Hannah

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It’s been one month since we announced that we lost our second baby. This past month has been filled with all sorts of emotions. Grief is a very hard thing to explain, especially when it’s a silent grief that no one knows or sees the effects of but you. This is why I share my story. This is why I open up. There are countless women out there who have lost children due to miscarriage that silently suffer. They don’t know how to talk about it, they don’t want to make other people feel awkward, and often outsiders just don’t know how to handle the subject. So it becomes “easier” for everyone else if we just don’t mention it too much. But I have had so many ladies reach out to me thanking me for sharing our story because it has put words to some of their innermost thoughts that they didn’t know how to express. It has helped them know they’re not alone. So I will continue to put our journey out there. I will continue to try to offer encouragement and hope, when all feels hopeless and wasted.

I really debated sharing this publicly for fear of how it would be received. Would other people think it was weird? Would they think I was dwelling too much on our loss? Will they think I’m holding onto something too tightly and in an unhealthy way? I don’t know. I don’t know how it will be received, but I know that I want to put this out there. I want to let others know that it is okay to walk your grief path in the way that YOU need to, not the way that society expects you to. So with that, I want to tell you about our second daughter, Hannah.

We found out we lost Hannah on October 10th, one month ago. At the time, we didn’t know she was a little girl. We just knew we had prayed for a child, the Lord had answered, and then the Lord took her away. It hurt. It caused so many questions, so much doubt, and so much confusion. For someone who grew up in church and with a biblical foundation and loved Jesus with all of her heart, I found myself surprised by how much I was struggling with the goodness and character of God. It’s humbling to even type that for others to read because it often feels shameful to have such doubts, but they have been real and raw, and I’m sure I’m not alone in the questions. See, I’ve known this whole time that God is good and His ways are higher in my HEAD knowledge of the Lord, but it was having a very hard time transferring to my heart and my belief. I felt like there was a roadblock between my head and my heart and I didn’t know how to demolish it. So many prayers, so many tears, so much wrestling with Scripture and conversations with my husband that left me grieving more. I wanted to believe the truth, but it was still SO HARD. More often than not, we have many “why’s?” that we asked God. “Why did you answer our prayers for a baby?”, “Why did you let me believe everything would go as planned?”, “Why did you take this baby so soon?” “Why would you put us through this twice?” —and the list goes on and on. And God, in His sovereignty doesn’t always give us answers to those questions. He builds our faith on His character, on His track record, on His goodness, His faithfulness, His mercy, His provision. He gives us Jesus, and that is ALL we ever need.

But the sweet Lord knew that my heart needed just one of those why’s answered. He knew it would build my faith in Him more this time to give me one answer than to leave me questioning.

At the time of finding out we lost our baby, my doctor asked me if we wanted to do chromosomal testing. My initial thought was, “What good will that do? It doesn’t bring the baby back and it’s not like knowing what happened with this one will prevent a future miscarriage. We can’t control anything so what’s the point in finding out?” But on faith, we said we would have it done, just seeking some sort of answers. Three weeks went by with no explanation and then I received the call. My doctor told me that they DID find something, which turned out to be what brought the peace from God that passes all understanding. She explained to me that our baby was a little girl who was missing a vital chromosome for normal healthy life functions. She would have to receive medical intervention for the entirety of her life. It was then that I KNEW, deep in my heart, that the Lord had been gracious to her. He saved her from a life of severe medical conditions and ushered her into heaven perfectly healed and whole. He chose to heal her sooner rather than later, and for that I am grateful. If her heart had continued beating and she continued to grow in my womb, we would embrace every part of her condition with open arms. We would love her unconditionally despite all of it. Yet, God’s foreknowledge wanted to give her what was BEST -right now- , and now she is enjoying the presence of Jesus, a gift we are HONORED to give her even though our hearts wanted her here with us. We decided to name her Hannah, because it means God is gracious. He was gracious to allow her to be spared of this sin-filled world and immediately be where we all long to be. In the Bible, Hannah live a very unpleasant life for the majority of her time on earth, but through her bitter circumstances, her life produced a son that changed the course of history. Her pain led to even greater joy. We know that if we hadn’t lost our first baby we wouldn’t have Adalynn. If we hadn’t lost Hannah, we wouldn’t know the joy that is to come. It is through trials and suffering that we understand joy and grace so much more clearly. If we never experienced valleys, we wouldn’t know or appreciate the mountain tops.

