Friday, June 05, 2015


Although there are lots of superficial reasons I chose my children's names - that I liked how they sounded, that they weren't too popular, I also chose their names based on what they meant. Judah means "praise". Naomi means "pleasant". And Ezra means "God is our help."

I have never been nearly as diligent as I should be about prayer. It is something that I continue to work on and strive toward - to become a person of prayer. These last few weeks in the hospital have definitely been marked by more prayer than normal from me.

After a tough day earlier this week, a day when Ezra's sugars dropped low again and I realized we would be in the hospital for several more weeks, I looked at my baby's beautiful face as he grinned up at me and said his name, tears in my eyes from the exhaustion of it all. Ezra. It hit me again, what his name means. God is our help.

And I can say each of my children's name like a prayer.

Judah. I will praise him. Naomi. He has brought us to pleasant places. Ezra. God is our help.

During this difficult time, I have realized that encouragement comes from many places. From texts and posts and facebook messages and verses that come to mind. From the hymns we sing in church and hugs and meals delivered by friends. But I also think God knew that I would need encouragement that would come as easily as looking into my children's faces, and for prayers to go up as often as I say their names.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Two weeks

  Two weeks ago, my sweet baby had a seizure while I was carrying him in the Ergo at the grocery store. I actually called 911, but by the time I had given my location, the seizure stopped. I quickly drove him to the ER myself.

He seemed more or less fine as soon as we got there, maybe a little more sleepy than normal. His blood sugar on arrival was 19. 19! I've never seen one so low. Of all the reasons why a kid could have a seizure, low blood sugar was not really on my radar. And yet, two weeks later we are still here, Ezra hooked up to a steady, stuttering drip of glucose into his vein. Apparently, he has a condition called Congenital Hyperinsulinemia.

There is so much to be thankful for. As I watched his face turn pale and quiver, I was terrified he had a brain tumor. Or severe infection. And he doesn't have any of those things. He has remained his normal, smiley, adorable self during this whole ordeal. (With the short exception of the times they have been trying to draw blood or start an IV)

After being in the hospital where I work for several days, we were transferred to a bigger facility just down the road that has better access to the endocrinologists who treat him condition. Ezra had his first (and hopefully last) ambulance ride.
We started on an oral medicine to try to raise his sugar. After almost 9 days on that medicine and an increased dose, today we started a second medicine, one that we will eventually inject ourselves. His most recent sugar was 269, so I'm hopeful this will be the answer. We have been incredibly well cared for during this time. My mom flew out after it because clear that we wouldn't leave the hospital after 2 days. Jeff's parents got here Friday.
Our church family has been bringing by so much food that we can't even eat it all. And so many friends and acquaintances have told us they are praying. We are still trying to piece together part of the diagnosis. A genetic test is pending. We likely will have a pet scan of his pancreas later this week.

I am hopeful we will get home later this week, but also praying for patience in case we don't.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015


I'm a little late with this post, but we just had Judah's birthday party today so I thought I would take this chance to write a little bit about my big boy. He's five. FIVE! I can hardly believe it. Both Jeff and I have commented that he has seemed so much more grown up to us the last few months. He now feeds the dog without being asked many nights. It's a treat to see him becoming more responsible. He STILL loves to ask questions; maybe not quite as relentlessly as before, but he loves to know and understand what is going on.
He is turning into quite the little hiker. At least if we have enough snacks.  He loves riding his bike, playing with his legos, playing outside with his buddy Christian, and watching Odd Squad on PBS.
And he loves his baby brother. I think he might also be Ezra's favorite - just today I heard Judah singing to Ezra up in the nursery after he woke up from his nap. No crying from the baby, just cooing and (I imagine) smiling at his big brother.
Judah continues to challenge me and stretch me as I learn more about being a mommy. I often feel inadequate for the task. He still holds my hand and wants me to kiss him goodbye when I drop him off at school, which is wonderful since he mostly is too busy these days for snuggling.

I love my boy, and continue to praise God for sending us such a wonderful gift.

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Hiking and feeling at home.

For Jeff's birthday this year I got him a book of Southern California hikes. Personally, I think this is one of the best gifts I've given him in a while because ever since he got it, we have been going on hikes all over the greater LA area. Of course, with the toddler and the 4.5 year old, there is often crying, whining, and lots of potty break, but I think more than anything, hiking in this area has really given me a love for California. I have always said that I enjoyed being outdoors, but to be honest, Greenwood, SC (while very beautiful and full of lots of great attributes) was not really a great spot for scenic hiking.

This family hiking has been a great way to spend time together for very little money. While I was on maternity leave we could even do 2 hikes a week since Jeff could take Tuesday off. It was fantastic. Now we are back to just being able to go on Saturdays, but we have thoroughly enjoyed seeing some of the more scenic parts of the city.

