February 19, 2018

Happy {5th} Birthday Jack!


(Year 1 // 2 // 3 // 4)

 Dear Jack,

Your birthday was a few weeks ago, and I can't believe you are five years old. And as I tucked you into bed on your birthday, I prayed over you and just thanked God for those five years as the tears streamed down my face.

I can't believe you've been outside of the womb and in my arms for five years now. Five whole years - that feels so incredibly long. And I just keep thinking, we've had more years with you than some parents have had with their kids and that feels wild and so surreal. It makes me think about the baby we lost, the one we won't meet this side of Heaven, and I'm just so grateful for each day with you. It is all such a gift, to have carried you in my womb, to have held you in my arms, to have cared for you and kissed you and loved you.

And naturally on your birthday, I spent some time reading over your birth story (Part one and Part two) and looking back at old photos. And as I look at your five year old self, all of that feels like a lifetime ago, and I just think wow, what a story!

And with each passing year, I feel more and more removed from that story, from the weeks leading up to your birth and the weeks following it. Yet, as I read over my own words tonight and looked at photos, and thought about the time leading up to your arrival and the days after your arrival, my heart broke. And yes, your story is a beautiful one, but it's one I wouldn't wish on anyone.  As it's just so painful and hard.

I could hear my voice. I could sense my pain. I could hear my cries. I could close my eyes and be taken back to that day of your birth when I was throwing up all day and the nurses thought I had the flu, but turns out that's just how my body was responding to the contractions. Turns out I was 2.5 centimeters dilated at 33 weeks pregnant. And I remember just being tired of being in the hospital, I had been there 6 days too long, and I was done and I wanted to go home. Nothing had gone as I had hoped it would, and here we were on a Sunday night, just waiting. And your hear rate was dropping and you weren't able to withstand the contractions, so they came in to tell me it was go time. And I remember turning to the Dr. and just saying, we're going to have a baby, this is a really big deal, and the truth is, having a baby is a really big deal regardless of their entrance into the world!!

And yes, your entrance may have been a dramatic one, and your NICU stay was definitely hard on our souls and our spirits, and leaving the hospital for 20 days without you in our arms was for sure hard and yes I'd cry like every night as I just wanted you home with us, but eventually we DID take you home from the hospital and you are alive and well and for that we are so thankful!

And I find with each passing year, I'd rather reflect on who you are, than reminisce about your birth story. The truth is, as soon as that faint line appeared on that pregnancy test, I started dreaming about who you would look like, who you might be, who you would become, how long I'd be able to witness this life of yours. And this past year, I've been reminded just how precious life is, how our days are numbered, and we have no idea just how much time we'll have together. I have no idea if I'll live long enough to see you achieve various milestones, like get your drivers license, or graduate from highschool, maybe college, travel the world, get married, have children, achieve some of your dreams, etc. And I have no idea if you'll live long enough to achieve those milestones, but what I do know is that I cherish each day with you and being able to watch you grow and experience the world right before my very eyes is pure magic.

You are pure magic Jack, and I just delight in you.

And I look at the photos of your tiny 4 lb self and then admire the giant 5 year old before me,  and it's all such a gift, witnessing your growth and transformation is the most beautiful gift.

Through you God has taught me so much about letting go and letting God, in realizing nothing may go as I had planned, but in the end trusting that He is still good.

My son, I love you dearly, and lately I just find myself sitting back and just watching you. Tonight, Ryan asked me to turn music on, so he danced around the living room, while you ran back and forth playing superheroes by yourself and making super power noises. And I just sit back and watch you as I drop you off at preschool, and you stuff your bag into a cubby and give me a quick hug and run off to play with your friends. I admire the way you just engage with a situation and a new environment whether that's at the gym, or at a new school, or with new friends. You're just fully in it and you love being around people and being on the go.

But you also love your down time, and ask for space alone and just time to decompress and sit and quietly read a book. I love that you already know this about yourself at 5 - that you know what you need and you have the words to express it. You are exceptionally inquisitive and curious and you love to ask questions - I love this about you!