Does God always give us answers to our why’s? No, He doesn’t. And He may never answer any of my others. At least not all of them. But even if we had never found out details about Hannah’s life, God knew what He was doing. He knew he was sparing her life. He knew he was protecting her. And if we walk this familiar road again one day and never find a reason for any future losses, whether they be children or anything else, we can rest in the fact that God knows exactly what He’s doing, and we don’t have to. It doesn’t take away the pain, and grief is still very much real; but we can rest in the truth of our Savior and in His deep, abiding love for us.

So if you have walked this road, are walking it currently, or find yourself a member of this club in the future, please know you’re not alone. God cares about all of your questions. He is big enough to handle all of your feelings, even if they are too embarrassing to admit to other people. He sees you and He is not going to waste your tears. Walk through your grief. Get to know the Lord in the midst of it. See Him for who He is when you’re at your most vulnerable state. Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face, and the things of this world will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.

Love you all. Thank you for loving us so well.

A Familiar Road

How do you process something you hoped you’d never have to walk through….again?

I don’t know the answer to that, but our family is walking this road. With uncertainty, confusion, frustration, sadness, and brokenness, we are mourning the loss of another baby.

This week we were going to announce that we were expecting another sweet baby in April 2017. Adalynn was SO excited to be big sister. You could ask her “where’s the baby?” and she would immediately point to my belly. We had told all of our family, all the friends we came into contact with, and all of Matt’s coworkers.

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Little did we know that a couple of months after sharing the exciting news that we would also have to deliver sad news. On Monday I went in for our 12 week appointment. I went by myself because we had already heard the heartbeat twice and thought we were in the clear. Part of me was a little anxious about going to the appointment by myself, but the Lord clearly told me on Sunday morning as I was thinking about it “Do not fear, for I am with you,” and I realized in that moment I wouldn’t be alone. My friend Chelsea was keeping Adalynn for me, so it really was just me and the Lord. I had such peace. Sitting in the waiting room, waiting for the doctor, getting our financial outline for payments and hospital costs/delivery/etc., all I felt was peace. My worry had wasted away and I was able to rest and wait. As I sat in the back room waiting for my doctor to come in, I was reading through Proverbs 3, part of the devotion from my Bible in a Year plan, and these verses stuck out to me:

“My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments; for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord will all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”

I was ready to get the appointment over with and share the good news with the world. But God had other plans. My doctor came in and tried to find the heartbeat…all you could hear was my own. We went to the ultrasound room and I knew right away. The baby hadn’t grown. There was no flicker on the screen and no sound coming from it’s little body. The Lord Jesus was holding our baby.

I will never understand why. I will never “get over” the hurt. We now have more babies in heaven than we have on earth. Somehow we have to try to help our almost 2 year old understand that her baby brother or sister is with Jesus instead of mommy’s tummy. But let me say this loud and clear: God gives GRACE. This pain is so raw and so real, and there are so many questions. There are so many moments where I feel angry and hurt that the Lord would take us on this path again. But He can handle all my feelings and is holding us so tightly in this. We are so unbelievably sad. My husband is grieving. Our family and friends are shocked and probably very uncertain about how to talk about this with us. It’s a messy place. But of this I am certain: This pain will not be wasted. The bigger picture is eternity. This life is so short and so small on the grand scale of things. Our babies are better off than if they had had to endure this sin-ridden world. We WILL see them one day again because Jesus took our sins upon Himself, nailing them to the cross, and conquered death. Because of His resurrection, death does not win. Our babies are ALIVE and well, enjoying the presence of Jesus. Having loved ones in heaven makes it so much more real. It is not an imaginary place of far-fetched ideas and fluffy clouds…it is HOME. And I know I can’t wait to be there.

I just want to say thank you to my friend, Brittany Price, who through her grief of losing her husband, obediently wrote the music that is ministering to my soul so deeply right now. Thank you to the Body of Christ that has swept in and taken us to the throne of grace in prayer, the countless people who have offered to make meals and watch Adalynn so we can rest and process. Each one of you has blessed us tremendously. We know we are loved, and by the way you are honoring our little one’s life, we are blessed.

These pictures are from an announcement photo shoot we did last weekend. It hurts to have this physical reminder of what no longer will be, but I am thankful for the joy on our faces and the fun we had taking them. Thank you Jess Wal Photography for capturing a sweet time for our family.

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Please continue to lift us up in the weeks and months to come. I have to have surgery this week and from what I remember from last time, recovery isn’t fun. I’m leaning into Jesus and trusting Him. He is good and kind and worthy to be praised.

