Rob and Mallory Baker join us on this episode about family bible time. They discuss the importance of bible time each day as well as some ideas and resources for kids of all ages. Be sure to click the link to view the show notes for lots of great resources & a special video of our own family Bible time!
In a fast paced, consumer driven world, we are seeing more & more people trying to downsize, declutter, & try to live with less. Daniel & Martha Howell join us for this two part episode to describe how they've recently embarked on a minimalist journey with their possessions & activities & how it has blessed their spiritual lives & family.
I just realized that we never posted Noah's NICU adventure here. I had it all on Instagram & Facebook so it will be easy to make his book, but I do share the blog with other NICU families from time to time. So, of course, these aren't all of the pictures, but they do include the updates. Thankfully, this was 7 months ago & is long behind us. We were blessed with such a wonderful NICU & have a great relationship with the staff there since we are frequent customers!
Six years ago last week, Wesley & I heard words that we never expected or wanted to hear. That is when we found out that our happy pregnancy was not as it seemed. We were told that two of our babies had no chance of life outside of my womb. We were told, "You need to terminate." I am so thankful for our friends & family who prayed for us & stood by our side. I am thankful for amazing doctors (except for that one who gave us that terrible advice!) who loved us & cared for us & our babies. I am so thankful that we chose life, that we were able to experience 28 weeks of pregnancy, that we got to feel those sweet girls move around in my belly, & that we were granted several precious hours with them on earth.
Most of us don't know someone who has had an abortion. Most of us don't know someone who has heard those words that we did. I am thankful that God has allowed us to live in a country where we get to elect our leaders. While the two front runners are not who I would have chosen, both have their faults, & Jesus died for both of them. I will pray for God's will for our country. I will do everything within my power to make sure that someone who is such a loud proponent for abortion does not make it into office. I pray that you will consider & do the same.
I am thankful for the time we enjoyed with our babies, & I pray for every mother who is faced with the question we were given.
“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”
This is by far the latest I have ever written a birth story, but it's now or never. I am so thankful that Brittany was there with us to document the day in pictures. I am pretty certain that there are several things I would have completely forgotten had I not seen a photo of it. Since some of the details are pretty foggy by this point, I am taking the "lots of pictures to post" plan & hoping that works! A picture is worth a thousand words, right?
We had to leave BRIGHT & early to go to the hospital, so Papa came over & sat at our house until the kids woke up.
Noah Daniel was born on Friday, May 13, 2016. We have a great history of Friday the 13th, so it sounded like a good day to me! I was 37 weeks exactly, the longest I have ever been pregnant. We were concerned, of course, about his lungs since our babies don't have a great history of good lung function. We had planned to do steroid shots this time & hope that that would help, but that was stopped by high risk because of my gestational diabetes (it would cause my blood sugar to rise & they were concerned that would mess up his blood sugar & do more harm than good). I had been having contractions for several weeks, so for the last two weeks of the pregnancy, I was on modified bed rest. My doctor said I had to have help with the kids everyday & help for around the house. We had a sweet church sister who had been coming to our house to help already, so we increased her days & called on some friends to help as well. For those last two weeks, I had someone different here to help from just after breakfast until nap time each day. We are so thankful for those friends & know that without their help, Noah would not have been able to wait until 37 weeks to be born! God's blessings are wonderful.
I dreamed one night before delivery that we forgot to go the the hospital at the right time & when we realized it & got there, Dr. Collins had forgotten too! Ha! In my dream, she told us to just wait until the following Monday. Needless to say, I was anxious about everything & extra nervous about this c-section for some reason. We had plenty of church family praying for us! My biggest prayer was that everyone would be healthy & that I would at least get to hold him before he went to the NICU. I had spoken with my doctor about that a couple of times, & we made sure to mention that to the nurses when we got to the hospital.
