Sunday, April 24, 2011

Room at the CROSS

Hebrews 12:1-2
1Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Easter is one of my favorite times of celebration.  We celebrate a Savior who died on The Cross for our sins.  That cross is so beautiful for it is the place I lay it all down.  I lay my sins hurts there... There is nothing I can not leave at the foot of that cross. 

How heartbreaking it must have been for Mary to watch her son hang on that cross?  God our Father committed His son to that cross and gave Him for me...and you. There is not greater love than that, plainly and simply. It is hard to fathom a love of that magnitude. 

Because Jesus hung on that cross, we have forgiveness. We have hope.  The hope I have is that one day I can kiss the feet of the one who hung on that cross.  I will be able to hold my Eli again because of that hope.  I will spend my eternity in a place of perfect peace and rest because of that cross.

I am a sinner saved by grace...the grace of that cross and the One who hung on it. It never ceases to amaze me that all I have to do is take my transgressions to the foot of that cross and they are forever forgiven.  I am amazed that because of that cross and the One who hung on it I can lay aside every weight.

The greatest of all is that there is ALWAYS, ALWAYS,  room at the cross.  I love the lyrics to the song Room At the Cross. 

Room at The Cross
By Ira Stamphill

Colossians 1:20
"And, having made peace through the blood of his cross,
by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say,
whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven."

The cross upon which Jesus died
Is a shelter in which we can hide
And its grace so free is sufficient for me
And deep is its fountain as wide as the sea.

There's room at the cross for you
There's room at the cross for you
Though millions have come, there's still room for one
Yes there's room at the cross for you.

Though millions have found him a friend
And have turned from the sins they have sinned
The Savior still waits to open the gates
And welcome a sinner before it's too late.

The hand of my Savior is strong
And the love of my Savior is long
Through sunshine or rain, through loss or in gain,
The blood flows from Calvary to cleanse every stain.

I hope each and every one of you have a wonderful Easter!

Much love,

Monday, April 18, 2011

Part II - Amelia's Birth Story

Sorry it has taken me so long to finish this....but here it is. As Paul Harvey says, " Here is the rest of the story."

