleased, as are all my doctors, with my recovery. I’ve done exceedingly well. I am beyond grateful. But the struggle I’ve faced waking up has been a real life changer. I decided sometime in May to make peace with it. It wasn’t what I wanted but I had to accept that the old me “morning me” may never return. I needed to forget about the woman who bounced out of bed in the morning before most people in her timezone ever woke up, HA! I needed to be thankful for all the extra hours God had so generously given me in the past to enjoy my day. I needed to move on and embrace the me that was left after surviving another of life’s battles. And I did. 

The came June. I’m needing less sleep and rising with a familiar energy that seems like I’ve found a long lost friend. I’m enjoying the silence of a sleeping home again. I’m working out earlier. I’m getting more accomplished throughout my day. I can’t say I’m 100% myself, but I am pretty darn close. And I really couldn’t be happier.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you feel AWAKE again!!!