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Six Months Old | Adalynn Grace

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Weight: 

14 lbs – 13th percentile

Height: 

25.75 inches – 52nd percentile

Sleep: 

Making progress! She is completely out of the swaddle now and sleeping SO much better! Most nights she only wakes up once. Then we have the occasional night where she’ll sleep 11 hours. Then the occasional night where she sleeps for 4 hours straight and then decides waking up every 20-30 minutes for the REST OF THE NIGHT is a good idea. No. Not a good idea, child.

Eating: 

Nursing every 3-3.5 hours and we’ve officially started solids! She’s had avocado, sweet potato, and prunes (for helping all of it out!). She has loved the avocado and sweet potato. She’ll eat the prunes but it takes a bit more convincing.

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Diapers: 

Size 2 comfortably

Clothing: 

She still is wearing 3 months in most things and can fit in 3-6 month sleepers. I put her in a 6 month onesie and leggings today and they were a little baggy, but not bad.

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Mood: 

She is still the sweetest baby in the world. She smiles at everyone and just loves playing, laughing, talking, and being with people. She loves going places where she sees people and is the life of the party. She is seriously happy most of the time.

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Loves:

She loves so many things. Such a sweet baby.

Seeing me pull the boppy out–she knows exactly what it means!

When Matt gets her up in the morning. They have a special morning routine and it melts this Mama’s heart every day.

Being held so that she can look out.

Eating whatever we will give her.

Smiling big smiles

This little lion that attaches to one of her play mats. She flails her arms and gets wide eyes whenever I give it to her.

Playing in her exersaucer and having her own space–for a max of about 20 minutes.

Playing with her feet

Reading books

Rolling over to her tummy

Watching me get ready

Talking, which has lately turned into squealing and screaming, which is hilarious.

A teal heart-shaped teether that we give her in the carseat

Playing patty cake and itsy bitsy spider

Standing on anything– the floor, tables, our laps, etc.

Having her collar bone tickled

Watching me do handstands. She laughs hysterically.

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Doesn’t Love: 

Staying up past her nap time/bedtime.

When we put lotion on her face

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Milestones:

Making more consonant sounds these days.

Her first sleepover at Nonna and Papa’s house!

Starting solids

Her first time in the church nursery! They said she did awesome and didn’t cry at all. She was sleeping when I went to go pick her up…so precious.

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Looking Forward To:

Her being able to sit up on her own- she is SO close! It will happen soon.

Giving us kisses, learning how to high-5, learning how to clap!

Going to the lake with my family over Memorial Day weekend. It will be Adalynn’s first time at the lake house and swimming!

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What I Want to Remember: 

Her big dimply smile

The way she cracks up over the silliest things and will keep laughing for 30 minutes.

The way she always crosses her legs at her ankles

The way she clasps her hands together pulled right up to her chest like she’s about to pray–haha

The couple of times she’s fallen asleep while I’m rocking her right before bedtime. It is the sweetest thing in the world and if I could freeze time in that moment I would.

Cheering on Daddy at the last lacrosse game of the season, wearing her Grizzly gear of course!

On her 6 month birthday we went to our friend Everly’s birthday party and she talked to everyone there. It was the first time I feel like she wasn’t shy in a big group of people.

The way she smiles at Matt.

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Five Months Old | Adalynn Grace


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Weight: 

Not sure, but we’ll find out at her 6 month appointment. All I know is girl is getting heavier and mommy needs to hit the weights.

Height: 

We will find out at her 6 month appointment!

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Sleep: 

Sleep is slowly but surely getting better! Just in the last 10 days or so we have started giving her a little bit of avocado before bed to try to help her tummy stay full all night long. I’ve also started giving her a bottle before bed so that I know for sure she’s getting enough and I don’t have to second guess in the middle of the night. But as of April 9th (because I’m late writing this blog) she is practically sleeping through the night with one wake up but all it takes is a little fussing/going and giving her her paci and she falls right back to sleep for the rest of the night. *Except when we put her down later than her bedtime at 7:30/7:45. If she goes down late, she has an awful nights sleep and doesn’t nap well during the day either. Bedtime is a PRIORITY in our house. Still swaddling, but we’re transitioning out with one arm unswaddled right now.

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Eating: 

Still EBF except with about a tablespoon of avocado at night before bed. Her doctor recommended waiting till 6 months for solids since she has eczema. Apparently eczema, asthma, and allergies are all related, so if she has one, she’s more likely to develop food allergies if food is introduced too early. I don’t understand it, but I’m going with it since she’s the doctor and I’m not.