I had been taken from recovery to the postpartum wing of the hospital.  I would have a new room and a new nurse and I was hopeful that Amelia would be waiting for me when I was settled in.  Amelia, as you know by now, was not waiting for me.  My new nurse was not so new.  Once again, I had another familiar face caring for me.  When I had Eli, my daytime nurse was P.  P would be my nurse again.  It was so comforting to see her walk in that room. She was the nurse that when I had Eli, would come in my room and encourage me to eat, pick up my room, and was just a strong, quiet presence. She made sure I had plenty of cranberry juice because she knew I liked it.  She knew there was nothing she could say to ease my hurt and she did not even try. She was just there and I appreciate her for that.  Needless to say, I was so glad to see her again. 
So, once everyone got to see Amelia, they left.  Jamie had come home to prepare clothes and such for the kiddos and that is when the doctor chose to come in to my room to talk to me.  I say everyone had left and that is not Sister in law and her precious family were still there and my friend Amy had also come in.  They just were not in the room when the doctor came in.  It was just me and the doctor. He explained to me that Amelia was having some respiratory distress and that her white blood count was elevated.  They were going to keep her in the NICU to give her antibiotics and monitor her.  There was some concern about her developing pneumonia.  At this point I had a huge wave of emotions wash over me.  Was this really happening?  What did all of this mean?  P came into the room about that time...I think she knew I needed someone there.  I remember looking at the doctor and telling him that I really was trying to hold it together but I just couldn't anymore.  Pam slipped quietly over to me and got us both some tissue.  The doctor knew that we had lost Eli a year before and he tried to assure me that this was not going to end that way.  He told me that in a few days Amelia should be fine but they just were not taking any chances.  He ended the conversation in a way I do not think any doctor ever has.  He told me that he would be praying for Amelia and then he came over to my bedside and hugged my neck.
Needless to say, I was really freaked out.  I called Jamie to let him know what was going on and could barely get through the conversation.  I was just plain scared out of my mind that God would take her too. Tina, Jamie's sister came in after the doctor left and sat and prayed with me.  She was wonderful...well she is wonderful.  It seemed like an eternity until Jamie finally arrived back.  I just needed his arms and presence.  P, my nurse thought to bring in a pump for me to use because I would not be able to nurse Amelia. She also got me a dose of Benadryl because I was itching uncontrollably (reaction to the pain meds). It was getting close to shift change by now and I did not want to see P go, but was blessed with another wonderful nurse.
I was beside myself because my baby was not with me and I could not go see her.  My nighttime nurse knew this and around 10:00 that evening she came into my room wheeling a wheelchair.  She looked at me and asked me did I think I could get up and get in the chair with help.  She had a plan... we were going to the NICU to see my baby girl.  She and Jamie got me all comfy in the chair and off we went.  I got to see her and even hold her once we got there.  It really helped to calm my fears just to be able to see her.  We spent about thirty minutes visiting with her and I calmed some.  Jamie went back a couple of more times during the night to check on her and delivered updates to me each time.
The nurses in the NICU told us that we could come down whenever we wanted to see Amelia.  Jamie went once again before he went to work Monday morning.  I got up showered and later went down myself.  I was allowed to feed Amelia during this visit and talk to the doctor since he was making his rounds. This would start a schedule for the next few days of visiting the nursery every three hours to visit and feed our sweet baby girl.  I was not about to miss on single visit.  I got up and walked all the way from the post partum wing to the L&D wing each visiting time.  I grew very fond of the nurses in the nursery.  They are a special group of people. On Amelia's second night in the NICU the nurses had to relocate her IV because her little vein blew.  They were not able to find another vein in her arms or legs, so they had to put it in her head.  When Jamie and I went down for our 11:00 pm visit, the nurses stopped us and told us that they had put a hat on her because they had to put the IV in her head and did not want to freak us out.  Well, once we were washed up and made our way over to see her I noticed that not only had the sweet nurses put a hat on her for us, they had taken the time to "doll" the hat up a little.  They had cut the bottom off of it because it was too big and use the excess material to make the cutest little bow.  They then attached the bow to the front of the hat.  She looked adorable.  I will always keep our precious little custom made hospital hat. How sweet of those ladies to think of how we would react to seeing an IV in Amelia's head and protect us from that!!
There are so many examples of kindness that all of the nurses showed us.  L, another one of our nurses we had with Eli was there for two nights also.  She was not my nurse, but she did check in on us.  J, my daytime nurse for two days was equally as wonderful.  These ladies really are a wonderful team and special group...ALL of them. 
Tuesday evening it was evident that something big was about to happen at the hospital by the hustle and bustle around the halls.  We learned that 9 inductions had been scheduled for the next day and that did not even account for walk in deliveries. By Wednesday morning the nursery was a madhouse.  The hallways were filled with hurried people.  There was a temporary nursery set up and it was filled.  At this point, when I went in for my visits, I washed up, went over and unhooked Amelia from the monitor and went about my business of feeding her.  Then I brought her back, hooked her back up and went to my room to wait for my next visit.  My next visit was when she was brought to my room to stay with me.  I cried tears of relief once she was with me! I was going to be allowed to room in with Amelia Wednesday night, but because of all of the deliveries during the day, no one was really sure where they would put us.  We were told that we would stay in the room we were already in.  Then we were told we were moving.  Then we were staying. Then we were moving.  It was finally decided around 3:00 or 4:00 that afternoon that we would be moving down closer to the nursery so Amelia would be close to her nurse if needs be.  P was my nurse again Wednesday.  I was happy to see her. She was not supposed to work but was called in. Once it was decided where we were going, P came in with my release papers and a cart so we could move all of our things to the new room.  I hugged her and thanked her. We were then taken to our other room and got settled in.  Amelia's nurse walked in and I was so delighted to see that is was E, the same nurse that was Eli's nurse. It was wonderful to see her again and more wonderful that she would be Amelia's nurse for the night.  Have I mentioned what a special place Jackson's Hospital is?  At least the 4th floor is a pretty special place.
Thursday was going home day for Miss Amelia and her mommy. Amelia's nurse on Thursday was such a sweetheart.  She helped us get ready to go home, took a picture for us and even shared pictures of here children with us.  P came by to visit just once more before we left and say goodbye.  She asked us if we would be back in a couple of more years...Kinda caught us by surprise with that questions.  We told her we might come by to visit but probably not for another extended stay.
Finally, finally, was time to go home.  Amelia was dressed in her going home outfit and we were more than ready to go home.  Amelia's nurse walked out with us and made sure we were all loaded up then hugged my neck and bid us farewell. we went to start our new life as a family of seven with one in heaven.

