Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tyler Anthony Jackson

Today, it is Tuesday-October 26th. I just got back from the NICU where I got to do something I never thought I'd be excited about...changing a diaper. When the closest you can come to "holding" your baby is changing a diaper it's amazing how the perspective changes. So, yes I was excited to change his diaper. Give me a few months and I'm sure that sentiment will change.

Let me go back to the beginning...okay, not the very beginning-but when Tyler decided it was time to make his appearance to the world.

Last Friday (the 22nd) I had some contractions that started to show some consistency. Since all of the other contractions I'd had were sporadic we figured this was the start of something...then those contractions spaced out and went away. False alarm.
On Saturday, James and the kids came to hang out for most of the afternoon. I was having contractions off and on...but seriously, I'm stupid when it comes to contractions--really, I am--so I didn't pay much attention to the frequency of them. They weren't too painful so I figured they were just Braxton Hicks again. James and the kids left the hospital to pick my Dad up from the airport--he was flying in to go to the Titans game with Hayden and James on Sunday...this trip had been planned MONTHS ago. So, when they all left I started noticing the contractions to have just a little kick to them. Figured it was worth it to be put on the monitor and checked out. So, they did...and the contractions didn't show much different from the day before so we just figured they were another false alarm. Haha...did I mention I'm stupid when it comes to contractions? At 7:00pm, James was leaving the house to head to the airport and I called to tell him that they'd put me back on the monitors...that I was sure it was nothing at all but just wanted him to know. After about 3o minutes, I was starting to count to get my mind off the pain...then I was doing those breathing exercises that I'd forgotten about until all the sudden I needed them. I called James and told him he needed to get here ASAP because in fact I was in labor.

He got to the hospital within about 15 minutes of me being wheeled to the OR for a c-section. It worked out perfectly for my Dad to be here...he dropped James off and took the kids home.

Tyler was born at 9:38pm on Saturday, October 23rd. He weighed in at 4 pounds 3 ounces--18 inches long. What's so amazing about this is the fact that both Hayden and Abby had been relatively small babies...with him being 30 weeks we were thinking we'd be good if he reached 3 pounds. So, we were THRILLED with 4 pounds 3 ounces. I don't remember much about the delivery itself--I was pretty out of it. But I do remember the doctors saying he was trying to cry and then I heard just a little squawk...and then again--these tiny little squawks just a couple of times...and we knew he was fighting.

Tyler was put on ventilator which lasted for only about 24 hours--he is now receiving oxygen thru a nasal cannula at only 25% support which is wonderful. He has increased his feedings from 3 ml up to 7 ml as of this afternoon. He did test a little high for bilirubin so he'll be going under the lights to take care of the slight jaundice. The biggest thing we're working on right now is taking out his umbilical line and putting in a pic line. The doctors hope that once we get the pic line in and it's stable we'll be able to hold him for a short period of time. I cannot tell you how badly I want to pick him up. It's so difficult to watch him cry and not be able to do much to soothe him.

We have been told that NICU babies are very likely to endure setbacks, so I'm trying to prepare myself that things may not continue to go as easy as they've been. But for now, we are just so thankful for how well he is doing. We don't doubt for a minute that it's the grace of God that has brought him this far...and we are so so so so (let me add one more sooooo) thankful for all the prayers that have been said for our little guy.

This whole pregnancy has been a reminder that with God all things are possible...the fact that we got pregnant in the first place, the chances were less than 1%...the fact that the pregnancy remained viable after hemorrhaging in the beginning...the fact that my water broke at 25 weeks and we went 5 1/2 weeks before going into labor...the fact that our 30 weeker was born at 4 pounds...I mean seriously, this whole pregnancy has been a statement that it doesn't matter what the "odds" are--when God has a plan for something He just makes it happen.