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Diapers: 

Size 2–finally moved up!

Clothing: 

Our petite girl is still fitting in 3 month clothes comfortably. I’m not going to lie, I kind of love it.

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Mood: 

Very happy baby. I feel like she just loves life and loves people. She’s going through a bit of a separation anxiety if she can’t see me, but if I’m anywhere in her line of sight she’s fine. She laughs often this days and they are full belly chuckles that are literally the best thing in the world. The most random stuff makes her laugh, like pointing at her foot and tossing hangers in the air. Who knew?

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Loves:

She loves so many things. Such a sweet baby.

Mommy and Daddy

Snuggling

Going to bed early. We had her at a 8:30 bedtime and she has fought us to make it earlier. 7:30/7:45 it is, girlfriend!

Eating avocado. She tries to eat whatever we are eating and I feel so bad turning her down! Her time will come.

Smiling big smiles

Her new Exersaucer! She can stand on her own in it and chew on all her toys.

Speaking of chewing, she puts EVERYTHING in her mouth and is drool central.

Being naked

Reading books

Sucking on her first two fingers

Playing on her tummy

Watching me get ready

When we reach a stop light and I turn around and look at her in the mirror. She gives the BIGGEST smile every single time and it is the best thing ever.

Looking out the car window

Talking, talking, talking.

Ellie her little elephant, always goes with us in the carseat.

We also have her carseat toy that we don’t attach but just put in her lap while we’re in the car and she LOVES it.

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Doesn’t Love: 

Staying up past her nap time/bedtime.

Being hot. She would rather be naked most of the day.

Being too far away from me or Matt.

Annnnnd that’s about it!

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Milestones:

Practically sleeping through the night! (First time was around April 2, 2015)

Rolling from back to tummy (March 17, 2015)

Eating with a spoon and keeping the food in her mouth!

Her first pedicure! (MUCH harder in execution than in theory).

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Looking Forward To:

Her being able to sit up on her own because I think she’ll have so much more fun during play time.

Starting more solids because I know she’s going to LOVE it.

Her sleeping completely unswaddled and still sleeping through the night.

Giving us kisses, learning how to high-5, learning how to clap!

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What I Want to Remember: 

Her big dimply smile

Her belly laugh

When she lets me tickle her collar bone and dies laughing from it

The time I tried to go in and wake her up from a nap and she just held my hand while she continued to sleep.

Her constant talking and grunting. It’s loud and hilarious.

The way she sucks on her bottom lip right now. It make her cheeks extra droopy and its adorable.

Going to the playground for the first time! She had no idea where she was but Matt and I had fun 🙂

Her first Easter! We had to go on Saturday to buy her a new dress because all the dresses that we received before she was born were WAY too big because she is so small! She mostly just stared at her stuff ($1 finds at the Dollar Tree and a book we already had! Haha) but we had a great day with family and celebrating new life in Jesus!

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Four Months Old | Adalynn Grace

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Weight:  12 lbs 1 oz. This makes her in the 19th percentile! Tiny girl!

Height:  24.75 inches. A tall girl in the 71st percentile! IMG_3314 Sleep:  This has been a challenge. She is napping SO much better than she was a month ago. She usually takes two 45 minute naps and two 1.5 hour naps. Although lately most of her naps have been around the 1-1.5 hour mark! Nighttime however, is a different story. She’s going to bed around 8:00/8:30 and will usually sleep until at least 1:00 or 2:00. Sometimes she’ll sleep till 3:00 or 4:00. But for a few days over the last week she was waking up 5+ times at night, every single hour. It was absolutely EXHAUSTING. But the past couple of nights she has only been waking up 2-3 times so hopefully we’re on our way to just once again. I’d love to hope that sleeping through the night is around the corner, but we shall see. IMG_3302   IMG_3312 Eating:  She is eating great, still on a 3 hour schedule. I know the schedule is going to have to change soon, but I have no idea how I’m going to go about doing that.

Diapers:  Still in size 1! Haha this girl is so small and I love it. She should be in size 2 in a week or two.

Clothing:  Finally able to wear most 3 month clothes. Some are still a little big on her, but she’s able to wear them comfortably. She can still fit in some 0-3 month sizes but we are officially completely out of newborn 🙂 IMG_3252_2 Mood:  She is generally a very happy baby. She is very content to sit or lay quietly and watch the world around her. She still curls up and smiles whenever she is smiled at and it is the most precious thing in the world. If I could bottle that up and keep it forever I would. A few nights ago she decided that crying would be fun for a change and she was completely inconsolable for about 45 minutes. Nothing worked. But we ended up just putting her to bed an hour early and she was fine the next day. She has had a few rough days here and there since then, but I can’t complain because the girl rarely cries. Matt said that it was the most he had heard her cry, ever, and that is probably true. IMG_3284_2 Loves: She loves so many things. Such a sweet baby.

