Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Name

Jeremy and I didn't break from tradition this time around. We waited until late in the pregnancy to choose a name and we didn't tell anyone the name we chose prior to his birth. This time, however, we had a daughter who gave us her opinions and pestered us to tell her the name. We kept our word and told our children first--the night before the baby was born.

As we've done every other time, Jeremy and I went on a date and decided on a name over dinner. This time it was a crab house in Ocean City, thanks to a golf tournament gift certificate. We really went in with no ideas. I had told Jeremy after we found out that we were expecting a boy that I really wanted to use my Dad's middle name, True. So we were looking for a name that would work with True.

We always look at name meanings and of course we kicked around the obvious J names. I threw out Isaiah (after we discussed whether we could use the name since I have a first cousin named Isaiah) we looked up the meaning in whatever website we were using via the Ipad. Isaiah means "God is generous." I got goosebumps and I couldn't help smiling. It was a done deal in my mind. Jeremy had to get used to it for a while, but we never discussed it further. Isaiah True. It was decided.
God is generous. Yes, we truly feel that Isaiah is a generous gift from God. With this pregnancy I've become keenly aware that children are not an entitlement. Isaiah's conception, his birth, his health, my health in carrying him are simply generous acts of God. Generosity is also a character trait that we value and want to instill in our children. Life isn't just about them. There are lots of other people and causes in the world that need our attention, time, money and talents. Jeremy is naturally generous and I hope that we've passed on that character trait to Isaiah with his name.

Jeremy brought my parents into the recovery room and had yet to tell them the baby's name. He wanted to let me tell my Dad that we named our baby after him. So I was pretty well drugged but I got his name out. I think my Dad was surprised and happy. True. It's a family name--my Dad's middle name, my Great Grandfather's first name. If there's one thing my Dad is, he is True. He speaks truth. He stands by and defends the Truth of Scripture. True speaks of integrity, of being strong. Speaking truth, defending the Truth, living with integrity those are things I pray are trademarks of Isaiah's life.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Birth Story

I know. I think of such creative blog titles. Nothing gross, I promise.

I'll back track to Thursday, October 2. That's when the birth story started rolling. Jeremy and I made an early morning trip to Annapolis to the baby specialists there for a fetal lung maturity test (read: amnio). This was the plan 4 years ago when we talked to my Dr about the possibility of another pregnancy. And it was written in my records from the very beginning of this pregnancy. Throughout this pregnancy it was interesting how each Dr I saw had their own take and opinion on my history. One was pretty laid back and a couple were pretty hyper about it. Bottom line was that I was not to have any contractions.

Friday, October 3. I was 37 weeks 5 days. Jeremy took this picture of me that morning and I posted it on facebook with the request for prayer for wisdom for Doctors and safety for me and the baby. At this point, I was anticipating an appointment that afternoon where the date of delivery would be decided. There had been lots of drama over the date. I had originally been told I would deliver at 37 and a half weeks. Now I was almost 38 weeks--it was Friday and I had already been told that Monday was already booked full for surgery. I had to sign a consent for a 39 week csection because of legality and I was just growing increasingly concerned that I would start labor.

I went to my appointment and it was the Dr that I perceived as the most laid back that was in the office that day. The fetal lung maturity test was positive. Baby could be delivered safely. The question then was how cautious to be with me. The Dr. would have been fine scheduling me for Tuesday, October 7. But I told him that I was growing increasingly concerned for myself and what other Doctors had said and what scheduling had told me. He told me to wait while he called scheduling. After a minute he came back in and asked, "Do you happen to be free tomorrow?" Another phone call and I was being scheduled for a c-section delivery the next day Saturday, October 4.

Jeremy and I were in Labor and Delivery at 6am. I was awake most of night. There is little worse for me than anticipating surgery--even when I know exactly what will happen. I found myself praying that the staff would be kind and not too tired and grumpy. I had very kind staff. I was certainly nervous and the room started out so hot I thought I would suffocate when it took 3 tries to start my IV. Otherwise, I thought I handled my nerves very well. I don't think the Dr who scheduled me for Saturday expected to do my c-section at the very end of his overnight shift, but that's what happened. And with that I headed off for c-section number 4.
Let's just say it's a little odd to walk in to an operating room. This time I actually looked around. It's an interesting place. Sterile. Almost industrial feeling. Everything moves with efficiency. Except my spinal. That took 3 tries and was stressful for me. Just when I thought I survived the worst my blood pressure dropped (that's what they told me) and I felt BAD. I was pretty sure I was going to pass out, but anesthesia didn't want me to pass out and they won. I didn't pass out. I have no clue what all they had to pump into me to get me feeling like I could breathe again. That was the worst. Maybe 15 or so minutes later our baby boy was born! He cried right away. I listened to him cry. Jeremy went over to see him and came back to me. I asked Jeremy, "He is a boy?" Jeremy showed me a picture of him...Isaiah.

