Thursday, February 25, 2010

Judah 2/25/10

Just in case you were wondering what Judah was doing this exact moment of his life I decided to share it with you.

Really I just wanted to show off his CUTE dino outfit and my cute son, can you blame me!?!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Margaret's hospital pictures/ Happy Birthday

Today is our dear friend Margaret Lakes Birthday and I wanted to take the time to tell her how much she means to us and tell y'all the story of how we met.

Margaret was the second and last wedding photographer we interviewed before we got married about 5 years ago. As soon as we left we knew she was the one we wanted to take our wedding photos. She was very friendly and her work was amazing. She is a documentary style photographer, meaning she wouldn't just get a few posed shots but would capture the whole day of our wedding and the pictures would be able to tell the story of that day for years to come.

The day of our wedding she got there early to get pictures of me getting ready. I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do and she said you can do whatever you want, just be yourself. So after that I just got ready and did what I would normally do. I didn't even notice she was there. In fact after our wedding I told Jason I don't think Margaret got pictures of this moment or that one because I didn't see her, but sure enough when we saw the pictures she got everything and much more than I would have hoped for. Our pictures are amazing and every time I look at them I remember exactly what I was feeling at that moment in time.

Then when Kenya was about 8 months old we have family pictures done to celebrate Jason's brother, Uncle Toe Toe, graduating from college. Again she was amazing and we loved the pictures.

Fast forward to 2008 when we found out about Melody and Madison being conjoined we started doing a ton of research. During that time we found out about an organization called Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep it was a group of professional photographers who take pictures for families who have babies that are not expected to live all free of charge. We knew right away this was something we wanted to do. We wanted our moments with Melody and Madison documented and I also didn't want Jason or I to have to worry about taking pictures. I wanted us to be able to love on our girls without thinking about anything else.

The more I thought about it though the more I realized I didn't really want a stranger sharing these moments with us I wanted someone I knew and trusted. So I emailed Margaret and told her all about the twins then I told her all about Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep. I explained to her that I couldn't imagine anyone else taking these pictures and asked her if she would be willing to do it. Without hesitation she said yes.

When we found out we would be delivering Melody and Madison I was really nervous about having the pictures taken, I'm not sure why. I called Margaret and told her we would be delivering that day sometime around 6pm I told her she didn't have to come right away if she didn't want to but with in a hour she was there. I was so thankful she came right up there I may have chickened out and not had them taken if she didn't. I was so glad she was there she was able to capture the moments we had with our friends and family before the girls were born. She was able to take pictures of us getting their clothes ready and our family and friends praying for us after we went into the OR. She took pictures that mean the world to me of moments I would have never gotten to see while I was in surgery. She was there while our friends and family got to meet the girls. Margaret was such a blessing to have there. She became not only a friend but a part of our family that day.

She took family/pregnancy pictures of us a few weeks before Judah was born. Again she out did herself.

After we had Judah, Margaret and her family came up to meet him. It was so neat to get to introduce her to our son. She was so sweet and took pictures of him at the hospital. I will share those at the end of this blog post.

So that is how we met and got to know our amazing friend/ photographer Margaret Lake.

Margaret, We love you dearly and we are so thankful God allowed us to be a part of each others lives. You have been there for us in our happiest and saddest moments and we are so blessed by the gift you have been to our family. I hope you have a great birthday and I hope you know how much you are loved!


Jason, Vanessa, Kenya and Judah

And now for your viewing pleasure the pictures Margaret took at the hospital.

Jason's Dad (Papa T) holding Judah.
Kenya being silly
Uncle Toe Toe
And one of the many faces of baby Judah
blogger wont let me up load anymore pictures so I put the rest in a picasa album go check them out HERE

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Judah is one month old

Today Judah is one month old. I am planning on taking a picture of him every month with that bear so we can all see how much he is growing. After we found out we were going to have a baby we were shopping at Carters and Kenya found that bear and said "we have to get this for my baby brother" we didn't know what we were having but it was so cute we had to get the bear. Turns out she was right and she sure does love her baby brother.