  • Being snuggled
  • Mommy and Daddy
  • Blankets…LOVES blankets. She will play with them over anything else.
  • Bath time -Playing “this little piggy”
  • Playing “airplane” with her daddy
  • Talking to herself -Her swing
  • Toys that crinkle and crunch
  • When we read books
  • When we help her stand up
  • Sitting in your lap and looking out, observing everything
  • Still loves her kick-n-play piano
  • Having her diaper changed
  • When we go in to wake her up and start to unswaddle her, she gets SO excited
  • Her paci.
  • When I sing a silly song I made up for her. I’ll spare the world 😉
  • Eating her hands/touching her face
  • Watching mommy get ready. She loves to watch me brush my hair, blow dry my hair, and put on makeup. She literally lays in her rock and play and just stares at me the whole time. I think we might have a girly girl on our hands!

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  • She has mild eczema on her face and she used to HATE when we would put lotion on. She would cry the whole time. But she has gotten better about that.
  • Staying up past her nap time/bedtime.
  • Being hot. She would rather be naked most of the day.
  • When people get too close. She loves people, but she definitely likes her space. She does not like it when people get in her face.

IMG_3201 Looking Forward To: Of course, I’m looking forward to her sleeping through the night. That’s probably number 1 right now. But I’m also looking forward to all the things she’s going to be learning in the next couple of months. I’m not really feeling emotional (hormonal) about her not being a newborn anymore because I know it’s just going to get more and more fun. She is already so much fun to play with and I can only imagine how much better it will get as she grows. IMG_3217 What I Want to Remember: Everything! I feel like I’m constantly trying to file things away in my brain so that I don’t forget them.

  • The way she loves to be snuggled right now. I know that won’t last forever.
  • Her little squeaks and squeals when she’s super happy.
  • The way she stops crying and calms down just by me holding her.
  • The way she crinkles her nose when she laughs.
  • The way she will play with my hand
  • How her eyes will follow Matt around the room. No matter where he goes or what he does, she finds him and locks in.
  • Her first snow. It was so much fun for me and Matt. Adalynn didn’t seem to care too much. But good grief how cute is she in this adorable snow suit?!

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Three Months Old | Adalynn Grace

I can’t believe it, but my baby is 3 months old!

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Weight: Not sure but I’m guessing around 11.5 lbs. She doesn’t gain very quickly. At 2 months she was in the 23% for her age.

Height: Also not sure, but at 2 months she was 23.25 and in the 86th % for her age. A tall skinny girl? Where did that come from?

Sleep: She is stuck on 45 minute naps during the day when they should be an hour and a half. Sometime she’ll surprise me with a longer one, but it’s definitely the exception. At night she is sleeping 5-6 hours straight, wakes for a feeding around 3:30 or 4, and then goes back to sleep until 6:30 or 7. We’re working on dropping that middle of the night feeding but its definitely hard. She still wakes up at that time and has a super difficult time going back to sleep.

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Eating: She eats every 3 hours (except at night).

Diapers: Moved up to size 1 this month! Yes, she’s tiny. But these are fitting her quite nicely these days. We should be in them for a while.

Clothing: Believe it or not, she can still wear SOME newborn clothes. Mostly only onesies or pants, but definitely not sleepers. She is way too long for them. We’re in 0-3 months consistently. She wears some 3 month clothes, but they swallow her.

Mood: She is truly a very happy baby. She smiles at everyone who smiles at her and she curls up in excitement. She really only gets upset when she’s hungry or tired. But that’s understandable. We all do that.

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Loves:

-People. She loves smiling at everyone and would rather play with people than any toy she’s got. Especially her daddy. She can always find him and lights up when he comes home.

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-Being held and snuggled.

-Her kick-n-play piano. We have a routine that she’ll play on it in the mornings while I make my breakfast and coffee and she has the time of her life.

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-Bathtime. She smiles and laughs the whole time. She has loved bath time since she was born.

-Playing with blankets. I’ll just throw one on her lap and she gets so excited.