We had a bit of a rocky start with the hospital staff, but shift change was right after we arrived & my delivery nurse was AMAZING. We were still trying to decide on Noah's name-our choices were Noah Daniel or Josiah Daniel. Wesley REALLY wanted Josiah, & I REALLY wanted Noah. I made two onesies-one with each name-& we decided to wait & see what he looked like. My nurse was named Jessie, & she was sure to tell us that her name was actually the best Bible name, in case we wanted to change it!
We knew that our favorite NICU nurse, Libby, would be working that day & were excited when she stopped by to see us. God's blessings continued as she told us that she was not in the NICU that day, she was in the OR. She would be in there with us & help take care of him. We were so thankful! We could not have asked for that to have been planned better!
I was still ridiculously nervous & so thankful that Wesley & Brittany were there. We have this c-section thing down by now, you know!
For some reason, it seemed like this time things took FOREVER. I kept asking if they were almost done & if it was almost time for him to be here. Finally, baby boy was here! He cried some great cries, & they whisked him away to check him out. I kept hearing them work on him. Libby was trying so hard to keep him from going to the NICU. He had swallowed fluid, of course-in true Skelton baby fashion. We did not know the other NICU staff who were present, so we were extremely thankful that Libby was there. I heard them talking a few times & finally saying that he was going to the NICU. Libby kept saying, "That's fine, but he's going to see his mama first!" I heard her just keep repeating that, & I was so thankful.
His apgar scores were 8 & 9! I am thinking that was the best of anyone other than Hannah Kate (go figure!). He weighed 7 lbs 2 oz (our biggest baby by 1 oz!).
Libby swaddled him up & brought him to me. I was so excited to FINALLY get to hold one of my babies in the OR! It had always been 1-4 days after baby was born before I got to hold them. I remember telling Wesley not to let me drop him. It was kind of awkward to hold him with me being flat on my back, but I got to snuggle up to his face & see him for a minute or two. Then, I asked Wesley to take him because I was really afraid I would drop him.
Of course, I had the usual blood pressure drops & nausea during surgery, but our nurse anesthetist was amazing & took care of that quickly each time. (We had requested Vincent again, but he was scheduled to be somewhere else.) I don't think I let go of Wesley's hand the entire time except for when he held the baby!
Everything really seemed to take such a long time! I think I was in there right around an hour. As usual, I told Dr. Collins that they could talk quietly amongst themselves, but I didn't want to hear anything other than, "We are almost done!" & "Here's your baby!" She is pretty much the best doctor. We are just so thankful for her! She actually moved halfway across the country & stopped working here the week after our delivery. I am so thankful she was still there for us!
When Jessie got me all settled in recovery, she ran over to the NICU to check on baby & bring us pictures of him so that we could start trying to decide on his name. This was a little thing to do, but such a kind & thoughtful gesture! She even braided my hair for me later because it kept coming down. I am serious about her being the best! She even kept us laughing the whole time, which was fine since I was still numb!
One of my favorite things about this hospital is that they bring the moms through the NICU to see baby before going to their hospital room. This is an indescribable blessing for NICU moms! As soon as we rolled in, the nurses all said, "Well, he's a Skelton!"
His nurse held him up a little so I could try to get a better look at his face. At this point, we were really leaning towards Noah, but I just really wasn't sure.
Libby came over to check on us & I cried telling her thank you. She is the reason I was able to hold him in the OR. She kept telling me, "I tried to keep him out of here! I kept telling them to keep working on him."
We finally decided on Noah's name for sure after our good friend, Michael Whitworth, sent Wesley a message. He said that Noah means comfort & Daniel means God is my judge. God's people can find comfort in knowing that God alone is our judge.
Noah was born on Friday & left the NICU on Wednesday. We were originally hoping he would only be there for 48 hours, but he had other ideas. I was discharged from the hospital on Tuesday & stayed in the family room Tuesday night with Noah. That sweet nurse I had during delivery & recovery came to check on me before we left! I had several really sweet nurses & that makes such a huge difference. We are thankful to God for blessing our family again with this precious boy!
Here are his hospital pictures. This is the first time we have bought the professional pictures, but I just could not resist!
So thankful to Brittany as always! Such is such a blessing to us & our family (& we love her pictures too!)!