Judah now that you are one month old you are staying awake for about 4 hours a day now.

You are normally a very happy baby although the past 3 days you have gotten a little fussy and you now spit up.

You have cooed twice once at Daddy and once at Kenya but your first smile was for Mommy.

You normally eat your last feeding of the night at 11:50ish then only wake up one to two times during the night to eat. You are such a good baby you go right back to sleep once you are done eating and that makes me very happy.

You had your first bottle (with Mommy's milk in it) last week and you did great.

You only take a pacifier at night which may be why you sleep so well.

Your sister is in love with you and holds you most of the day. She has gotten a lot better about sharing you with friends and family.

You HATE sleeping flat so you sleep in your car seat at night and I (Mommy) normally hold you during the day for your naps. You have to be swaddled while you are sleeping otherwise you will wake up after only a few minutes.

I can't believe you are already a month old. I love having a son you are such a blessing to our family. I pray we will always enjoy you and your sister and not take one moment for granted.

We love you Judah happy one month old birthday!

And just for fun here is what Kenya looked like when she was one month old.

and here is a better shot of Judah from today

I didn't really think they looked alike until now. I'm praising God for the blessings He has given us!

You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
you have loosed my sackcloth
and clothed me with gladness,
that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!
Psalm 30:11-12

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Judah's Birth / 1st Day of Life Story

I cannot believe I have not written about the day we had Judah yet! So here it goes...

I woke up Saturday morning (1/16/10) around 7am and started packing a few last minute things. It hadn't really set in that this was the day we would be having our baby. Before I knew it we were running late and had to leave right away. As we were driving to the hospital I kept thinking, "This is it... they are not going to send us home this time... we are really going to have our baby."

We got to the hospital a couple of minutes late and headed up to labor and delivery. As we walked in the room I was flooded with so many emotions. I was remembering walking into the labor and delivery room when it was time to have Melody and Madison and looking over at the baby bed warmer knowing they would most likely never get to lay in there alive. Looking at the diapers knowing I would most likely never get to use the whole pack. But this time it was different there was such joy knowing that our baby would soon be wearing those diapers and laying in that baby bed.

They started prepping me right away for the c section. Asking me tons of questions getting me hooked up to the monitors then all of our family got there. There were a lot of people in that room. My nurse made them all go out in the waiting room though because they would be prepping me the whole time and needed to get it done fast.

(my lovely silver hat was to help me stay warm in the OR)

I was having contractions about every 7 minutes (which was so neat, it kinda makes me think the baby was ready to come out and we weren't just getting the baby before it was time.) All the doctors came in and told me what to except and what they would be doing. Then the nurses did a few more thing to prep me and it was time to go... or so I thought. They were running a little behind schedule so we waited and waited and waited it seemed like it took forever but it was only about 30 minutes.

Then they got the news IT WAS TIME. It still didn't seem real, I just showed up to the hospital not in labor and I was going to have a baby??? It was all so strange.

Jason prayed before they wheeled me back and then it was time. The nurse told Jason it would take 20 to 30 minutes to get me ready then they would come back for him and our photographer Michelle. Michelle is a good friend of mine who has recently started her photography business. She is not Margaret who is also a good friend of ours and took pictures of the twins. Margaret did come up a little later to see our baby and take some pictures :)

The whole way back to the OR the baby was kicking like crazy. It was such a joy to feel my baby moving in my womb knowing there were only a few minutes left before I would be holding our baby. This was probably one of my favorite parts of my day. I really don't know how to express what a gift it was to feel the baby moving all the way until they pulled him out of me.

As I entered the OR it seemed so different then with the twins. I kept saying, "Where is everyone?" When we had Melody and Madison there were people everywhere. So I thought that's what it would be like again. Not this time though there was only like 6 or 7 people in there. Okay, I fully just made up that number but that's all I remember being in there.