-Reading her Jesus Storybook Bible. Seriously. Whenever we lay on the floor together and I whip it above our heads to read it out loud, she starts giggling and can’t keep her eyes off the pages.

-Being swaddled for naps and bedtime.

-Her paci. We don’t give it to her all the time but she does love it, and I’m so glad.

Doesn’t Love:

-Tummy time longer than 5-10 minutes.

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-Having to wait to finish eating while I’m switching sides. Drama. Queen.

-When we make her wait till 7am to get her up.

-Sleeping longer than 45 minutes at nap time.

What I Want to Remember:

-The way she rubs her face on my shoulder all the time.

-Her precious little sneezes. Usually two in a row, like her daddy.

-How she sometimes acts shy when people are talking to her. If I’m holding her, she hides her face in my shoulder and it’s adorable.

-Her bunny hands while she eats. She pulls her fists up and keeps them on both sides of her cheeks the entire time.

-The way she stretches when we unswaddle her.

-The way she occasionally will fall asleep on me after she nurses. Bad habits, but I don’t care. It’s worth it. These days are fleeting and I won’t be able to get them back.

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-Her belly laugh. I’m hoping this one just continues forever.

Looking Forward To:

-Her sleeping through the night. We’re going to try tummy sleeping soon to see if that helps.

-Being able to make her belly laugh on command. She’s done it a handful of times but she makes us work really hard to get her there and it’s never guaranteed.

-Her responding when we say her name and her becoming ticklish. She smiles when we try to tickle her now, but no laughing yet.

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I don’t know how it could get any better, but everyone says it does. I just know that we love this little girl and it’s a privilege being her parents.

Just Because

Just because she was so brand new and so precious and so tiny, I wanted to get a few pictures at home with her. It’s not often the Momma gets to be in the pictures with the kiddos because she’s usually the one behind the camera, so while my mom stayed with us I was sure to get a couple of pictures with my girl. Good grief I love her so!

Also, turns out taking pictures of your own newborn is 592,986 times harder than taking pictures of someone else’s–and that is a ridiculous feat in and of itself. So let’s just say this is as good as it was going to get and be content with the minimal shots I got.

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I loves these little crossed eyes! Haha

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Just 12 days old

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Adalynn’s First Days

Just for fun, I wanted to document some pictures of Adalynn’s first days while we were still at the hospital. We had some sweet friends and family come to visit us and I will seriously treasure those first moments. I might have been doped up on pain killers and swollen like the Michelin Man, but I will forever treasure these photos.

Matt’s mom: First time Grandma getting to hold her first grand baby

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Nonna getting to hold her 6th grand baby (2 are in heaven)

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Papa holding his baby’s baby 🙂

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Matt’s dad showing his soft side and taking it all in

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Adalynn’s great Grandmother, Muni. 84 years old holding a 1 day old newborn. Nothing sweeter.

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Caitlin and Cosbie

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Daddy getting some sweet snuggles

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My best friend Chelsea

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Caitlin and Aaron getting in some practice before their little boy gets here in March!

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So tiny!!

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Mommy and her girl

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Getting to go home as a family of 3!

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She’s Here! — Part Two.

To see the beginning of the story, see part one.

When we got into our room, Matt started calling family and texting friends to let them know that we would definitely be welcoming our baby later that day! My parents had already gotten to the hospital, and his were on their way. We were all so very excited. It was so surreal that it was finally here! Our nurse, Connie, asked me if I wanted to get an epidural and I assured her I would be getting one at some point, but I could still wait a little while. (Judge me all you want, but I had/have absolutely ZERO desire to try to deliver without the assistance of modern medicine. I know myself well enough to know that my pain threshold is just not that tough. Yes, women have done it for thousands of years, but I thank God for medical advancements and I’m not ashamed.)

I think it was about 2 hours later that I told them to call the anesthesiologist in to get this party started. It really wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be. Word to the wise: don’t look. Don’t look at the tray of supplies, don’t look at the needle, don’t look at anything but your husband. It was all going great until I asked him if I should be feeling warmth down my back. His reply was, “huh, that’s interesting. I’ve never seen that happen before.” Um, excuse me?! Never say that to a pregnant woman in pain that you just inserted a giant needle into her spine. Never. Ever. You can think it, but saying it out loud is completely unnecessary. Apparently the injection site wouldn’t stop bleeding and it was running down my back. Turns out it was nothing to be concerned about. He just applied pressure and it stopped in a couple of minutes. No worries. But seriously, keep your thoughts to yourself. Can I just say that epidurals are AMAZING? I could finally think straight and carry a conversation again. After a couple more hours, I was beginning to feel slight discomfort again, so I asked them to administer a little more of the epidural. Again, brilliant decision on my part. It just makes it all so much more enjoyable! I could actually relax and soak it all in. I highly recommend them. (Also, note: If you choose not to get epidurals and you can push a human out of your body by mere willpower, MORE POWER TO YOU. Seriously, you’re my hero. I applaud your strength and determination whole heartedly.)

