Wednesday, December 31, 2014

#hannahkate @mcoley


It doesn't get any cuter than this! #Sarahgrace @mcoley @mrsclevenger2008


#Micaiah the polar bear! @mcoley


The Birth of Sarah Grace

Jeff got these two pictures while everyone was in the waiting room...I'm so glad since obviously I wasn't there!

This is probably the latest I have written a birth story, but isn't that how it goes?  Huge thanks to Brittany for the beautiful photos!  Hopefully, I can remember the important details. 

Sarah Grace's due date was October 4th, but due to my first c-section (it was a classical incision) cannot go later than 37 weeks.  So, her entrance into the world was scheduled for September 22nd.  As we all know, our kids have ideas of their own!  While this was the longest pregnancy we have had, I was still on "modified bed rest" for several weeks before Sarah Grace's arrival.  My doctor didn't want me having any contractions that wouldn't stop with water & rest, so I did lots of sitting during those weeks.  At least once, I had enough contractions that I probably should have gone to the hospital, but we were really trying to make it longer.  I had an appointment on Tuesday the 16th (I was one day that week) & my doctor decided that we didn't need to try to make it through the weekend.  Sarah Grace's new arrival date was Friday, September 19th.  It was set for later in the day, so we were able to do some things at home & see Hannah Kate & Micaiah before going to the hospital.  I wasn't going to tell Hannah Kate that we were having Sarah Grace until we actually left her with Nana, but she somehow figured it out by herself.  Bless her heart, she then started crying that it was "too early because it's not September 22nd."
We are so blessed that Brittany was able to be there to document the day!
My parents came for the day.

Our sweet friend (& preacher), Jeff, came to wait in the waiting room too.  The night before, he called us & prayed with us over the phone.  All of the prayers of our church family were much appreciated since I was very anxious about this delivery.
The nurse anesthetist grew up at our congregation.  I didn't really know him, but it was slightly awkward!  He did an awesome job, though, & I would totally choose him again if I was able to pick.  My nurse even said that he is her favorite, so that's got to be good! I've been blessed with great anesthesiology people for all of our deliveries.

Dr. C came in to talk to us before the surgery.

For some reason, I was SO nervous about this delivery.  One of the hospital ladies said, "At least you know what to expect," & I said, "I think that's the problem!"  My sweet husband led us in prayer before I walked back.  I'm so thankful for him!

Ha! I told Britt to take a picture now while I was still smiling!
I am pretty sure I should win Wife of the Year for letting Wesley watch this c-section.  The rules were not to say anything to me about what was going on & to sit down immediately if I told him to.  He held my hand the whole time. I realized that I couldn't watch him, though, because I could still see his facial expressions in his eyes!  So, I just stared at the big light in the ceiling!

There she is! 
Sarah Grace 7 lbs 1 oz, 19.7 in
Born at 1:33 pm

She was a nice, loud screamer for a bit at the beginning....then she decided she wanted to use some of the accessories from the NICU.

You can sort of see how hard she was working to breathe here. She swallowed fluid during delivery & partially collapsed a lung.
I was praying so hard that she would not need to go to the NICU.  Wesley & Brittany were with her at the bedside & Vincent was telling me what was going on. He was being so sweet to try to keep me calm & tell me what was going on & I was just asking, "Is she on oxygen? How are they giving it to her? Is she going to the NICU?!"

I'm thankful that the NICU was available to care for her, but I wish she hadn't tried to be like her siblings!

Dr. C was super sweet too.  She told me during the c-section while they were working on Sarah Grace & after that I had better not blame myself for her going to the NICU.  She said she could see the scar from the first c-section & that she would not have felt comfortable with me trying to make it over the weekend.
Brittany captures it all! I was pretty disappointed that Sarah Grace had to go to the NICU.

I still LOVE that this hospital takes the moms through the NICU to see their baby on the way to their room.

We saw so many familiar faces in the NICU.  That was a plus!  Libby, the main nurse that Micaiah had, was not there that day, but she had already been checking on us.  Brandi was Sarah Grace's nurse on her birthday--I remembered her from when we were there with Micaiah.  She was super sweet.
She needed to be put on C-Pap for a little while.

We decided not to have the kids come to visit that night because I felt so bad.  I had a few more issues than I normally do & was really not feeling well.  I got to talk to Hannah Kate on the phone--she immediately asked if I was holding Sarah Grace & why not! 

 Michelle & Brittany stayed with me a little while that night while everyone was going to check on Sarah Grace.  They got a big laugh out of me on drugs!  Between the pain medicine & the medicine I was given to stop the itching (side effect of the spinal), I couldn't form complete sentences.  I remember handing my phone to Britt & asking her to respond to a text because I knew she knew the answer, but I couldn't figure out how to say it.  Ha.  It was pretty crazy!  I am thankful for these sweet friends....although I am bummed that we evidently didn't get a picture of Brittany!  :(
Even though we would not have chosen for Sarah Grace to go to the NICU, I know God was in control (as He always is).  I felt reallllly terrible after this c-section (& I totally didn't expect it!), so I am not sure how I would have been able to care for her in the room with us.  I am just thankful that she is healthy & home with us now!
Here are blog posts from Sarah Grace's NICU stay.

Now, someone PLEASE make me do the birth story a lot closer to the actual birth next time so I remember everything!

Arrows in Our Hand Podcast

Some of you may already know, but Wesley & I are excited to announce that we will soon be hosting a podcast on The Light Network.  The Light Network is a network of Christian podcasts designed to encourage, empower, & enlighten God's people.  A podcast is basically an online radio show or audio lesson.  You can listen to them on your phone or computer (it's super handy if you have a podcast app on your phone, but it is not necessary).  Robert & Emily asked us last spring if we would be interested in hosting a parenting podcast.  Wesley & I immediately thought that we were not the perfect ones for the job.  After some prayer & thought, we decided we would give it a try (don't worry, we know we are not experts & plan on doing some interviews)!  This is definitely a topic that is needed to encourage godly parents, & we love listening to podcasts & online lessons ourselves.  Wesley has thought of some wonderful topics that we will cover on the podcast including our personal story, keeping our focus on Heaven, training children (obedience in general & in worship), the value of a child's soul, the value of children in today's society, family Bible time, infant loss, teaching our children modesty, being content......there are LOTS more, but those are my favorites.  We have recorded two episodes & need to get a few more recorded before the BIG release set for January 19th.  Please check back here or on the Arrows in Our Hand Facebook page for more details.  We are thankful for this opportunity & pray that it will be an encouragement to families as we all strive towards Heaven.  Please pray with us that families will be encouraged & God will receive the glory.  For now, go check out The Light Network & listen to some podcasts so that you will be all ready for when ours releases!

HUGE thanks to our friend & brother in Christ, Shane Read, for this awesome artwork he designed for us.  We kind of love it!