Paradise Falls:
 Devil's punchbowl:

 Rice Canyon:

Friday, January 30, 2015

A birth story.

I'm really not sure I can keep up this blogging thing with 3 kids. Actually, as evidenced by the fact that an entire month has gone by with nothing, I'd say it's safe to say that I can't. But seeing as how both kids birth stories were recorded here, I figured I'd go ahead and post Ezra's.

As November was coming to a close, I was totally over being pregnant. I mean, actually begging God in prayer to please bring this baby already. Seriously. There may have been a few tears. Or more than a few. The weekend after Thanksgiving, I decided to go ahead and put up our Christmas tree, mostly in hopes that the baby would come and it would be done. We actually got up our tree in November, people. November. That has never happened.

That Saturday evening I started having quite a few contractions. I was really hoping they meant that it was baby time, even though Jeff had a full day of obligations the next day. He was teaching a new members class in the morning, then our regular worship in the afternoon. I didn't even care - I just wanted the baby to come. Of course, the contractions just petered out and nothing happened.

Sunday evening I had a few more contractions but I went to bed bummed that again, nothing was happening. Around 3 or 4, the contractions woke me up. Right away, they were painful. More painful than I remembered. I started thinking about how much I was looking forward to an epidural, but they were not very frequent - every 7 minutes or something. I always tell my patients to come in when they've been having contractions every 4 minutes for an hour, so it didn't seem like this would get anywhere. Around 5:30, I woke Jeff up because I figured we needed to get the kids dropped off soon if we were going to the hospital. The contractions were still very painful, though not any more frequent, but I was worried we might run out of time if we waited until they were more frequent. I called my friend who was going to watch the kids soon after (bless her for taking my pre-6am phone call) and we got the kids in the car a little after 6.

Although I know that the 7am shift change is just about the worst time to get to L&D, it couldn't really be helped. I actually got lost on my way to L&D since I had never been in this hospital before. I had tried to pre-register, but apparently my email never got to the right person, so I stood there at the desk, hurting while they took my info. Then I was put into the triage room and the nurse told me I was 4cm. Hallelujah! That meant I could stay and the baby was coming.

As soon as I got to the room, I told my nurse I was ready for the epidural. After my labs came back (about 30 minutes or something) the anesthesiologist came and put it in. I was really hurting with every contraction while I was waiting and I wished I had taken some kind of bradley class or other childbirth class to help. Looking back, I realize I was actually in transition and even though I got the epidural as soon as I could, I still would have really benefited from some better way of dealing with the pain.

Just like with Judah, the epidural never really worked well, and almost not at all on my left side. Just after they put it in, the baby's heartbeat dropped for several minutes, which was a little scary, but with some oxygen it recovered.

Just after this, the nurse checked me and told me I was at a 9. I was shocked that it had gone so quickly. She called the doc again to make sure she was coming. Jeff had stepped out during the epidural placement, so the nurse went and looked for him. By the time he got back, I was feeling lots of pressure, like I needed to push. The nurse tried to get me to wait since the doctor was just a few minutes out. I was very thankful that the OB I had been seeing was on call and came for the delivery.  As soon as she got there, it was time to push. The baby's heartrate dropped again so they encouraged me to push quickly. Just a few pushes and there he was!

Like my other babies, there was meconium, and with the low heart rate, the doctor and nurses were not really focused on the baby's gender. I pushed him out, and then had to ask if it was a boy or girl because I couldn't see that part of him. Jeff's voice cracked as he told me it was a boy. Hooray! Thankfully, he came out crying so I got to hold him for a bit before they cleaned him off.

(Not a pic from the delivery day, obviously.) 

Because of how fast everything went, I didn't call my mom or anyone to tell them I was heading to the hospital. I had planned on doing it after the epidural when everything calmed down. But since that never happened, my first call after he was born was to my mom, to tell her she had another grandson.

We named him Ezra, which means "God is our Help, " something that has certainly been true during this cross-country transition. It's also been a good reminder to me as I have been realizing that having 3 kids is no walk in the park. I mean, I love them all, but some days are really hard. His middle name, Major, is after my granddad - a Godly man who loved his wife and family and could fix or build almost anything. Ezra also shares a middle name with my younger brother Abram, another great guy we can't wait for Ezra to get to know more.

I still sometimes can't believe how gracious God was in giving me another easy delivery after having such a hard time with the first one. I was thankful to find a doctor who was supportive of my decision to VBAC and that God kept both Ezra and me safe.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

December 26

The rest of the family (except my brother Austin and his family) arrived on the 26th. I loved having our house full of family.

December 25

It's a few days late, but I've been enjoying spending time with my family, most of whom has been here. As you can tell, we had a wonderful Christmas.

Thursday, December 25, 2014