The other thing that it has reminded me of is that God can use all situations if we allow it. I've seen Him at work while we've been in the hospital and not just with all He has done for Tyler, but through people I have come in contact with--friendships I've made with people that work in the hospital--and also other patients that have circumstances much like what we've gone thru--that God can actually use our story with Tyler to be an encouragement to others. It's been a reminder to look outside of ourselves to see the big picture and not miss an opportunity to be apart of what God is doing. My prayer is that I keep my eyes open to why we went thru this and what God wants to do with it.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

28 WEEKS!!!!

I look at the title to this post and I can't believe it...we've made it to 28 weeks. I have been in the hospital for 3 weeks.

For the last 3 weeks, James' Mom has been with us. She has helped James out tremendously--cooking, cleaning, getting the kids ready, etc. She's just jumped in and done it all...but she's also helped me out--we've laughed over stories (like when she "helped" me breath while in labor with Hayden) she taught me how to crochet so I won't drain our bank account on jewelry supplies. She has helped keep me entertained while the kids have been at school. Joni is getting on a plane in about 3 hours and going home and I will admit I'm sad (most people won't say that about their mother-in-laws but I have the best MIL out there). She has been wonderful and has sacrificed a lot to come out here to help us, but it's time (we keep joking that I will probably go into labor tonight since she's now gone) :) -- I hope not. There are things she has to get done back at home and I think we've gotten ourselves organized to our new "norm" for the time being.

With that said, life is about to get a little bit more hectic for James. This is the hardest part of being on bed rest for me....I'm not good at releasing control (you didn't know that about me did you??) Really I just don't like the thought of James having to carry the burden of being single parent. Without having family nearby it makes it a bit more difficult...but we are blessed with friends that have stepped in and filled the gap. I am so thankful for the meals that have been brought...having the grass mowed...taking the kids so that we can have some time for just us (even if it's in a hospital). We don't take it for granted...not for a minute.

So, where are we at with Tyler? We don't know. Most pprom (preterm premature rupture of membranes) patients deliver within the first week to two weeks if they don't go into labor within 48 hours after rupture. We're at 3 weeks.
We will go until one of 4 things happen: #1 I go into labor #2 I get an infection #3 Tyler shows distress (which hasn't occurred and isn't really a concern at this point) #4 I hit the 34 week mark...then they will induce or perform c-section. Currently, sweet little Tyler is sitting breech...and he's not listening to his mama about turning back into position. We have another ultrasound tomorrow and I will resort to bribing if I have to. :) If we're looking at odds...(which we don't put much stock in 'ODDS') but the likelihood says an infection will set it and will either cause labor to start or the doctors will start labor. But who knows what will happen?? I may be one of the few that go 9 weeks on bed rest and deliver at 34 weeks.

Have I mentioned I'm a planner? Yeah, I know...I am...even with all this I'm still trying to figure it out how it's going to work...how the plan is going to come together. I haven't gotten very far. It's not all my fault really--I mean I'm sitting in a bed looking at the ceiling so what else do I have to do but to try to figure it out?? Yes, I'm well aware at this point that whatever I do "figure out" will change, but it's worth a shot.

We are so happy to have made it to 28 weeks...at times I think we're out of the woods, but I know that we still have quite a road ahead of us. I guess when you're in the midst of it you can be a little naive to everything else...I'm thinking that's God's protection for my sanity. Above everything else we know God is in control of this...we know that this pregnancy was not a mistake, it wasn't even a surprise to Him although it was to us. We know that all that we've went thru during the first part of the pregnancy He kept Tyler safe...and now here we are--and we're facing this different hurdle but we know it's all in His hands. I'm not saying that its a guarantee everything will turn out like we want it to....but I am saying it will turn out exactly as He has planned. Don't get me wrong--it scares me to think of things not turning out like we want it to--I actually can't really dwell on that possibility at this point, but no matter what it doesn't change who we believe God to be.