I was so scared this time. With Melody and Madison there was just this amazing peace that surrounded the whole day. I wasn't scared with them but this time I was terrified. It was time for them to give me a spinal and in my head I just knew it wasn't going to work and I was going to feel it then they were going to knock me out and I wouldn't see my baby for hours. Yes, I know I'm a little dramatic.

I had a spinal with the twins also and I remember it hurt really bad, in fact, I jumped when they put the needle in and I thought I was never going to be able to walk again. But this time it hardly hurt at all. She put the needle in and I remember there was a lot of pressure and one point for a second it hurt pretty bad but over all it was fine. In fact it went so well I thought for sure it wasn't going to work and I would end up feeling the whole thing. I know very dramatic.

After I got the spinal I had to lay down really fast and wait for the medicine to work. At first nothing I could still move my feet. I was thinking, "Oh no, they are going to have to knock me out (that's what they said they would have to do if it didn't work)." But within a few minutes I couldn't feel anything.

And then it hit me like a ton of bricks I just knew I was going to throw up. So I said in a really soft voice because I was embarrassed, "I think I'm going to throw up." The anesthesiologist said, "Okay, I'm giving you something for that right now." Then it got worse and worse and worse and I said, "I really think I'm going to throw up." They gave me a bowl just in case. Then the worst part of all, I just knew I was about to pass out. My head was spinning I couldn't really breathe I was about to panic. So I said, "Now I'm going to throw up and pass out." She said, "Okay, just close your eyes and this medicine will work very soon." I was just about to yell, "JUST KNOCK ME OUT! I CAN'T TAKE IT!!!" and then it was gone. I felt totally fine, well besides the fact I could barely hold my eyes open.

They got everything set up and I asked, "When will you get Jason?" and they said "As soon as you doctor starts washing up." Well it was about that time he walked in the room and no one was going to get Jason. I was about to ask when one of the nurses left the room. I could fell my doctor had started the c section and Jason still wasn't in there.

They said it only takes 2 to 5 minutes to get the baby out once they start and I just knew Jason was going to miss it. The other nurse kept peeking her head out looking for him and I was about to cry when I saw my husband walk in the room. What a relief it was to see my hubby all dressed in his scrubs!

He sat down beside me and the we overheard my doctor talking to the other doctor. My doctor asked "Does anyone have a camera?" I thought, "Well, that's strange." Then the other doctor said, "I have my phone and it takes pictures." I thought, "Okay that's REALLY strange." At this point we still had no clue why they wanted a camera. Then Jason said, "I have a camera." So one of the nurses grabbed it from him and took pictures for my doctor then brought it back. Then I could hear some of the nurses talking, saying, "What is that?" and, "Come see this." I thought, "I must have some sort of tumor!" then I thought, "We are having twins and he had just missed one on the sonograms." They still didn't tell us what was going on until I asked. Once they cut me open and looked at my uterus they realized I have a "window" (as they called it) on my uterus that was so thin you could see the baby. It literally looked like a pretty big part of my uterus had a piece of Saran Wrap over it and you could fully see the baby inside of my womb. So what does all the mean. Well my uterus could have ruptured at any time it was paper thin in a pretty big area.

I was amazed at God's faithfulness. If it would have ruptured the baby and I could have died. We got a glimpse of how short life is and how short it could have been for the baby and I. We were and are so thankful for all of your prayers the Lord completely protected the baby and myself.

Not too long after that I felt a lot of tugging (when I say I can fell things it's not painful just kinda tingly) then I head the most amazing sound EVER... our baby started crying. I was overcome with emotions I would start to cry and laugh all at the same time. We never got to hear Melody and Madison cry and this was the moment I had been waiting for for 9 months not really knowing if it was going to happen this time. But it did and I could not believe it. I just looked over at Jason after crying for a second then I started laughing I was just so excited that our baby was crying!