I love the way you love your brother and watching you two interact together brings me so much joy. Last night we asked you a few questions and one of them was what's your favorite thing about Ryan, and you replied cause he laughs so hard! And no one makes him laugh harder than you Jack Emmet, truly, but I suppose in that breath, no one makes him cry more than you too haha!!

And I wish I could record all the conversations we have, like the one we had lately with your friend Noelle about girls and getting married. You were talking about some girls in your class and said I'm going to marry so and so, and I said well the girl gets a say in all this as well you know. You don't just get to pick, she chooses you as well. Or the conversation we've had about you never moving out, how you're just going to build a tree house in the backyard and live there with your family and your dog. Or the nightly play by play of your day.

I love how in those 5 years of your life, I have come to know you, to know what you like, to know what you need, to anticipate a request before the words even make it out of your mouth. You love make believe and super heros and super powers and lego and building all sorts of things and you'd like to be a builder someday! My child, I could see that happening as you always ask about the creater behind something and who built this item or that object.

You are such a great little buddy, and you listen well and you love helping with things around the house and being given little responsibities, like putting things away or cleaning or dusting or setting the table or doing the dishes. It's the cutest thing as I watch you putting napkins and silverware on the table, and all the sauces we have in the fridge, even though I know we won't use any of them!

Jack Emmet, I need you to know that God has used you in such a powerful way to refine me. And I had no idea just how much refining needed to happen within my soul and spirit. These past five years have been filled with letting go and extending grace to myself and to you, and just slowing down. My desire is to know you and to be known by you, and for you to see the Lord's goodness and love for you reflected in the way I speak to you and in the way I care for you and in the way I love you and set you free!

 I'm so grateful for the privilege it is to raise you.

I love you so much,

Mama

February 14, 2018

Baby Brother: 19 Weeks




Growing // Baby brother weighs about 8 1/2 ounces now and baby is about 6 inches long from head to bottom. Baby is now the size of a mango! Feels wild to think that I'm halfway through, as I'm guessing I won't go past 38 weeks. And baby is only half a pound! How is that even possible? I suppose he has grown a ton in those 19 weeks, but it's wild to think just how much he'll grow in the next 19. They say that his sensory development is exploding and he is now designating specialized areas for smell, taste, hearing, vision and touch. He may even be able to hear my voice now. And I think my bump is growing? I've had people tell me lately, "You don't even look pregnant! How can you possibly be that far along?" And I find myself talking about my other two pregnancies, and mentioning how I don't really start showing with a proper bump until like 25 weeks. So let's just say, I'm excited for that bump day to come! And why do people always think it's okay to talk about a pregnant women's body?

Eating + Sleeping // I'm loving cereal with milk for breakfast. I'm loving salads with basalmic vinegar dressing!! And I'm still all about French bread with sharp cheddar cheese. In fact the lunch I packed today is a salad with bread and cheese! Steamed veggies still aren't appealing to me, but I'll eat them raw? Who knows what that's all about! Peter made a stew for dinner last night, and I ate the cooked carrots, so maybe it's just broccoli I don't want to eat, which is strange as that's one of my favorite veggies, but again, I'm happy to eat it raw or roasted. Maybe it's the lingering smell? And most nights end with a cup of some type of vanilla tea. Sleeping is interesting. I'm up at least once or twice a night to go the bathroom. And I sometimes sleep with an extra pillow, sometimes not. It just depends, but I do love pressing a pillow against my tummy. I'm such a back sleeper though, so I'm always waking up on my back and shifting myself back to my side.

Feeling // I'm just really tired, all the time. And I get out of breath, real fast. I have to climb three flights of stairs to get to my office at work, and I always enter into my work space out of breath! But I'm going to the gym 4 days a week, which is more than I've ever done with any of my other pregnancies. So that feels really good!

Wearing // I finally busted out my own maternity dresses out of their plastic storage containers in the garage! And I'm excited to start wearing them, but I'm really excited to start wearing them without tights and boots, which seems ironic as that's all I wanted to wear when I was pregnant with my other boys. And I've borrowed a bunch of things from friends this time around which is fun. All I want to wear is jeans though and I haven't found any jeans that I love yet, so I'm just wearing a borrowed pair for now, and thinking I can probably hold off on buying a pair as I'll be wearing dresses nonstop soon enough.