Hayden and Abby are doing pretty good. I'm trying to spend time with each of them by themselves. We usually watch a movie (it's the only time Abby is quiet) :) I think they are starting to miss me though...which secretly I am a little bit glad for...yes, I know that's selfish. :)
I have said this over and over...but I am so glad they are older and can be a bit independent, my heart goes out to Moms on bed rest with small children at home.

Okay, I think that about covers it...see if I'd blog more often I wouldn't have to write a novel for each post.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Well, it's been 5 days since my water broke...I can't believe it's been 5 days. Sometimes it feels like it was just a day ago, but most of the time it seems like it's been about 5 weeks. :)

There have not been any real changes...the mag drip went off on Friday and so far no contractions. We're really excited, currently we are just shooting to get thru each week. Two more days and we will be at 26 weeks-YAY!!

It's weird to be sitting here feeling just fine and yet can't get out of bed, but this is our new norm--hopefully for a very long time.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

You'd thought we'd learned by now...but we hadn't. We had this false sense that we were in control...we made our plans and had everything lined out on just how it should all work...and then God stepped in and showed us that was not how the game plan was going to execute.

On May 19th, James and I sat staring at eachother in the ER in disbelief that we were pregnant. This was not on the radar...if you've read our blog you know we were--ummm...SHOCKED--if you haven't read our blog then just scroll up a couple of posts (I've been horrible about updating the blog so it won't take long to get to it) and you can read all about our surprise.

During these last 4 months, I think the thing that God has taught me the most is that He provides. Usually we think of provision in a monetary substance, and yes He does that as well...but I'm talking even deeper...I mean how God loves us so much that he comes in and lays out what's really going to happen and then he equips us to handle the change. He molds our hearts, he gives us the desires of His will, something that I'm astounded by. He is the God of the Universe...it all falls under His control and I'm so glad He is more gracious than I am. If it were me, I'd be like "Hey, it's not my fault you still think you're in control...here's how it's going to be--buck up and deal with it"...aren't you glad God doesn't have my attitude??? :) Instead, His heart breaks as we wrestle with the fears of the unknowns, He walks alongside of us as we get our bearing on the new adventure...He loves us so much that He gives us peace that I cannot explain.

September 15th, Tyler is at 25 weeks today...I wake up--normal day getting ready for work--didn't feel great so I thought I'd take a bath. Got out, and realized my water had broke (okay, truth be told it didn't really dawn on me right away--I actually googled it on my ipod--even though this is my 3rd pregnancy, it's been a while and both of the other kids were induced so I didn't know what it would be like). While we're being honest...I still didn't quite know until we got to the hospital and they tested it to confirm that yes, my water had in fact broke.

In light of being transparent, I want you to understand that I was not at all at peace during all of this. I was...for lack of a better term...a basket case. My husband on the other hand was wonderful, he got the kids to the car--got me to the car--kept reassuring me that it was going to be okay as I kept saying over and over "it's too early". By time we got to the hospital and I walked in to labor and delivery I was hysterical...could barely say my name or date of birth (I'm sure the nurses that saw me coming were thinking I needed the psych ward instead of labor and delivery). So, if you think for a minute that I was just so cool and calm during all of this...hahaha--not quite (I have a couple of friends you could call that would verify I was anything but calm). But once I let go, God stepped in and did His thing.

Our regular doctor "just happened" to be on call on Wednesday morning so it worked out very nicely. He set out what we're going to start with and got things moving along to do what he could to protect Tyler.

Now, it's Friday...for the last 48 hours I've been on magnesium which has done great at keeping me from having contractions or going into labor. Today, they are stopping the mag drip. I'm nervous...I won't lie...I'm scared. But we know Tyler is in God's hands...
With the mag stopping there are a lot of unknowns...it's kind of up in the air. We could deliver Tyler today...it could be a week--two weeks or even possibly longer. Obviously, we want him to stay put as long as possible. The "norm" says we'll probably deliver him within the week, but we don't really stack much up to odds. I'm not good at waiting, most of you that know me at all--know this about me. I'm not good at not being able to have things planned out (I blame this on my husband...he has rubbed off on me). But right now, we are seriously taking it hour by hour...day by day.