Isaiah's breathing was really loud. It almost sounded like "happy baby noises", but I knew it wasn't right. The nurse brought him over to me for a minute and then she took Jeremy and Isaiah to the recovery room so that Jeremy could do skin to skin with Isaiah to hopefully help him transition to normal breathing. Recovery time is 2 hours nowadays and Isaiah was skin to skin with me for a lot of that time. It took just about the whole 2 hours for his breathing to settle in to place. His oxygen level was always good so there was no real concern that he would need more than just time.

So in 8 years I've had 4 c-sections and the spinal needles have changed causing fewer spinal headaches which has been the case for me. They also use different meds in the spinal--ones that last for 24 hours so that there is not need to other heavy pain meds in the first 24 hours. The trade off is that the spinal meds made me sweat and itch and I couldn't sleep. It's interesting how things change.

I somewhat jokingly say it was because I had a male surgeon so he was just that much stronger, but it was a rough surgery and I was (still am a bit) SORE!

Somewhere in that first day or two I realized I had this sweet baby to snuggle with and it's all worth it.
I missed being in the new Mother/Baby Unit by only a couple weeks. So if anyone delivers at PRMC enjoy it for me. It's supposed to be very nicely decorated with state of the art technology and equipment. There is a pull out couch for the support person to sleep on and baby stays in the room the WHOLE time.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Sibling Bonds

These first days and weeks of a new baby's life go by in a blur, so I'm going to sacrifice some sleep to write the stories that are so dear to my heart.

God did something altogether amazing when he created the institution of family. What a gift it has been to watch Aliza, Josiah and Anna accept, love and bond with Isaiah. Our children were the first to visit Isaiah at the hospital. They weren't sure about the hospital setting or seeing me in the bed, but they were excited to meet their new brother.
Aliza held him right away and did not want to give him up or leave him! She started singing to Isaiah right away--an old lullaby with her own words. Rock a bye Isaiah on the tree tops. When the wind blows the angels are here. Rock a bye Isaiah on the tree tops. Don't be scared, because Jesus is here.
Tonight Isaiah was wide awake and it was the first time Aliza held him when his eyes were open. She was completely enthralled. "Oh, Mommy, I don't want to put him down. I feel like crying. He's only going to be this little for a few days."
Aliza's definitely my oldest. She has lots of questions to ask and a great big Mommy heart that she doesn't always now what to do with.
Josiah just looked at Isaiah in the hospital. Josiah was more excited to hold the fishing pole that my Dad gave Isaiah. The morning after we come home from the hospital, Josiah presented Isaiah with a gift. His initial in Lego. Isaiah's first Legos from this big brother. This gift moves from bassinet to bed with Isaiah.
Josiah also has a lot of questions. How do you pick him up? You put one hand under his head? And Josiah watches and watches. And then a day or so later when Jeremy and I were both around but not looking at him, he picked Isaiah up out of the bassinet. I'm certain that was Josiah's plan the whole time.
Now he's happy to sit and hold Isaiah. Josiah gives Isaiah kisses and head rubs and plenty of attention. One afternoon we were all together on the couch and Josiah said, "You know, Isaiah doesn't get ALL the attention." (We had talked about babies needing lots of care.) And I knew that we were going to be ok. Everyone was feeling loved, cared for and accepted.
And Anna. She likes to hold Isaiah. She talks to Baby Isaiah and gets excited when his eyes are open. Anna likes to hold the bottle for him. Her attention span is short and, thankfully, she still finds her way to my lap. She's been scoring extra Grandma attention.
So, here they are, four little people who have only known each other a few days and are already bonded for life.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Joy Dare::September


