Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Monday, February 11, 2013
Then just this past Saturday, Heather Hanson of Heather Hanson Photography (and my best friend) did family pictures for us. Below is a preview from my phone camera. I can't wait to see the finished products. We did family pictures first and then Abe took Gemma home and we did just the babies. It was a long and tiring day but so wonderful to capture their smushy little faces and bodies at this tender age.
1/29/2013: after 21 days in the NICU, Quinn Noelle Wolfe spends her first night at home!
2/2/2013: after 25 days in the NICU, Rohan John Wolfe spends his first night at home! AND the Wolfe family is all under one roof!
(for all: Abe, Sarah, Gemma, Quinn, and Rohan)
Sunday, January 20, 2013
A lot has happened since my last posting. I don't even know where to begin. We are now a family of 5. In one minute, my life changed forever as I heard the cry of my second daughter and shortly thereafter, my only son. As they were born, a time of immense soul-searching and utter dependence on the sovereignty of God came to a head.
On July 13th, 2012, I thought I had lost a baby. It was my third pregnancy- one miscarriage, my lovely Gemma, and now this one. I was nauseated, exhausted, and uncomfortable- thus in a word... pregnant. Only 8 weeks along, I felt shocked when ALL my symptoms just disappeared. I was watching my best friend's kids when I called the doctor and scheduled a viability ultrasound. We had only tried for one month, I got pregnant right away- this was too good to be true. That night, all alone because Abe stayed home to watch Gemma, I laid in the ultrasound room at Woodwinds praying for a heartbeat... feeling all along that something was off, different, not quite normal. There, in the dim light, the ultrasound tech turned the screen toward me and asked what I saw. Surrounded by fuzzy gray, two small black circles with obscured pulsing white centers blinked back at me. I said, "that's not two is it?" and she said as she pointed to each circle, "One, Two". At that point, I began to shake. Truly, I shook through the entire rest of the ultrasound, absolutely shocked at what was going on inside me. A trillion questions roared through my mind, how would we afford daycare? Abe's job had just been cut! How would we find a place for them all to sleep? We only have two bedrooms! Then I got irrational! Will I have to give one up for adoption because we can't afford both?
It was an ugly 30 minutes. Then, I called my best friend from the lobby and sobbed uncontrollably for a good 45 minutes. How was I going to tell Abe? How was I going to make this work for our family? I called my mom, made a comment about how everything was fine-heartbeat and all and drove home. She had no idea what was going on. I just wasn't ready to talk about it yet. I had to get my head wrapped around it first. And, I had to tell Abe.
I called Abe and told him to kennel the dogs and meet me in the driveway. He did and I handed him the ultrasound pictures. Then, I just wept. How was I going to do this? Gemma was so hard as an infant; I was so worried ALL the time; I am not up for twins; I barely got used to the idea of having another and then twins? Both Abe and I tossed and turned all night long, not sleeping, feeling so scared.
That shocking picture, those two little black circles, changed our lives.
That began one of the most surrendering seasons of our lives; A season in which we are still DEEPLY entrenched. Abe began looking for any job that would provide full-time pay with the understanding that because we knew God had provided these two precious babies a home in our lives, He would not leave or forsake us. He would provide. I am not naive and assume that God just swoops in and clears up any difficulty, loss, or struggle but I did have this faith that He would make a way for us to welcome these two precious lives into our family and be all the better for it. He would provide what we need.
My entire pregnancy was different. Since I was carrying two, my blood volume was much higher so I had awful varicose veins, and sciatic pain. I was uncomfortable sooner and could feel movement much sooner too. The babies always seemed healthy on the ultrasound and I continued to do life as I always had. We kept seeing job after job not come through as I grew bigger and bigger. Throughout this whole time, very contrary to my personality, I was calm... at peace. I felt like something had to happen- these babies were on their way and we needed to find a way to feed, clothe, and provide for them. I scheduled my c-section for 38 weeks and continued to picture our lives with 3 kids under the age of 2 1/2.