Milestones // No big milestones this week, but we have our big anatomy scan this week, and I'm looking forward to that. I should say, it was the strangest thing to find out gender at like 14 weeks, especially when you don't normally find it out till right about now. Feels like we hit some milestones fairly early on because of that.



Pregnant with Jack week 17 // 18 // 19
Pregnant with Ryan week 17 // 18 // 19

February 12, 2018

Baby Brother: 18 Weeks




Growing // Baby brother weighs about 8 ounces now and baby is about 5 1/2 inches long from head to bottom. Baby is now the size of an artichoke! We had an ultrasound with my mom this week, and she confirmed gender! And he's measuring right on target to the day with all his measurements. But he's a little ahead of the game on one, which is his head circumference! It would appear that all our babies have big heads!!!

Eating + Sleeping // I've found that when I go into the office, I pack a ton of food for myself to eat as I truly have no idea what I'll feel like eating the next day and I'm all about eating small little snacks throughout the day. However, when I'm home, I just eat during my regular meal times, and don't snack nearly as much. But I have been buying some good snacky things that everyone in the family has been loving, like string cheese, pretzels/crackers, granola bars, peanuts, etc. I'm still loving all things fruit, and I'm not a huge fan of chocolate things or ice cream. I made some cookies last weekend and I've hardly had any of them, and same with the ice cream we've had in our freezer for a few weeks now. I'd rather eat a bag of potato chips than a bowl of ice cream, which is why we don't have any potato chips in the house!! Haha! I'm sleeping the same, still waking up once or twice a night, and some nights I'm just restless after waking and it's terrible.

Feeling // I feel a little bit better, but still feel kind of crummy. I do so good during the day, feel energetic and ready to face the world, still tired, but I get on with it, and then five o'clock rolls around, and I'm like is it bedtime yet for the littles so I can have time to rest?

Wearing // Bought some great faux leather leggings that I'm loving and I'm loving all my borrowed maternity clothes, shirts, jeans, sweaters, etc. It's fantastic! I ordered a few things from Target and H&M and I'd love to buy a pair of black maternity jeans, but not having any luck, so the search continues. But let's be real, maternity jeans are not regular jeans, and they stretch out so fast and you wear them for like a few months, so maybe I should just save my money for a great pair of postpartum jeans. I'm figuring it out, but the struggle is real!

Milestones
 // My mom did an ultrasound this week, which was so fun. She's done ultrasounds on all my babes, and it was so fun to walk away with some photos and to see that baby brother is in fact moving a ton in there, even if I haven't felt really strong movements yet. Can't wait for that day to come!



Pregnant with Jack week 17 // 18 //

Pregnant with Ryan week 17 // 18 //

February 5, 2018

Baby Brother: 17 Weeks



Here I am, 17 weeks pregnant already. How am I this far along? It all feels incredibly surreal. In my announcement post, I don't think I mentioned that we found out we were pregnant the day we got home from Ireland, or maybe it was the day after? There was a faint line on the pregnancy test, and I didn't really know what to make of it at the time. So I just continued to take pregnancy tests and sure enough, it was true, I was pregnant!

And if I'm incredibly honest, this is the first time with all my pregnancies where the timing felt so right (minus my miscarriage). With both positive tests with Jack and Ryan I shed a few tears as it happened like a month sooner than I thought it would! And I wasn't quite ready, but with this pregnancy, I was so ready! And instead of shedding tears of panic, I shed tears of joy!

Growing // Baby weighs about 5 ounces now and he is about 5 inches long from head to bottom. Baby is now the size of a turnip! It still blows my mind that I have a baby the size of a turnip inside of me. I quite often wonder where exactly he's hiding in there. 