Around 3:00 that afternoon (I think…it’s all a little fuzzy) my doctor came and checked me again. I was sitting at about 8 cm at this point. We decided to keep waiting it out and see if my body would keep progressing. Back and forth until 5:30 or so she continued to check me and monitor things. I was staying at 8 cm and beginning to swell. Keep in mind my daughter still had not dropped down into the birthing position yet. I carried her high my entire pregnancy, and she was still hanging out by my ribs. This is when we started making some decisions. My doctor (who I absolutely LOVE and respect entirely) said she would wait it out with me as long as I wanted to. But these were the facts: I’m 5’1. My baby was predicted to be 9 lbs due to how large I was measuring. I had been sitting at 8cm for several hours. My cervix started to swell, and she was still parked way up high. If I ever got to 10 cm, it would have probably led to 3-4 hours of pushing just because she wouldn’t drop down. So my doc gave me the choice to keep waiting it out, or go ahead and have a c-section. I asked how long it would take for her to be born if we went the c-section route and she said that she would be here within the hour. That information sealed the deal for me right there. I was ready to meet my baby girl. Prep me up and wheel me to that operating room. Let’s get this baby girl on this side.

I don’t want to get on a soap box here, but I really don’t understand the stigma that comes with having a c-section. Of course I didn’t prefer it to having her naturally, but if it gets the baby here safely, what’s the big deal? I’ve never seen so much controversy over a subject before getting pregnant. We need to stop condemning moms for having c-sections and instead just thank God for allowing doctors another way for babies to be delivered in the event that it’s in the best interest and for the health of the mother and child. Let’s stop judging each other and just be excited for new life being brought into the world.

They got me prepped and started wheeling me to the operating room. On the way I got extremely nauseous and had to throw up in a bag. As crazy as it sounds, I’m so glad I did. At this point I was falling asleep, and I was so thankful for vomitting because it woke me up enough to actually be alert for my daughter’s birth! #thingsyouneverthoughtyouwouldbethankfulfor

The rest of the story I will let pictures tell for themselves. These are precious to me and I am so thankful for the safe delivery of our sweet baby girl. Adalynn Grace, you were worth every bit of the sleepless nights, the nausea, the cravings, the false alarms, the swelling, the weight, and the wait. You are our greatest gift and we love you so very much.

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She’s Here! — Part One.

Adalynn Grace Renney was born on November 2, 2014 at 7:01 pm. She weighed 7 pounds, 9 ounces and was 20 inches long. We were forever hers.

Obviously this post is WAY late (considering she is 6 weeks 9 weeks old now) but hey, new moms don’t even have enough time to shower, let alone sit down (without a baby in their arms) to write a blog post. So here I am, 6 weeks 9 weeks after her birth, attempting to finally blog her birth story while she naps in her room. Here goes! (Warning: This is the LONG version. I’m documenting it for my memories so that I can always look back and remember the details.)

It all started on the morning of October 31st when I thought my water broke. Long story short, I called the doctor and she said it sounded like it did, so to go ahead and head over to Labor and Delivery to get checked out. I texted Matt to come back home (he had just left for work an hour earlier) because we had to go to the hospital! We were both entirely freaking out at this point, not being able to believe that this was it! I took a shower and got ready and when he got back we went to Cracker Barrel for a good solid breakfast. We weren’t in too much of a hurry because I wasn’t in pain yet and I had been told that once you get checked in to the hospital you don’t really get to eat again until after you have the baby so I wanted to make sure I had plenty of food on my stomach to last me the whole day. We then decided to drive to Kennesaw Mountain and walk around a little bit before going in to make my labor progress a little more instead of having to walk the hospital halls. People thought we were crazy…with my 39 week preggo self walking up the trails of Kennesaw Mountain in a maxi skirt and flip flops. So we finished doing that and then headed to the hospital! We got checked in around 1:30 that afternoon and they started checking me. Turns out it wasn’t amniotic fluid that I leaked that morning (don’t ask me what it was…make your own conclusions) and I was still only dilated 1 cm–where I had been for 2 weeks. So they sent us home. To say we were disappointed is an understatement. Granted, I didn’t really want my baby to have a Halloween birthday, but I wanted to have my baby! And Matt might have been more disappointed than I was. When he left work that morning his coworkers were all patting him on the back and getting super excited to see baby pictures later that day, and he had to tell them after ALL of that that it was a false alarm.

