Well hello there. Wonder where I’ve been these past months?
On May 11, 2016 at 12:34 pm, we were blessed by the arrival of our daughter Audra Grace at 7 pounds 9 ounces.
To say things have been busy…is an understatement. In fact, I don’t have time to be writing this now, but my soul and my brain are in serious need of writing therapy.
While I expected an adjustment period, I was unprepared for what a third child adds to the mix. Our hands are FULL.
One month in, I was just starting to get used to three children. We started getting out of the house on time, and figured out how to grocery shop with a baby and toddler in the cart, and 5 year old in tow…
But when silent reflux showed up at 4 weeks, it threw me for a loop and I’m still playing catch-up.
Many days are a blur. In some ways it seems like we’ve had this baby forever, and in other ways I feel like I blinked and she’s 7 weeks old.
How can that be? The newborn period is so very short.
My hands are literally FULL. Most everything is done with one hand. The other is holding a baby… shopping, cooking, cleaning, reading to the kids while they hold the book…
At times I feel like everyone needs a piece of me, and there aren’t enough pieces to go around.
I feel worn out, and fear I am not giving the older two enough attention. I am grateful as they throw their arms around me without judgement or resentment. But as my 3 year old snuggles in with me at night and says, “I need you, I miss you”, I feel the pang of mama-guilt mixed with the joy of being loved unconditionally by our children.
And so we snuggle tighter, and a little longer.
Despite challenges, what I see looking back on the past 7 weeks is an abundance of blessings.
A big brother and big sister falling in love with their baby sister is one of the most precious things I have ever witnessed. I love how they are ready and willing to help grab diapers, pacifiers, and burp rags, or to just sit and talk to her. They are my second set of eyes, alerting me when she spits up, is crying, or needs something. This baby is VERY well tended to! It is fun to watch the older kids play together more than ever because their parents hands are often full. I am grateful to see how easy going they have become and how they are growing in responsibility and love.
And then there’s my husband. My hero, yet again. My rock through pregnancy and delivery. My encourager. The tenderness he has shown as he cared for me and our family after delivery is inexpressible.
Selfless. Persistent. Loving. Enduring.
This man took over so much around the house and with our kids. He entertains and plays with our kids, filling our home with giggles and squeals of delight. He brings me beverages and snacks while I feed the baby. He cooks, cleans and runs errands, all while working full time. Thoughtfully, he recruited help for me when he had to go out of town on a work trip so I wouldn’t be overwhelmed. He is a full time, hands-on daddy and husband.
When we’re having a rough reflux-day, he comes home from work early to give me a break. In the middle of the night, he takes over rocking the baby when she can’t fall back asleep. And he encourages and compliments, while graciously biting his tongue when I’m not doing the same. I am so grateful for his faithful, patient, selfless service to me and our family as he loves us through actions.
Words can simply not express just how grateful I am for him. Words fail me.
Our family and friends have blessed us beyond measure. Gifts, meals, visits with helping hands and loving arms have been given in abundance. We have been so generously cared for, the thank you card list keeps getting longer an longer (some day they will actually get written and be mailed!).
I feel the prayers of many lifting our family up as we adjust to being a family of five, and as we pray for Audra to feel better. We are so well loved, cared for, and covered in prayer. When I think I’m at my limit holding this sweet, crying child, a phone call or text message comes through checking in on us, or to tell me they are praying for us – always in perfect timing, bringing tears of joy and the feeling of being known.
And I feel no doubt that the Lord who created these precious children sees me, knows our struggles, and is carrying us through. We trust in his healing of Audra’s reflux, and that it will happen in HIS perfect timing. We trust that any present suffering is being used for good, and we expectantly wait on Him to show us exactly what He is doing here. I feel his loving, comforting arms as others selflessly step in to serve us and to lift us up.
He withholds no good thing from us.
We just have so much to be grateful for. I refuse to wish these days away, reflux or not. So we focus on gratitude, on our family, and keep our gaze on Jesus. Time is flying by, and we commit to soak it all in, no matter how busy or exhausted we are, or how much this sweet hurting baby cries.
Our hands may be full with these three precious children, but our life, and hearts are overflowing.
My cup runneth over.