One of my favorite verses is "For these three things remain: Faith, Hope and Love but the greatest of these is love" 1 Corinthians 13:13 I'd heard this verse many times before--usually at weddings, but one day as I read it, it had a different meaning to me, this is what I take from it:

We place our FAITH
in the One who holds our lives in His hands

We cling to the HOPE
that He will carry us when we cannot take the next step

We are graced with LOVE
by those He sends to walk this road with us

Our faith lays in Gods hands...we have seen Him carry us when we didn't know if it was possible to go forward, and we have been overwhelmed--graced with love by people, near and far, that have stepped in and walked beside us on this difficult road.

Thank you for your love and support for our family and for our sweet little guy, Tyler.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Written on Friday, May 21st...

I've been trying to write this post for the last 30 minutes-I can't seem to figure out exactly what I want to say.

I wanted to put a clever little title for this post, but words fail me right now. Never in my life have I experienced such raw emotions that range from pure joy and excitement to utter heart break...and to feel these at the same time is something I wouldn't have thought possible.

So, I sit here at my computer as tears keep hitting my keyboard...and I'm trying to figure out how to say this but there's really no other way to do it but jump in head first...so here goes--

On Wednesday night, James and I found out I am 2 months pregnant. Let me say this loud and clear just to make sure there are no misunderstandings...WE ARE SO SO SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS BABY!!! We were in complete shock--this was not on the radar, but never the less we are ecstatic. I didn't think I wanted to have any other biological children (it's amazing how not only does God change our carefully lined out plans but also provides what we need for those modifications), as soon as we saw the baby on the ultrasound screen we fell in love.

With all this said, we are also faced with very heavy hearts. That doesn't really do justice to exactly what we're feeling--I really feel like my heart is breaking...
Due to the pregnancy the referral for Olivia's adoption will be withdrawn after we pass the first trimester. We want what's best for Olivia...that's what we've wanted all along, and I can't explain why we were led down this road and then for the direction to change. I'm clinging to the Proverbs 3:5 right now
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, do not depend on your own understanding."

I'm not going to delve in too deep here, I just can't right now...it's too overwhelming. We love this precious little girl-more than I thought was possible without ever meeting her, we wanted her to be our daughter-to be Hayden and Abby's sister...and it's a difficult situation but I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God's plan is much better than what my plan is...so I'm trusting in him to carry us thru right now and I'm trusting Him to give Olivia a loving family that will care for her like we wanted to. We ask for you to continue to pray for Olivia...

In full disclosure, there have been a few complications due to the fact that I had an IUD when we got pregnant. At first we were unsure if the pregnancy would prove viable but in the past few days we have seen great improvement and based on our doctor's words "we're optimistic". Honestly, we wouldn't be so open about this so early except for the fact that we told the kids and well 8 and 6 years old aren't the best at keeping secrets and really we shouldn't ask it of them.

For those of you that have donated money towards our adoption, for those who have bought necklaces to support our fundraising...I can't tell you how much this has meant to us. Once the referral is officially withdrawn we will be donating the money given to us to another family that is adopting to help bring their child home. We'll give you an update on that once we get it all lined out. I still believe, very strongly, that there is something we all can do to be apart of caring for orphans...for us we will continue to make jewelry (clarification--I'll continue to make the jewelry) with a portion of the proceeds going to families in the process of adopting, we'll step up and help with fundraisers-silent auctions...we're not taking a backseat just because our adoption journey has taken a different route. I hope you won't either. There are children out there, like Olivia...precious children...that need parents, families to love them.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Just a Glimpse...

Yesterday, I had what Andy Stanley (have I mentioned we're groupies??) would refer to as a 'defining moment'.