They lifted the baby over the curtain so Jason could tell me what it was. When he said, "IT'S A BOY!" I couldn't believe it. Well I could because that's what I thought it was, but man, when I heard those words I was overjoyed! We have a SON!

We had had a boys name picked out since we were engaged and we had never changed it. Until about a week before delivery when Jason told me he wanted to change the boys middle name. I was shocked. At first I wasn't too fond of that idea but Jason said he wanted his (if it was a boy) middle name to have more meaning something to do with what we went through with Melody and Madison so I said okay. Going into the OR our baby really didn't have a middle name. But after Jason saw him he said how about Judah Adoniram and I said sure. I really do love his name. We have just always love the name Judah and it means Praise (which I know Jason already said on here) and we named him Adoniram after Adoniram Judson who was the first missionary sent out from the U.S.. He has an amazing testimony filled with lots of tragedy, but it shows just how faithful God is. Here is the link to a biography that John Piper did on Adoniram Judson. It truly blessed me to hear what all God had done in his life as I sat in the hospital holding Judah. We also picked the name because of its meaning. Adoniram means "My God is most high".

Okay back to the OR. They had Judah at the warmer cleaning him up and I was just loving getting to hear my baby cry! Jason kept going back and forth between me and Judah. I kept saying, "Go take more pictures of him and come show me." So he did. I couldn't believe it when I got to see his picture for the first time. I fell in love with that baby!

My nurse came over and told me that they were going to call a nurse from the NICU to come in and check on Judah because his breathing was a little fast, so of course I said, "Okay". She came in and looked at him for a while. Then it was time for me to go to my room. She came back over and said she wanted to take him to the NICU to watch him for a little while because his breathing was a little fast every now and then.

I said, "Okay, but can I hold him first?" She said, "Of course." and I will never forget the moment they put him in my arms. The first thing I did was smell him, I love the smell of a new born. Then I gave him a kiss and handed him to Jason so he could hold him for a second before they took him. As they were wheeling him away I was okay. I was so tired after my c section all I wanted to do was sleep. So it was a blessing that they had to watch him for a little while because I was able to get some rest before my sweet baby joined us in our room.

I didn't really want to see anyone after my c section because I was so tired but a few family members came back, which was fine. Then it was time for me to go to my other room. Come to find out they put Judah in the observation nursery so he wasn't in the nicu. Our family was able to see him there, which was nice.

A few of them came and said hi to Jason and I the others stayed with the baby. Judah was born at 11:51 am and they finally brought him to the room at 3:30pm toward the end of that time I was just so ready to see my baby. The original plan was to have Destinee bring Kenya in first let them get to see the baby together then we would let everyone else come in. Well, since he was in the nursery that didn't work out very well. There was some family in the room when they brought him in from the nursery but we didn't let them hold him because we wanted Destinee and Kenya to hold him first.

We texted Destinee and told her to come back (Kenya was asleep) so she got to hold him then the rest of the family came in. Kenya woke up to hold her brother and she could not have been more proud. She was so cute with him! She got to hold him for a few minutes then I said, "Okay let's let everyone else hold him because Mommy needs to nurse him." That's when it happened... she lost it! I'm talking ugly cry, it wasn't even her bratty cry, it was her "I'm offend way deep down" cry. Everyone agreed to just let Kenya hold the baby since this was all new to her.

All the family left shortly after that. I kinda felt bad they were there all day and no one really go to hold him but us, Destinee and Kenya. Most of them came back up to the hospital the next day to see him.

After Kenya got to hold him for a little while I nursed him and then we just all loved on him for awhile.

I can't really remember what happened the rest of that day but I know Jason and I held Judah and never really put him down.

Things could not have gone better and we are praising God that he held my womb together!

O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you; I will praise your name, for you have done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful and sure.
Isaiah 25:1