At 33 weeks, I went in for a routine doctor's appointment, had an ultrasound, a bio-physical profile, and a doctor's visit. The night before I had been up a lot of the night with bad lower back pain and cramps. They weren't rhythmic like contractions or anything but I still thought I might be going into labor. When I got up the next morning, I felt better. I walked around Babies R Us to get an outfit for each of the babies for coming home and then went to my appointment. I didn't have lunch- I figured I'd grab something after the appt. When I told my doc what the previous night felt like, she wanted to check to see if I was dilating. When she checked me, she was very quiet. She looked me in the eye and said, "Okay, this is what we're going to do. You are dilated to a 4 and I'm sending you straight to labor and delivery. I will try to stop this. I'm going to throw everything I can at you to stop this but I may not be able to. Did you drive yourself? Okay? Well, go- don't ask any questions, don't stop for your suitcase or anything, just go straight there." Turns out, when she checked me, she could actually feel my daughter's feet and contemplated calling an ambulance to get me literally across the parking lot to the hospital. In shock, I left the office and headed to labor and delivery at St. John's Hospital in Maplewood.
I called Abe, in tears and told him to meet me at the hospital. When I got there, Diane- my nurse hooked me up to an IV of Magnesium Sulfate- totally nasty stuff. Made me feel like I had a really bad sunburn. They gave me a steroid to develop the babies' lungs and waited for the contractions to slow down. When I got in to the hospital, I was having contractions every 2 minutes. They were not like the contractions I had with Gemma. I was just kind of crampy, and my lower back hurt. I didn't feel a rhythmic contracting at all, just achy the whole time. At one point in time, they were down to every 2-6 minutes. After clinic hours were over, my doctor showed up to check on me. About 5:30, she stopped in and told me that I needed to make it 48 hours for the steroids to be the most effective. She put me on strict bedrest and sent Abe home to get our things. She told him that she thought it might be tonight so to hurry back.
While he was gone, my doctor lingered until almost 6:00... strange... and then my water broke.
That moment, my nurse- Diane, looked me in the eye and said, "Remember when I told you that if it became an emergency situation, everyone would just come rushing in here? Well, this is that situation."
I called Abe and told him to come right back, that my water had broken and they were taking me in for a c-section. After that, it's all a blur. I took some meds, took off my socks, got wheeled quickly to the OR, and prepped for surgery. At one point, I said, "Oh no, I don't have a camera." My nurse Diane, said- "I'll go get my phone". How kind is that?
I told her just to have Abe grab my phone from my bag. Then anesthesia got there, got me numbed up, and the NICU people came. There were two teams of nurses, one for each of my babies, waiting near warmers. I think they introduced themselves as the teams who would be taking care of my babies. My babies... plural. Surreal. I was so afraid of the c-section for so long but when it actually came time to have the surgery, I was filled with unexplainable peace. I had a chance to notify my small group via text message that the babies were on their way and I know there were many people praying for us in that moment; specifically for peace for me and safety for my beautiful babies. My best friend Katie had picked up Gemma from daycare and taken her home- they had prayed for us in the car as Katie tried to explain what was going on to Gemma. Interestingly, the one thing that Gemma kept praying for was for "Mama not to be scared." Sometimes it's heart-wrenching how God guides even the smallest hearts.
Abe made it to the OR just in time. At 6:42pm on January 7th 2013, Quinn Noelle Wolfe came into the world. I silently prayed, "Lord, let her cry, let her cry" and then I heard the most beautiful tiny cry. With that, tears filled my eyes and I allowed myself to feel like a mama again. She weighed a whopping 4 lbs 3 oz. One minute later at 6:43pm, 4 lb. 4 oz Rohan John Wolfe was born and again I prayed that he would cry out. He did, and then so did my doctor, "And he's peeing on me!" she said loudly. I laughed and thanked God for my two new children.
This is my first moment with Rohan. One I will never ever forget. That is Deb, one of the neo-natal nurse practitioners. She brought him right up to my lips so I could kiss him. It brings tears to my eyes to see this picture and remember so vividly that moment- seeing him face to face. He looks so little like Gemma and Quinn and I was just taken with this new little stranger from the second I laid eyes on him. My son. My little boy. Ah.