Eating + Sleeping // I'm loving all breads and cheese, and I've made a few stops to the store to buy a really good loaf of bread that I just cut up and eat with slices of sharp cheddar cheese. And I've made a stop or two to the store to buy chicken tenders and potato wedges from the deli...and let's not forget the potato chips. All things salty and crunchy sound incredible right now! I think I've loved chicken tenders and salty things (potato chips) all my pregnancies, but today, as I type this, that doesn't sound so good. I love smoothies and all fruit and yogurt and salads, but not plain vegetables, well only if they're roasted, but not if they're steamed. And I'm really loving cereal, no particular kind, and I'd eat it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. And I'm loving a cup of hot tea at night. For the first few months, and even to this day, I wouldn't eat a single thing after dinner as my stomach would just ache. So I learned the hard way to not fill it before going to bed! And it's worked tremendously. In regards to sleep, I'm getting up at least once or twice a night to go to the bathroom, this is the worst part of pregnancy for me. I love sleeping through the night and waking up in the morning and now that my older two do that, I'd like to do that too!

Feeling // I keep waiting for the 2nd trimester feels to kick in, and I'm starting to fear that they're not going to!! I'm just so tired, like all the time. Is that pregnancy? Is that just my life? Is it the two energetic boys that live under my roof? And I still feel kind of nauseas. Certain food sets me off, and there are definitely things I don't feel like eating! Peter can't keep up with all the feels!! This pregnancy has felt so very different to be honest. I've had like indigestion and gas and just strange and uncomfortable stuff down there and baby feels super low, but I'd say that's gotten better over the last few weeks. I have been going to the gym, which has felt incredible. I love dropping the boys off, and just taking time for myself to sweat and read my book while I pound out some cardio. I'd love to get to lifting weights and doing other things again, but I've just been so tired, so I'm grateful for the energy to even do the elliptical.

Wearing // I've never been pregnant this time of year! I mean, this early pregnant, like first trimester pregnant. So it's been strange dressing my pregnant body. And I'm not really showing much, so I'm still in like this in between stage. I have a ton of dresses that I can wear, so I've been wearing those to work with boots, but on my work from home days or just the weekends, I've been at a loss as to how to dress my body. I didn't buy a single maternity item with Jack, and I bought a few dresses with Ryan, and I've already borrowed a bunch of things from friends, and I have bought an item or two for myself that will work as non maternity as well. I'd love to buy myself a pair of maternity jeans, as I'd love to rock jeans this pregnancy rather than just long shirts and leggings or work out clothes! And I did land myself a pair of jeans that fit in the maternity items borrowed, so those may work out just great.

Milestones // I had a Drs. appointment this week and I'd had a dream before the appointment that the nurse wasn't able to hear baby's heartbeat, and then ironically the nurse had a hard time finding his heartbeat, but then another nurse came in and found it straight away. I love going to the Dr, for the obvious reasons, but it's a beautiful time for me to connect with baby brother, while also navigating how to entertain a 3 year old for the 30 minute appointment!!

Pregnant with Jack week 17 //
Pregnant with Ryan week 17 // 

January 26, 2018

Pregnancy after a Loss



Pregnancy after a loss is the strangest thing.

As soon as you see the faint line on that pregnancy test, you live in the tension of hoping for what could be while also recognizing the reality of what may never be. You may hold the news tighter to your chest, you may not document it nearly as much, at least this was our case. Because the truth is, you don't want to get too excited too soon only to be taken down into the depths of despair yet again, and let's be honest, what do you do with the old ultrasound photo of the tiny baby you lost or the video you took of your oldest son as he expresses his sincere excitement over another sibling - I'm still trying to figure those things out.

A few days ago I had a dream that I went in for my 17 week check up at the Dr. and baby didn't have a heartbeat. I woke up just thinking, dear Jesus please don't let this dream come true, but for some reason I woke up with so much peace just knowing it wouldn't be our reality.

For those who may not know, I dream things that come to fruition...not always, but I can sense when something feels real like a premonition almost and when something doesn't. I truly believe God speaks to me through my dreams, I know it may sound strange, but it's happened so many times that even my friends are like oh..Malia and her dreams!

Most recently I had a dream that I had a miscarriage and Peter fell off a mountain, and that dream did come true. And just a few months ago I had dream a friend was pregnant after said miscarriage and in the dream I remember just being so excited for her and so at peace with where God had our family, and the day I told her about the dream was the day she had found out she was pregnant and she wasn't sure how she was going to tell me!

So I truly feel like God uses dreams to prepare my heart for things to come.