We decided to go to my parents’ house at this point because it was closer to the hospital and we figured we could at least eat lunch with them and hang out for the afternoon. Matt decided to go ahead and go to the varsity football game that night since we wouldn’t be having a baby and I stayed with my parents. That evening, around 5:00, I started having my first REAL contractions. I had had Braxton Hicks since I was 26 weeks, but these were definitely the real thing. I knew it because they stopped me in my tracks and took my breath away. They started at 30 minutes apart and progressed to 15, 10, 9, 8, 6, and 5 until 2:00 am. They were so much more painful than I ever imagined contractions to be! How do women do this?! I couldn’t sleep, couldn’t distract myself, and couldn’t think of anything but breathing. When they got to 5 minutes apart I knew we had to go back to the hospital. I would be stupid not to at this point. So we loaded ourselves up again and at 2:30 am we headed back to the same place that had sent us home 12 hours earlier.

[November 1st]

We got to L&D and they checked me to see how much I was dilated. ONE CENTIMETER. ONE. I had been one for 2 weeks! What in the world were all those contractions doing if they weren’t moving things along?! I thought to myself, “If these are what contractions feel like at one centimeter, how am I ever going to survive anything closer to 10?!” The nurse told us we could walk the halls for an hour to see if things would progress any further, and then they would check me again. So at 4:00 in the morning Matt and I are pacing the halls of the hospital, praying that it will work. I’m pacing, doing squats, stretching, and repeating for an hour straight. She checked me again? ONE centimeter. Matt and I were just ticked off at this point. They sent us home, yet again, with no baby in our arms. We were determined not to come back until the following Tuesday (when I was scheduled to be induced). We went back to my parents’ house to sleep. I took 2 Tylenol to help with the pain and napped on and off until about noon. We headed home to do things around the house for the day and to distract ourselves from the disappointment of not having a baby that day. That evening we went to dinner with Matt’s parents at Provinos so that I could eat some eggplant parmesan. Provinos has this awesome deal that if you come there and eat their eggplant parmesan and have your baby within 48 hours, you get a $25 gift card to come back! We figured it was worth a shot! After we left there we went to our friends, Aaron and Caitlin’s gender reveal party for their baby due in March. (They’re having a boy!) I was still having contractions at this point but they were about 20-30 minutes apart and Tylenol was still helping with the pain a good bit, so I knew there was nothing to be concerned about. When we got home that night we stayed up till about midnight because we knew we wouldn’t be going to church the next day. We were exhausted and it would have just been too much to handle.

[November 2nd]

Around 3:00am I started having intense contractions again. I was downing Tylenol like it was my job, and it didn’t seem to be touching them. I tossed and turned, took a hot bath, and paced the house until 8:00am. Keep in mind it was also Daylight Savings Time, so when the rest of the country was enjoying their extra hour of sleep, I was enjoying my extra hour of labor. Miserable. Matt was sleeping soundly the entire time…lucky him! But I knew that if I woke him up there was nothing he could do anyway, and if we did happen to go to the hospital later that day I wanted him to be rested. But at 8:00 that morning he found me downstairs, kneeling over an ottoman, crying my eyes out because of the pain. I had been having 45 second contractions, 4-5 minutes apart since 3am. I was exhausted and frustrated because nothing in me wanted to go to the hospital just to be turned away again. I was determined not to go back until Tuesday when I knew they would induce me and let me stay. However, there’s a reason God gives us parents to impart wisdom to us when we’re not thinking clearly. My dad texted me at this point and asked me how I was doing. I replied “awful.” This was followed by a phone call from my mom telling me to GO TO THE HOSPITAL NOW. I was being stubborn, but we packed up our stuff again and loaded into the car to go. Neither one of us were excited because we just knew we would be turned away again. I was in so much pain at this point that I just didn’t care anymore.

We got to the hospital around 10:00 am and went through the routine of checking in and waiting for them to see how much I was dilated. When they finally came in to check me I WAS 4 CENTIMETERS!! We both almost cried. Actually, I think I did cry. They admitted me to a Labor and Delivery room and called my doctor. We couldn’t believe it. We were going to have a baby TODAY!

For the rest of the story, see part two.