Much love,

Monday, April 11, 2011

Amelia's Birth Story

I do not know about you, but I love to read birth stories.  I love to read about the unique way each little life comes into this world.  The beginning of these tiny little lives is an exciting time.  Some babies come with a huge bang and some come quickly and quietly. The stories of their beginnings seem to mirror the life they will live. Each of my babies has a unique story of the day they were born.  I will never forget any of those five days. They are all special to me.  Before Eli, I had never actually sat down and written about those special days.  Now, I go back and read Eli's just to remember sometimes.  I guess I need to at some point write down Jay, Cooper, and Lucie Rose's story just to have and be able to look back at. 

So, Saturday, March 19, when I posted a blog, I had no idea that I would really have Amelia the next day.  I did know that I was having some really strong contractions but I had been having them off and on for a couple of weeks.  Well, by Saturday night these contractions were lining up and getting consistent. I went to the handy dandy little web-site that has a contraction timer and began timing them.  They were 5-8 minutes apart when I decided I would call the doctor.  We had just put the kiddos to bed when the doctor called back and told me to come on in and get checked out.  I live about an hour from the hospital and he did not want to take any chances.  My doctor was out of town that weekend :(.  We got the kiddos up and took them to my sister's house. (I love my sister) Once the babies had been taken care of, we headed on to the hospital.  Thank goodness I had shaved my legs and gotten my toes done earlier in the day!!! This time we took our bags with us because at this point I kinda had a feeling that I would be staying.
In the car, on the way to the hospital I was having contractions about three minutes apart.  I kept this little tidbit to myself because I did not want Jamie to think he needed to travel any faster than he was. I knew that it was not imperitive that we get there super fast.  Once we got to the L&D floor of the hospital, I was taken to a room where I went through the routine of answering questions, changing clothes, and getting checked.  By this time I had not had one contraction since entering the room and getting into bed and I was bummed to learn that I was not any more dialated than I had been two weeks earlier, which was about 1cm but not thinned out any. It would be about thirty minutes after arriving before I had anymore contractions. I was given fluids to see if that would stop the contractions and I was also offered a shot to stop them, which I initially refused.  Jamie and I both were just tired of going up and getting shots to stop the contractions and had decided not to take anymore. About an hour after initially refusing the shot the nurse came in and was more insistent on giving the shot to see what would happen.  I decided to take it and just see what happened.  It stopped contractions for about two hours and then they started back again.  I was then offered another and I flat refused it this time. I was very frusterated by this point. My cervix had not changed any. This was about time for shift change Sunday morning, and to my surprise, the nurse that I had with Eli came in and was going to be taking over for this shift.  She is an awesome person and nurse.  I was so thrilled and happy to see her.  I will also say that the nurses I had when I went in the night before were all really good.  One of them told me that she was working the night I had Eli also. Another of them was working the day I had Lucie Rose.    
Around the time of shift change, my contractions were beginning to really pick up and and were about two to three minutes apart.  I had previously been told that I was probably going home as soon as the doctor okayed it.  Now, we were not so sure.  A, my nurse decided at this point to check my cervix once more and to our surprise I was beginning to dialate more and had progressed a centimeter since last being checked. I was told that was enough to get me a ticket to the OR for a c-section.  A called the doctor and told him what was going on and he was then on his way.  Everything really kicked into high gear after that.  There was blood work to be done, surgery prep to be done (that stuff they make you drink before a section is AWFUL), and people to call. The doctor came in and checked me again and I had dialated another 1/2 centimeter.  Before I knew it A was parking a stretcher in my room for my ride down to OR.  This c-section was so different than the one I had with Eli.  There was no sense of hurry or tears...I was awake this time...I was going to get to keep this baby...So many differences... There was a sense of De-ja-vu, being wheeled down to the OR.  Once in the operating room, things were different.  I was awake this time and received a spinal block which was followed up by pain meds in my back.  It gave me a buzz. I was chilled...I liked the buzz...until the itching started that is!!! There was not enough Benedryl in the hospital once the itching started!! I itched for two days. I digress...
Once my spinal block took effect...literaly ten seconds after is was put in...I was on the road to meeting my sweet baby girl... holding her...loving her...feeding her...or so I thought.
Once she was out, she was taken to the side to be cleaned up and worked on.  She had to have some fluid suctioned from her lungs.  She cried when she was first born, but there was a long time when I heard nothing and I kept asking if she was alright.  Everyone assured me that she was just fine.  I guess I just needed to see her or hear her to know for myself.  Soon enough Jamie brought her over for me to see her and kiss her.  She was so beautiful.  I just wanted to hold her.  Jamie got to go and carry her to the nursery while I was taken to recovery for a few minutes.  When I finally made it to my room, I fully expected my baby to be waiting on me, but she was not.  The nurses in the nursery kept putting us off...asking for another 30 minutes or another hour.  I knew at that point that something was not right.  I told Jamie a couple of times that something was wrong if they were not bringing her to us.  He tried to reassure me that she was fine, but just needed to warm up some.  I knew better.  Eventually, the nurse called and told us that they would bring her down to us for just 20 minutes.  That was a HUGE red flag to me.  Just 20 minutes...Why???
Those were the shortest 20 minutes ever.  It was not enough but she had to go back to be monitored more.  After our little 20 minute visit, everyone left and Jamie went home to get the kiddos clothes together so they could go to my sister in law's house. Tina(my SIL) and her family had come by that time and went to the nursery to see Amelia.  That is when the nurse called down to my room to let me know that they were hooking Amelia up to some machines to monitor her more closely and starting an IV.  She wanted to tell me because there were people at the window watching and she did not want me to be alarmed when they came back to the room.  Really....not get alarmed... Not too long after that, the nursery doctor came in to talk to me (by myself).