So on Wednesday I went in for my Drs. appointment, and the nurse had a hard time finding the babies heart beat, and I could tell she was a little flustered. She kept moving the doppler around, but we kept hearing my heartbeat. And I laughed and told her about the dream I'd had, and just said of course this would happen, still entirely hopeful, knowing he was hiding somewhere.

And she said, I don't want to cause anxiety, we can do an ultrasound if you want, and I said it's fine, and she went to get another nurse to see if she could find it. And sure enough, the next nurse came in and went a little lower and we heard it straight away, super duper low like always.

And as I type this, I'm just taken back to that moment. The truth is, I wasn't anxious at all as it just feels like a true reality...the loss of a baby.

And then my Dr. came in, and she has recently suffered her own baby loss, losing her baby girl just 10 days after she was born due to unanticipated brain damage. And we talked, and she asked me if I've felt connected to this baby, and I slowly replied in truth with tears in the corners of my eyes, "No." And it broke my heart to say that.

But the truth is pregnancy after a loss is the strangest thing. You hold the pregnancy and the baby differently. You cradle it differently. You hope differently. You feel like you've walked through fire, so if you had to do it again, you know you could. So rather than hold this baby and this pregnancy tighter, I'm holding it so loosely.

And I feel like I won't actually believe that a healthy baby is growing inside me until I'm birthing him and holding him in my arms.

And as beautiful as the past seven months have been walking through my own loss as people share their grief and their pain from msicarriages, still births at 25-35 weeks, losing a full term baby to brain damage, the list goes on. The grief and the pain is tremendous and real, and I feel like loss is my reality. I mean that's my most recent normal. A healthy pregnancy and baby isn't my most recent experience so it just feels strange. Like you're walking a tightrope waiting for something to happen.

But you want to know what all of this has taught us?

Each day is a gift, and each day with our littles is a gift, and each day this baby grows inside my womb is such a gift. And this gift is a gift some don't get, and the reality of that feels heavy on my heart some days.

So last night the husbad graciously took some photos of me to mark 17 weeks pregnant (Thanks Peter!!) and he snapped one of me just breathing it all in - the pain, the joy, the grief, and the hope.

May God continue to give us the wisdom and the grace to show up for people that have walked a path similiar to ours. And may He continue to give us the courage to share our hearts and our story with those who need to hear it!

January 25, 2018

The Secret is Out..


So the secret is out...our family is expanding and by God's grace we're having another baby! It feels wild this time around as the boys fully know what it means when we say we're having a baby!! Jack was only 14 months when I got pregnant with Ryan, and just 23 months when Ryan was born. He was still a baby himself. And now he's five, and that just feels so old as he's fully aware of the baby growing in mama's tummy.

To answer some questions...

Do we have a nickname for Drennan Baby #3 or a name picked out yet?

I suppose his nickname is baby brother, but that's not very original now is it?? And we most definitely do not have a name picked out yet. How in the world are we to decide on another boy name? I feel like we've used them all up by now! Would welcome any and all suggestions!

So how far along are you then...I'd rather not do the math?

So as of Tuesday, I'm 17 weeks pregnant, which means baby is about the size of a turnip! If I'm honest, I'm still not feeling all that great. Definitely feel pregnant, which is a blessing, but just feeling so tired and just nauseous. I keep waiting to feel some relief from it all, I mean I'm in the second trimester so it should be coming soon right???????? At least that's what I keep telling myself, maybe in another few weeks? I haven't taken anything for the nausea or anything this time around, so maybe that's why? Who knows. All I know is I definitely feel pregnant and for that I'm thankful!

When is Baby #3 due?

Baby brother's official due date is July 3rd, but we're already talking about his June arrival. So whenever people ask when's your due date, I say July, but follow it up with, but I'm sure it will be more like the middle of June. Our goal once again is to get me to 38 weeks before my blood pressure starts to do crazy things, to have a vaginal birth and to take baby brother home with me when I leave the hospital. It's funny to me as I read those things to think those are like normal things a mother hopes for, but the reality is, none of those goals were met with my firstborn Jack. He was born at 33 weeks 6 days via a c-section and I most definitely went home from the hospital without him. So it was such an incredibly beautiful and healing moment for me to be able to accomplish all those things with my secondborn Ryan.

