Friday, May 22, 2009

The Big Move- Let it be known

We are officially gearing up to move to Alexandria, Virginia this summer. Jay got an active duty contract with the Coast Guard and they are moving us sometime in July or even late June. It is very bittersweet for us- leaving friends and family is heart-wrenching, but the adventure of a new city plus the step into active duty CG is very exciting at the same time.

The kids are small enough to not be too affected by a move, and Ruthie is very excited about the snow we will see "up north," as she would say. We are committed to web-cam conferencing, writing letters and staying in touch with those we love "down south," and we would love guests as we will have room, and we are basically going to be in a suburb of DC. Lots to see and do, and educational too! I spent about 8 years living in Virginia and Maryland growing up in a Navy home, and I loved it. I am excited about finding places we used to visit and seeing places I used to love- the Appalachian Trail, Potomac River, various State and National Parks, and even some restaurants I'd like to find. I know God's plan for our family is good, and we will try to embrace it and trust him with all our hearts.

Jay is currently on his way back from driving up to VA to find us a house (a rental, b/c houses up there are out of control expensive), which he did, so we really need to pray that our house here sells quickly! It is nerve-wracking to try to keep our house in order for showing when I have a month old baby, but that's just another reason to depend on the Lord for "help!" It is good that Jay will be home today or tomorrow too. So anyway, I'll keep posting as we begin this adventure.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Birth Story

Here is the official story of Harris's birth. I went in to see my doctor on my due date, and had an ultrasound which showed a very large baby, or so the ultrasound lady estimated. She guessed based on measurements, that he would be about 9 lbs. 14 oz. She also said it is really difficult to get it right at 40 weeks because the baby is so squashed in there. So I sort of got this nervous feeling in my stomach (i.e. I freaked out), but really tried to discount the estimate as an inaccurate way high estimate. But we did decide to go ahead and induce the next morning since he wasn't getting any smaller and I was miserable. As I started laboring, Harris was having multiple decelerations, which means his heart rate would drop with a contraction, and not come back up for several contractions (I think this is right) which means he was not handling labor well. I made it to 4 cm and based on the decels and his estimated weight, my doctor basically said she had a low tolerance for letting me labor, but I could try, or we could go ahead with a c-section now. Jay and I talked it over and prayed and really felt like going ahead with the c-section, based on the doctor's recommendation. I also kept thinking about a friend of mine who had really been seriously, permanently damaged by pushing out a huge baby. I am so thankful for the Lord's direction in this, based on the fact that Harris was so big. I remember hearing my doctor say, "Oh my gosh, Merrill, he's huge!" several times as I lay there and she pulled him out- it was so hard to believe. His head was right under the incision point, which means his head was not even down near the birth canal. This meant I probably would have gone through hell trying to deliver vaginally, and would have most likely ended up with an emergency situation. I breathed so many sighs of relief, and I am thankful for the skill and wisdom of my doctor, and the awesome anesthesia man, who is one of my favorite people ever. Praise God for his sovereign control over all things (I mean God's control not the anesthesia man)!
(This picture was taken the evening we were heading to the hospital to be induced the next morning. It was a wonderful reminder of the Lord's love, provision and care of his children!)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mama said there'd be days like this

So I am two weeks without Jay starting yesterday, and dreading it, which certainly makes it worse. And Harris is awake more and very fussy. I am seeing the mercies of the Lord in spite of the hardness of this week so far. Like dinner brought last night from my sweet sis-in-law Kelli. And a visit from my dad who brought some New Balances for me (my first pair ever). And the ability to sit and laugh with a screaming newborn, a screaming 2 1/2 year old and two kids in the bathtub. I said "who's having fun?" and Ruthie smiled with me. I am thankful for a healthy baby boy, and I am hopeful that he will settle down, it just might be some tough weeks until then. I realize in this that I really like things to be easy and comfortable, who doesn't? But I wonder how much of what I pray for is based on my own comfort and ease and desire to have "my own time, my own way." I think I don't know really how to pray rightly, but I have this feeling of total rescue when I think of how Jesus intercedes for me. He knows what to pray; he can take my feeble efforts and say what I needed to say. He can teach me to pray and make my heart right.

I love you Lord because you have heard my voice and my pleas for mercy
He is my help and my shield

Baby days

Happy Mother's Day!

First trip to church, two weeks old.

Hanging out in the bouncer.

Early days at home

Harris started out very sleepy, and has done well at night especially, which is wonderful. Here are some pictures of his first few days home, with Ruth and Mac, and one of him getting his first sponge bath.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Full signal

This reminded me of those cellphone commercials with all the bars hidden in each scene (except the short bars are out of order)- is it Verizon? Anyhoo, these are our sweet friends Ruby and Becca having some fun with their buddies on the fence.

Welcome baby Harris!

Harris Morgan Hodges was born April 22, 2009 at 10:56 a.m. He was 9 lbs. 7 oz. and 22 inches long! The hand of God was definitely evident in his delivery, and we are so thankful for his safe arrival. He even gave me a kiss when I first met him, to thank me for carrying him for 40 long weeks. What a sweetie! More details to come...