It was actually very profound for me. We had gotten home late on Sunday night from Talladega (which was awesome, btw...yes I realize how redneck that sounds!)...on Monday we went to lunch at my favorite place-Chuys...then came home--James and I sat down with Abby to watch a movie but told Hayden he needed to go lay down and take a nap. Obviously, Hayden has outgrown the need for a daily nap, and was not at all happy about having to take one. In fact, in all honesty he acted pretty much like a 2 year old and threw a fit...crying and all.

What Hayden didn't know was that James and my Dad were taking him to the Preds playoff game...and the puck dropped at 8:00. (He's usually in bed at...oh about 8:30). So, as his parents we knew he NEEDED to take that nap so that he could enjoy the game...and I'll be honest, it broke my heart to see him crying because he didn't understand WHY we would make him do this. It was so difficult for me not to just say, "Hayden-here's the deal...you're going to the preds game tonight but if you don't take a nap you're going to be so tired you won't have any fun". I could have told him, but that would have taken away the whole experience of the surprise.

So...what was my defining moment? My 8 almost 9 year old son cries like a baby when he's told to take a nap???

Well, no that was not my defining moment...while I was sitting there thinking, "Hayden, just trust us" it hit me-I wonder how many times God has said the same to me. How many times have I been in the midst of my own all out tantrum because I didn't like how things were playing out...and God's heart was breaking because He knew what He had to allow me to go thru was for the best in the grand scheme of things?

I feel like God gave me a tiny glimpse yesterday of how much He truly loves us. My heart ached for my son, because I know he didn't understand and his feelings were hurt that we were making him go to bed when the rest of us stayed up and watched a movie...I wanted to give in, (I REALLY WANTED TO GIVE IN) but if I had the plan would not have worked out like it did.
I believe that God grieves with us when we are going thru those trials we face, I believe His heart breaks for his children...and I believe when He choses not to intervene the way we think it should be handled..it's because His plan would work out so much better than ours....he's saying "Just trust me, I love you so much...and what I have planned for you is better than what you could think up yourself...so just trust me--it will be worth it".

Saturday, March 6, 2010


You can ask my husband...there are not many times I'm caught speechless, but this morning at about 8:30am it happened...I was speechless.

Since you're reading this blog...you probably have read the previous post about the ring...the ring for sale to help raise money for the adoption. I knew God was telling me to do it (I knew I didn't want to do it...just being honest)...but when I finally gave it over I felt a peace about it. I was excited to see what happened with this ring.

The bidding ended this morning at $560.00--I was thrilled...that we had gotten more than $100 for it. :) But I'll be honest, I did cry just a little when it was over. But then I saw that I knew the person who had won the bid...I was so excited. I was excited because I wanted someone to get it that would in a sense respect it for more than just a good deal. I took the ring off...put it in the box...wrapped it in ribbon...and then got a message from the bidder.

Payment has been sent, but we want you to keep the ring. My response was No....I appreciated it but I couldn't do that. THAT was not the deal. But they insisted...and then oh, boy...as I took the ring out of the box--I cried...little bit of sob...ugly cry. Abby kept asking me what was wrong, I told her I was happy...she thought I'd lost my mind.

The person who won the bid has asked to remain anonymous-which I'll be honest, I don't like because I want EVERYONE to know how great they are. I want everyone to know what a impact they've made on our lives...and I don't think there are words that can adequately relay this to this couple. But I respect them...and I know that God knows what they did...and my prayer is that God will pour down blessings upon beyond what they could ever imagine for being so generous to us.

My sister-in-law, Kristin, gave me an excellent idea...to give the ring to Olivia when she gets older. I love it. It seems perfect...so that's what I'll do. I can't wait till I get to give this to her one day and tell her the story of a couple's generosity to help us bring her home.

We were overwhelmed by so much support we received from our friends, families, and even strangers...those that would pass along our post to others to get the word out. To each of you--Thank you...