Ironically my blood pressure didn't get exceptionally high last pregnancy, but I was leaking fluid and going in for regular non-stress tests, so they could see it was starting to affect Ryan's heart rate. And if I'm honest, I can't even imagine going to 40 weeks now that both my babies have been born early! However, it would be pretty incredible to just go into labor spontaneously. I'll most likely be induced somewhere between 37-38 weeks, which would put us at the middle of June.

How in the world do we already know gender?

We did a blood test! We've never done any chromosomal testing before, but since I'm 35, insurance covers it at a different rate than they would have with my past pregnancies. So we decided to do the testing and find out the gender early, and they found a Y chromosome floating around in my blood! Hence, a boy. And to be honest, I think I wrote on a blog post with baby #2 (Ryan) before we found out gender that I thought he'd be a boy, and I just imagined myself as a boy mom. My feelings around having a third boy warrant a blog post all it's own because God was so gracious in preparing my heart. I just knew this baby would be a boy due to all the conversations I'd had with Jack about the gender of his future sibling, and I was right. Well actually Jack was right, and I felt like God was using Jack to prepare my heart to fully lean into the possibility of being a boy mom!! I can't wait to share all those conversations at a later date, but one of them being, when we showed Jack the ultrasound photo I asked him, "Do you know what this is?" and he replied with so much certainty and sincerity, "Yeah, it's my baby brother!" And I laughed it off, but on the video, I say "Baby brother, we can't wait to meet you!....I mean if you're a girl too, baby sister, we'd be excited to meet you too!"

So what do you think this baby's birth story will be like? 

I'm hoping it's more like Ryan's and less like Jack's, but maybe he'll have a totally different story. We shall see with time! I think they started me on blood pressure medicine sometime in my third trimester with Ryan, as my blood pressure started to rise. But my blood pressure has been fairly normal at my last two Drs. appointments, maybe just a smidge high at like 124/78, but nothing alarming. And I think it was higher than that at this stage in the game with both babies, but I'm not entirely sure.

But if I had to guess, I'm guessing this baby will not have a story like Jack's seeing as we're following the same healthcare plan as we did with Ryan. I have an incredible OB whom I love and adore, and I actually said to Peter, are you sure you don't want to have another baby? I'm going to miss my OB so much because let's be real, you see them ALOT when you're pregnant and not so much when you're not.

How does this pregnancy compare to your others?

Can we talk about the exhaustion? I think I forgot just how tired you truly are that first trimester. I mean like don't want to get out of bed even after 9 hours of sleep tired, most definitely don't want to get yourself dressed or your little people dressed, let alone fed and off to school/daycare and yourself off to work. And I'm definitely not interested in doing all the household tasks like folding laundry or dishes or even cooking dinner...can we just have cereal every night for dinner please? Oh and the food smells from lunch or dinner that linger in the house long after the meal has been eaten, no thank you. Gross.

I've just felt incredibly off for months, with stomach aches and indigestion and gas and just bad stuff all around. There were nights I couldn't sleep because my stomach hurt so bad! So to be honest, I haven't been eating much during the day, and on my good days, I'm able to make it to the gym which feels amazing. So now, I just don't eat anything past like 6 or else it's just downhill from there, and I finish the night off with a hot cup of tea.

Being pregnant while caring for two little people is so very different than being pregnant the first time or even the second time. The boys know I'm pregnant, but it doesn't mean much to them as I don't really have a bump, but they talk about their baby brother, and Ryan was even kind enough to give his binkie to his baby brother. So now Ryan's binkie free and thinks baby is sucking a binkie in my tummy! I'm excited to have a real baby bump, for the boys to feel the baby move and for them to rest their little heads on my tummy. And I'm excited to feel a little better? Will that day come?

In the meantime, I'll just be over here eating all the bread and cheese.

And that's all for now folks. Read our Jack reveal and our Ryan reveal. Can't wait to meet our newest addition and hold him in our arms!

And this is how Jack feels about having a baby brother!
 