1708. Caught a ball at the Shorebirds game
1709. A sweet staff lady at the game kept bringing me cups of ice water
1710. Nice evening at Mom and Dad's with family
1711. Pizza and coloring with Phil and Linda
1712. Stayed home and it was probably a good idea
1713. Started a scrapbook page
1714. Clean bathrooms and new shower curtain
1715. School finished early
1716. Surfing in the sandbox?!
1717. Pizza on the deck
1718. Doing less, sitting more. This also means there is usually a child or two beside me
1719. Very spontaneous trip for ice cream
1720. Doughnut date with Meghan and Ezra
1721. Grass cut and yard trimmed. Thankful for Dad's mower this weekend
1722. Children sleeping through the thunderstorm
1723. Clean deck area
1724. Jeremy doing so much to help me
1725. The family sitting around the table talking
1726. After party floor cleanup help
1727. The girls played in the rain and Josiah sat by me on the couch and talked and talked
1728. Scrapbooking evening
1729. First day of Bible study and dance
1730. Planning
1731. Our schedule at this point in life
1732. Bedtime tickles
1733. Successful Trades of Hope parties
1734. A very rare spaghetti dinner
1735. A day with Aliza
1736. Gramma's feeling so much better
1737. Finally talking to a dear friend by phone
1738. A nurse who worked with my Mother-in-Law and who firmly believes that I have THE best mother-in-law in the world
1739. Really long Sunday afternoon nap
1740. Talk from Mom: It's time to ask for help.
1741. The Sheats boys' birthday party
1742. Made my husband a successful low carb supper--and then gave him apple pie for dessert.
1743. Balancing tough, consistent and relationship in lots of areas of life
1744. A goal achieved
1745. Perfect day for playing outside
1746. Aliza was a cheerful helper all day
1747. Not so sore today
1748. Having to finish school at night because it was so nice outside
1749. Reading at bedtime even though it was way too late
1750. Homeschooling Moms at dance class
1751. Sitting outside--watching the children play--just being together
1752. Walmart Savings Catcher app
1753. Coupon code for shopping spree
1754. Crying with Josiah over school
1755. Sitting on the couch all evening
1756. Lovely baby lunch with some of my favorite ladies
1757. Aliza fully embracing her role as Maria's helper
1758. Nothing better than watching my children sleep
1759. In utero hiccups
1760. New friends
1761. With proper entertainment, Jeremy doesn't mind doing dishes
1762. The right dance leotard for the right price
1763. Old mattresses make the best indoor trampolines and tumbling mats
1764. Supper at Mom's
1765. Lowest gas price I've seen in years
1766. Had a smooth 2 days, but it's good to have Jeremy home
1767. Another beautiful evening to play outside until dark
1768. Anna overusing the word "famished"
1769. Making a conscious decision to think about other women in the world--not just myself
1770. A box in the mail
1771. Aliza excited about a science project
1772. Thanks for a patient Grandma, we are now waiting for birds
1773. School completed in the exceptionally efficient and smooth fashion
1774. Josiah comforting Aliza when she got hurt. "Aliza, I prayed for you."
1775. Sometimes being a good Mom means getting no housework done and just sitting on the couch and being present
1776. Family grocery shopping trip
1777. Going to church so ingrained in me--otherwise I would have just stayed home
1778. Ant traps
1779. The last beach day of summer
1780. Energizing conversation
1781. Able to do some cleaning without getting too sore
1782. Making friends and playing at the park
1783. A quick visit over frozen yogurt
1784. Jeremy could get Josiah's ear infection treated in the ER fast track. (Read: we will get sleep tonight.)
1785. Drawing lessons with Daddy
1786. Josiah sleeping all night and feeling good today
1787. Rummikub with Grandad

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Official Summer Good-Bye

It's kinda hard to say good-bye to what has been a spectacular summer. It was hot, but not too hot and a lot of days had the perfect cooling breeze. We took one last trip to the Cove this morning. The water was cold, but that didn't keep the children out of it completely.




We were almost ready to leave when a church group arrived. At first we thought it was a wedding since that has happened while we were at the Cove before. Instead of was a baptism. We enjoyed being able to observe. It was an African American church and they baptized three people. The tide was low so those individuals had to walk out a long way in the water! They sang spirituals and prayed. It was a cultural experience for the children.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Shooting

Josiah and Anna were scavenging in the shed recently and found Jeremy's BB gun. Since then Josiah has wanted so badly to shoot it. Tonight was the night and he was thrilled. Jeremy was with them (the girls shot too) the whole time and I'm pretty sure I should have just stayed in the house.

But I went out and grew quite concerned over the way the BB gun was being seen as a toy. And since Jeremy had already taught them to keep the safety on until they were ready to shoot, Josiah thought he could do anything with it as long as the safety was on. So I initiated a conversation about how ALL guns, no matter how big or small, are made to hurt or kill an animal--or person. I'm that Mom with a warrior boy who is curious about guns and hunting. I try to tell myself that boys and weapons is as natural and to be expected as girls and glitter, tiaras and high heeled princess shoes.


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Baby Lunch

My dear and long-time friend, Maria, planned my baby lunch this time. Bless her heart. She started our time together by noting that this is the 9th Sheats baby and my 4th baby so she had to do some thinking to come up with an idea that hadn't already been used! It was a music celebration theme. Babies are always reason to celebrate and babies make our hearts sing. (The Grandmothers heartily agreed!)


Zephaniah 3:17 says "The Lord your God is with you. He is might to save. He will take great delight in you. He will quiet you with His love. He will rejoice over you with singing." Maria encouraged me to take this verse with me during my surgery and recovery. It's interesting at what points this verse has come up in my life--it was painted on the wall above my bunk in the YES training house in Baltimore, it was sung in our wedding, I've had it memorized for years and now upon the arrival of our 4th child.


Maria made Aliza her helper. This was such a special gift to Aliza. Maria picked her up early so that Aliza could help her set up the cupcakes and favors. Aliza sat beside Aunt Meghan and ordered off the adult menu. She acted very ladylike during lunch. (Except that this is maybe the one picture where she isn't sticking out her tongue. What can I expect? I did the same thing to my Gramma.) I was so proud of her. She has become quite a helper in the last week or so.