Posts tagged ‘baby’
We got to go recently to the pumpkin patch in Decatur recently with some of our friends. We used it as an opportunity to take some photos of Avery for her 6 month birthday (hard to believe it’s been months). Here are some of my favorite pictures from that day. Enjoy!
Hold back the tears.
That’s what I told myself as I prepared to see my daughter for the first time. But as Dr. Kyle held Avery up for the whole room to see, I was immediately overwhelmed. I watched as they cleaned her up, trying to take in the moment while also getting pictures on my camera. At one point I just stopped, because I realized that no picture would ever need to recreate the feeling that was washing over me, that the love that I instantly had for this little one would only continue to grow.
The next 60 hours in the hospital were a complete blur. We found out that first night that Avery had jaundice, which meant she was required to be under a blue billi light at all times. While we knew that jaundice was very common, that’s not much comfort to two new parents who are unable to hold and soothe their crying newborn baby. To make matters worse, waking Avery to eat every 2 hours became an incredibly difficult chore (one of the affects of jaundice). Our time in the hospital became very much a repeat of trying to wake Avery, desperately trying to get her to nurse, trying to calm her down while putting her back under the billi light, and then talking to her soothingly until she finally quit crying.
On Sunday, we found out that her jaundice levels had gone down enough that she would be allowed to go home! The nurse followed us down to the car with Avery strapped into the carseat, helped get everything loaded into the car, and then waved goodbye. I remember Emily turning to me and saying, “so they’re just going to let us drive off with her?” And it was at this moment that the full weight of my responsibility as a parent hit me. While there might be other people, like the doctors and nurses in the hospital, who will be there to help at different times along the way, no one else would be going home with my daughter; the only person equipped and available to be her father, is me.
Cry. Eat. Sleep. Repeat.
It’s incredible how quickly something so small radically changes your entire schedule, but by the end of the first night, this pattern had already begun to dominate our time (actually, the pattern is more like cry, eat, cry, cry, eat, cry, sleep, cry, eat, cry, repeat). I remember one night/morning around 4 or 5 AM, after being awake since 2 AM with a crying baby, Emily and I looked at each other and we both had the same thought, “What are we doing?” Few things will make you question your qualifications as a parent more than trying for hour after hour to unsuccessfully calm your child down and not having any idea why they are crying in the first place. It was at this moment, as the exhaustion and uncertainty began to set in, that I realized how little I can do, but more importantly, how much God had already done.
Thankfulness for our Church
We’ve had meals brought to our house, visitors come to see us in the hospital (even waiting into the night on Thursday with our family), and we’ve been given more clothes than Avery will probably ever be able to wear. On top of all the gifts, kind words, encouragement, and support, we’ve known daily that our whole family has been covered in prayer. This whole experience has been a vivid illustration of what the body of Christ looks like, and we are thankful beyond words for our faith family here at First Baptist.
Thankfulness for our Family
It’s so easy to take this for granted, but our family has been here for us every step of the way. We had the waiting room full of people until Avery came at 1:19 AM Friday morning and we’ve been blessed by our family visiting, calling, texting, sending flowers and even requesting daily pictures of our sweet Avery. I can’t imagine what this would be like without the support of our family! You are yet another reminder of God’s provision in our lives!
Thankfulness for my Wife
I’m stunned as I sit back and take in the fact that Emily is not just my complement, but she is also uniquely designed to be Avery’s mother. I remember walking into the nursery and seeing Emily asleep in the chair with Avery sleeping in her arms. This image is forever burned into my mind as a portrait of my beautiful, loving and compassionate wife nurturing our sweet little girl. It is truly amazing the way that God has programmed my wife with the motherly instincts that I lack, and I want to thank Him every day for my helper.
All of this from God
How can I possibly bask in the gifts that have been poured out over me instead of turning to the Gift Giver and thanking Him with every inch of my being? I’m not nearly proud or foolish enough to think that any of this is because of who I am, but I am wholly sure that it’s only because of who He is. And this is the best part of the story, because as I’ve come to understand that I will fail Avery as a father, I am encouraged to know there are broader shoulders that will carry her. And that is why, as my beautiful wife so perfectly put it yesterday, “We just need to pray for her, every day.” And we will.
Avery was born yesterday morning at 1:19 am, weighing 9lbs 7oz and measuring 19 1/2 inches. She’s been doing very well, eating often and sleeping the rest of the time. We found out last night that Avery has Jaundice (which is very common, something like 60% of babies have it). But while Jaundice is not immediately dangerous, it can cause neurological and even brain damage if it goes untreated at an early stage. To treat it, they have her under these blue billi lights, which acts as a phototherapy and breaks down the billirubin that comes to the surface of the skin and causes the yellowish color. Avery will be under these lights for at least another day. Jaundice is certainly treatable, but Avery is at a higher risk level because hers developed from Emily’s blood mixing with hers. Our doctor is confident that the treatment will take care of it, but we would still appreciate your prayers for her. Also, more selfishly, it is difficult to not be able to comfort or hold your child when she is screaming. The feeling of helplessness is honestly a great reminder to us that we are not in control, but it is heartbreaking for us to have to sit by and watch her scream.
Thank you so much for your prayers for us and Avery, and please never forget that even now her greatest need is and always will be reconciliation with God.