January 22, 2018

Dear Jack {thoughts on preschool}


Dearest Jack,

It's a Monday and a holiday (wrote this weeks ago), so your school is closed and you're home with Ryan and I today! I love having you home with me.

We signed you up for a four day a week all day preschool which started in September, when we were under the assumption that a baby would be joining our family in February. I figured it would be nice for you to have something to do and somewhere to go while I held down the fort with a newborn and your 3 year old brother, but turns out a new baby won't be joining our family till the summer.

And my son, I cherish the days we have with you....I know Ryan does too.

You just went back to school after Winter break and it was hard for me to transition back to not having you around with us during the week. I know Ryan really missed his fellow fort maker, lego builder, and bike riding buddy because let's be real, I'm not really on the same playmate level as you are!

And it's eye opening for me to realize too that this is just the beginning of your years of school, of you not being in our home during the day five days a week. How is it possible that we've reached this point in your life? This point where we truly set you free out into the world, where you're meeting and making new friends whose parents I don't already know! It's exciting and just a little bit terrifying at the same time.

And I was nervous for this all to begin, for you to be there four days a week from 8:45 to 3:15, just like a regular school day, but you have transitioned so beautifully that it's made the trasition so easy on me. Your first day of school you just walked right into the room, put your bag away and just fully entered into the space and it was the first drop off at a new place that was just seamless. I remember thinking really, that was far too easy?? Doesn't he want like one more hug? Or maybe one more kiss? Does he realize I'm not coming back for awhile? But the truth is, I'm sure the day felt short to you as it's only 6.5 hours from drop off to pick up and it use to be like 9 hours at your old schools.

Just last week, I dropped you off a little late, and you walked into the room and the teacher and all your little buddies were calling your name and you dashed over to them with a coy little smile on your face before you even put your things away. And it was beautiful to witness.

And I just stood there thinking this is it, this is me letting you go again and again and again and again, setting you free into this world...to fly. I pray the world is kind to you and I pray you are kind to the world. I pray you are strong, brave and courageous and that your voice is loud. I pray that you never forget who you are and whose you are and that you can stand in the full confidence of who God created you to be and that you will stand firm in that regardless of what the world tells you.

And may you never forget just how deeply you are loved.

Love you my son,

Mama


January 16, 2018

God is Good


https://bickleyhouse.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/godisgood.jpg

God is good.

I've been thinking about this alot lately.

When good news comes our way, it's so easy to say God is so good. He sees you and knows your needs.

But what about when bad news comes our way? Do we still say and trust that He is just as good?

When we get a positive pregnancy test or a negative one when we were so hoping for a positive one? Do we trust that He is still good? Do we fully believe this to be true? 

When we find out the gender of the baby growing inside of us, and it happens to be the gender we were hoping for? It's so easy to thank God and say He is good!

But what about when it's not the gender we were hoping for? Can we still say He is good? Do we still thank God for that beautiful life growing within us.

Do we believe God is good even when we don't get what we want?

Do we trust Him to give us what we need even if it's the opposite of what we think we want?

Do we trust Him fully to surrender to His will, knowing it is greater than our own?

Do we release the relationship we're in fully to him, and possibly end it when we don't feel peace even though we really long to be married? And when the heartache comes, do we trust that He is still good?

When someone we love is diagnosed with cancer, do we believe He is good? If they are cured and even if they die, do we still proclaim that God is good?

In our sorrow, in our grief, in our pain, He is present and He is good.

Do we truly believe this?

(these are some real life examples, none of them my own actually)

January 5, 2018

Birthday Eve - Letter to Jack

Hi Sweet Boy,

And your birthday is tomorrow. I've felt so nostalgic all week. But let's be honest, I think I just feel nostalgic all of December as I think back to all the anticipating and awaiting with your arrival and your brothers arrival. December always feels like such a big month in our family.

And as I put you to bed tonight and tucked you into your blankets, you turned to me and said mama, I don't sit in the rocking chair anymore because I'm a big boy. And I said, but you could lovie, you're always welcome in that rocking chair. And my heart broke a little. How in the world have I been a mom for five years? And how in the world are you so big?

Five years ago on this day I had been in the hospital for six days, six days too long and we were awaiting answers, and ultimately awaiting your birth. We had no idea what or just who awaited us.