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Monday, January 23, 2012
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
Monday, January 16, 2012
Starting last year, inspired by Ann Voskamp at aholyexperience.com, I've started naming my years. Last year was the year of here. And I truly did try to be fully present- soaking up the small moments and the large. Setting aside fears for full absorption of experience. The motivation was to try to relieve some of the anxiety I felt over Gemma's health in the first few months she was born and just enjoy her and my new life as a wife and mama.
I would say that I was more present or at least more aware of my place in situations and experiences because I focused on that theme. It was a successful endeavor but of course, things got in the way, anxiety about her health still remains an ugly monster to fight, and concern for Abe's job still caused me to revert to a longing for the peace that supposedly comes after the storm.
What I'm learning, slowly, and probably will continue to be reminded of until I'm dead, is that the bitter and the sweet exist simultaneously. The fear of her sickness is only cushioned in the awareness of her health- the reality of Abe's seemingly ceaseless job search is only made bearable by the blessing of his current job(s). So, in the midst of striving to be truly present, I must embrace, feel fully, express gratitude during, and experience the bitter times too. It's an ongoing journey, of that I'm certain.
This year, I've decided that the biggest thing I battle is fear. Usually, it takes the form of worry about Gemma. Since she's so small and dependant, I often feel completely alone in care for her. It's totally irrational, Abe is beyond present and involved. I have a loving family and wonderful daycare- friends and a church family who love us all. But, I feel ALONE in my worry. All the time I am concerned, I feel as though I am the only one. I think that may be the biggest rot of worry- the sense that you are alone in your concern. It's much easier to share concern with someone than to feel that you are the only one concerned and thus, the only one responsible for making it okay. I just wish there was some sort of meter or gauge that would tell you how concerned to be about things. I just worry that I'll miss something and since I feel so alone in my worry, I also feel that if I don't look for everything- something could go overlooked and result in something really scary and... it would be MY fault.
Fear comes as a result of a lack of faith- hmmm.... does that sound incredibly harsh? I almost feel bad writing it, but it's true. There are countless times in the Bible that God tells us to not be afraid, have no fear, be fearless. It's so hard to keep that perspective when we see only what's in front of us- this life, this person, this situation. Eternal eyes are fleeting at best. So, I am surrendering this year in faith to God. That I am never alone, never forsaken, never deserted, and never on my own- no matter how scary or unpredictable things may get. I've been praying and thinking a lot about how to battle fear and I've come to a pretty clear direction that my year needs to take. In the book of James 1:5, I've found my "battle cry"-
"If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. "
Because I'm surrendering in faith, this year for me will be the year of "WISDOM". I am CLINGING to the promise that if I ask for wisdom, God will provide it. In every fearful situation, I am committing to pray for wisdom on how to proceed, how concerned to be, the empowerment to follow through on what I feel led to do, and let the rest go. We have a massive group of gifted people surrounding us- doctors, teachers, family, friends, minstry leaders and even though it sometimes feels like it, I am most certainly NOT on my own.
I also have this man beside me who holds my hand, listens to my irrational concerns, tries his hardest to alleviate what he can, and then softly encourages me to give it up to God. It's about time I start listening, huh? This year, when I have a multitude of heavy and life changing decisions on the horizon, I will beg God for His infinite wisdom and actively try to let go of the need to be in charge of it all. Because let's face it, I was never in charge to begin with, right? :)
So, what are you going to focus on this year? Have you considered naming your year? I much prefer it to New Year's resolutions... :) No giving up of chocolate or soda, no disapppointing lack of weight loss... just a constant, prayerful refocusing of the lens through which I view life. But just for the record, I've not missed a day of flossing my teeth since the turn of the year, so there.
Happy New Year!
What I'm reading right now:
Crazy Love by Francis Chan
A Love that Multiplies by Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar (knock it off, people.... stop judgin') :)
Couldn't get enough:
Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis and Beth Clark
Choosing to SEE: A Journey of Struggle and Hope by Mary Beth Chapman
Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way by Shauna Niequist
Feathers from my Nest by Beth Moore
Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist
7: An Experimental Mutiny against Excess by Jen Hatmaker
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- June (2)
- May (2)
- April (6)
- March (4)
- February (4)
- January (9)
- December (1)
- November (11)
- October (10)
- September (2)
- July (3)
- June (2)
- April (1)
- March (1)