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(Post 3) One of the best years of my life – Part III

Exactly 14 months and 2 days from our 1st wedding anniversary, we welcomed our first child into the world.

While I was certain we’d spend our first years just me and my beau–and who knows maybe I’d convince Rich to take a trip across the world with me to visit China while I still had friends living there–how I longed for him to experience this part of my heart with me…instead–I fill out a letter that I wouldn’t be returning as a teacher the following year, we moved into our first home and I started my new career as a stay-at-home mom. I was also certain we’d adopt first–but I’m quickly learning to be less certain about my heart’s plans and instead to take one day at a time.

My induction in mommyhood was a dream come true–but not an easy one. My little man didn’t come home with us from the hospital and stayed a bit in the NICU as he had a problem with breathing. Going to bed at night without my baby next to me knowing he was across town–it was the first experience I had with TRUE LONGING…but one that would prepare me later for our 4th child being across the WORLD when I also longed to have him in my arms.

Thankfully–Parker’s separation from me was short-lived and he was home just in time for his colic to be in full force. Honestly, I didn’t know any different–and I had heard other moms talk about fussy afternoon babies so I thought his 4-5 hour crying from 3pm-8pm was normal. He wouldn’t stop no matter what you did during that time…feeding, rocking, bouncing, riding in the car, sitting his carseat on the dryer, turning on the hair-dryer or vacuum. Nothing helped. We tried reflux meds. We met with nutritionists. I breastfed then tried formula…and because he seemed to hate both–I stuck with breastfeeding.

“Soooo..THIS…this of all things makes your best years of my life posts???”

I think I’m on to something, aren’t I? Seems the most trying, hard moments lead to the best things.

Our pediatrician always says that Richard and I are the most patient, laid back parents he knows. My other doctor always asks me if I’m breathing when he checks my blood pressure. I have to thank Parker-man for building character into us during those 6 long months of colic. YES…SIX long months of unending tears. Bless him. Bless us. Bless all of the family and friends who’d stop by to take turns holding him so we could do things like just sit on the porch and take a few deep breaths and have a few moments of calm. And in the midst of this…when he was about 5 months old…in the mist of colic, in the midst of breastfeeding, in the midst of figuring parenting out…we discovered Parker would be a big brother!

I can remember the weight of “how can I do this…can I love another baby…will he always have colic…TWO babies in 14 months on different schedules???” Don’t get me wrong–I was SO THANKFUL to be able to get pregnant–but I was one tired mom and wasn’t sure I had the energy to add more craziness to our plate. I was worried how another child would effect Parker…and I was really, really, really, REALLY…sick.

One month later, Parker’s colic went away–just as he hit 6 months. I had 8 more months to follow of sickness…which NEVER went away. I ended up in the hospital a number of times and had to stay on medicine to keep me from hugging the toilet…which led to dehydration and back in the hospital with contractions. I remember the routine of taking Parker to playdates and grabbing barf bags to use on the way. He’d copy me making barf sounds from his infant carrier in the back seat. Nice, huh?

And THEN…all my worries were over when she got here. I was no longer sick. Parker was sleeping through the night. And not only did I see that he wasn’t left out or sad–his heart was more full…as we all of hearts for a princess to love…

As I was reflecting on which years I’d mark as the most AMAZING so far…this year + a few months of our family welcoming our first child and discovering another sweet one was on the way…and then her coming (okay so maybe that is really 2 years…but they totally blur together with how quickly things happened!) I realize I don’t have any big WOWs or lessons for what I really learned…

I was at home…changing diapers…pregnancy sickness every day for 9 months…and we really just stayed at home–doing the day-in-day-out mundane. But there was so much beauty in it. And being the one to be there to change every diaper…wipe away ever tear and to grow in my walk with the Lord as I asked him daily to give me wisdom in how to calm my sweet boy and show me how to love him…these are moments that CHANGED me forever. Times were tighter on a single salary–but I live with no regrets how, and I learned to love with my whole heart all over again…

My heart had ached to return to the mission field…but very quickly I saw the Lord was providing me a new, sweet, holy ministry…to my children. And I knew, this was what I was made for.

Moments to remember…

Parker meeting Laney…

Parker shows off his moves…

This one always makes me laugh…

Makes me realize how LITTLE Parker was when Laney was born…and NO he was NOT in this big boy bed yet–we had TWO cribs just like we do now:)

So…there ya have it…videos of what life was like for us 5 years ago. Man–how it flies by!!! How how thankful I am for the journey…hang in there–post 5 is really around the corner…and it’s so worth the wait!

Kim - April 14, 2011 - 1:09 am

Lovin this look back series. God continues to reveal our common connections! Six months of colic with our 1st born. And I have relatives to confirm it was not the witching hour fussiness at the end of the day so many Mom’s complain about. OOOHHH! I say all the time, he got all that fussiness out in the 1st six months … cause he has been a DREAM toddler, big boy, tween, and teen. Cannot wait for post five!
Love & Blessings from Hong Kong,

Kim - April 14, 2011 - 1:10 am

“Learning to be less concerned about my heart plans” … that is the nugget of truth I needed today! Thank you for this reminder! Love & Blessings from Hong Kong, Kim

Chrystal - April 14, 2011 - 10:10 am

so-so precious! 🙂 Makes you realize just how fast they grow up. I had 3 kiddos really close in age, too.. 11 months a part, so I TOTALLY get this time of your life. 🙂 A lot of that time for me was a blur.. total mommy-mode 24/7.. feedings, diapers, playing, baths, no sleep…. but ah, I would never for a second trade it for anything in the world. We never left our house, either…. and going to the dr. office was a HOOT! It would be baby Addi strapped to my chest in a sling, and me pushing a 1 & 2yr. old in a double stroller… oh, the looks I would get. It doesn’t help that I’m only 4’11.. people stared at me like I was some teenager out of control (hahaha). 🙂 Love reading this series of posts from you… 🙂 makes me smile!

Kelly - April 14, 2011 - 2:28 pm

These rememering posts are great! I SO get you with the two very close apart and reading your experience, I felt like I was re-living my first mommy days… we had a lot of the same experiences! 😉 The time does really blur together, I still can’t believe my “baby” just turned two and her big brother will be three very soon.

Alison - April 14, 2011 - 4:08 pm

Love these posts! And I can totally relate to those early Mommyhood days! We had our 3 kids in less than 3 1/2 years and I was sick with all 3 pregnancies! Sometimes I was just in “survival mode”, but those years were so precious! So thankful for them!! Can’t wait to read post #5!!! 🙂

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