We had planned to go to Ireland that Christmas, tickets were booked, and the day before we were scheduled to fly out the Dr. told us to cancel our flights as he was concerned for your growth. So we followed the Drs. orders, but rather reluctantly. I was devastated.

And when I was reading this Drennan Family Update post I could just remember all the emotions. I could remember the tears streaming down my face. I could remember the ugly crying, the body shaking, uncontrollable sobbing that took over my body in that car ride home from the hospital. I can remember just how unjust and unfair it all felt. And even now, five years later, the tears stream down my face as I remember that woman.

And yet, we had no idea just what or who awaited us.

Then fast forward a few weeks, and I show up for a Drs appointment on New Years only to have them admit me. My blood pressure was high and they wanted to change my medication, so they put me in a wheelchair and sent me upstairs. Happy New Years to us right? I was hoping they'd eventually send me home. But alas, they didn't.

And like I said, this day five years ago, I'd been in the hospital six days, six days longer than I'd ever envisioned I'd be. No one anticipates being in the hospital that long BEFORE their baby arrives. I never envisioned I'd become so familiar with the anti-partum unit nor did I imagine just what it would mean to deliver at UW, let's just say lots of monitoring and assessing and lots of intervention. But good Lord do they have the most beautiful NICU with the most incredible staff! And little did I know just how soon we'd be needing that NICU and that staff as we had no idea what awaited us.

The reality is, we truly had no idea what awaited us. We had no idea your birthday would be tomorrow, as so many things were uncertain. And I can't believe it's been five years since all of this went down. In some ways it feels fresh and in others it feels like such a distant memory. And as I think back on all of this, on all that we went through leading up to your arrival, I just think, what an incredible story already, and you weren't even out of the womb yet, the best had yet to come. What an incredible story of faith and resilience, of trusting in the Lord and in His goodness, of letting go and letting God. I can look at the situation now and say, we had no idea what awaited us, but God did and His hand was always in it, teaching us lesson after beautiful lesson. And I'm so thankful this is part of your story!

I love you so much and I can't wait to celebrate you tomorrow!!

Love,


Mama

January 1, 2018

A Faint Line



So I took a pregnancy test the day we arrived home from Ireland.

And there was a faint second line.

Again, I just knew. All my dreams that I'd had for the past few months, of having another boy or another girl, all that I had hoped for had come to fruition and was showing up as a faint line on a pregnancy test.

Could it really be true? Could it really have happened this fast? The first month we tried after we were able to, right before we left for Ireland?

I was reluctant to believe it, my period was just like a day late. So you better believe I took multiple tests a day until it was officially confirmed. And then my heart broke a little when I thought back to my last positive pregnancy test and the baby I will never meet this side of Heaven.

It's hard to straddle the fear that I may not carry this baby to term and the hope that I will, but in the midst of all my emotions, I trust the Lord and I trust His story. I trust it is good even when it causes grief and heartache because I know and believe suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope (Romans 5).

And it's been two weeks, and we haven't told family or friends. It's been like our little secret that we've held tightly to. And I think back to last time, and how we gladly shouted the news from the rooftops to family and friends, and how we told Jack. I think back to the photos and the videos we took, and the video I took of Jack, and his sheer joy, and then I think back to how he processed the miscarriage at the tender age of 4.

And my heart aches at the pain, at the memories, at the strong, strong desire to have another baby, at the hope that lies within that faint line on that pregnancy test.

And I find myself crying out to the Lord and pleading to Him.

Please Lord, let me hold this baby in my arms.

Please don't take this one from me.

Please Lord, let the nausea wash over me, let the tiredness overtake me.

Please Lord, let that heart beat loud and strong.

Please Lord, let my body swell with the growth of the baby.

Please Lord, let this be the baby that completes our family.

And yet in that same pleading breath, Lord I trust you.

I surrender all to you.

This baby is yours, have your way with him.

Use me, use my story and my life, and this baby, to glorify you.

And Baby Drennan no. 4, I love you! I hope and pray I get the privilege of feeling the weight of your little body in my arms, but I hope and pray you always feel the weight of the Father's arms.