To be continued...

Much love,

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Long time no blog.

Wow, I can not believe that Amelia is already two weeks old.  I have been MIA from the blog world for most of those two weeks.  I finally got on the old Facebook this weekend some.  I have lots of blog reading to do to catch up with everyone. 

So, what has been going on at the Hill household...
Where to begin??????
Well, Amelia is doing great.  She got to come home only having to stay one day more than me.  I actually got to stay that night and room in with her.  So, I did not have to leave her.  I thank God for that because having left the hospital with empty arms once, I was so afraid I would panic if I had to this time. 
These past two weeks have just been a whirlwind for me.  So many wonderful family members, friends, and church family have gone completely out of their way to take care of my family.  We are truly blessed. My emotions have been all over the place, which in part is a hormone issue but also in part that having a new baby has caused me to miss Eli so much more.  Sometimes when I look at her, she looks just like Eli did.  There is a strong resemblance between the two of them. 
The kiddos are adjusting to having a new baby at home.  Lucie Rose is having the toughest time. She is trying to find her new place as big sister.  My sister told me that on the way to the hospital to see their new sister Lucie Rose asked her if Amelia was going to get to go home with us.  She also said that Cooper was visibly nervous and wanted reassurance that everything was going to be alright this time. Cooper is the most tender with Amelia.  They all love to hold her but Cooper is especially lovie to her.  Cooper is not a snuggly or huggie child and never has been. It is sweet to watch the kiddos with her.
Jamie is working long hours right now because of tax season.  He leaves early each day and is worn out by the time he gets home. We are looking forward to April 18th when he will be home more and we can spend some family time together.
I am trying to get over Bronchitis (not great to have with an 8 inch gash on my belly) and adjust to a feeding schedule for little Miss Amelia.  She started off as a great nurser but has regressed some in that.  She is such a sleepy baby that she just falls asleep while nursing now.  We are working on that and supplementing some to make sure she is gaining weight.
That is about it for an update on how things are going. I will post her birth story at some point.  Thank you all for your prayers, well wishes and thoughts! I am feeling truly blessed!

Much love,