Thursday, November 29, 2012

Welcome to the world baby Joey!

My last post was that I was struggling with a terrible case of whooping cough.
Praise God, that resolved well enough in time to have our baby 10 days later!

Ok, so she's been here for almost a month...and I'm just now composing this post. What of it?
Our little Joey is here!!!!!!
Of course, I mean, Johannah Bethlehem Joyner.
 Our first daughter graced us with her presence at 6:30pm on October 30th, 2012, just hours shy of All Hallow's eve. Thank You.
At 7pounds and 1 ounce, 18 1/4 inches, she's a tiny peanut of a bundle. My smallest and shortest full term baby, by far!
I feel like there is so much to say that I hardly know where to begin.
The birth story?
The many answered prayers?
How her first  weeks have been?
How I feel about having a daughter?
Life with 4 children?

Who knows? Who cares?!

Acck! I'm so completely overwhelmed with gratefulness,even 3 weeks later. I'm just basking in a Thankful place.
Pregnancy. Getting the chance to be a mother again.
 It's such a magnificent,beautiful, overwhelming journey. A journey in which we are more face to face with our weaknesses than almost any other. A journey in which we decide little and respond to much. The question then is how will one respond to a life they cannot control? How will one respond to God's decisive hand in their life? 
How will the 9 months play out? What things will be just like you hope and which things will be nothing like you had dreamed? No one knows. 
When will you go into labor? early? late? On time?
How will your labor and delivery be? Too short? Too long? Too hard?
So many questions with so few answers.

And I'm just grateful.
This journey has been a beautiful one. 
Do you find it true that,at times, we are more comfortable speaking of heart ache that God ordains than we are of victory that God plans?

Or is it just me?
Sometimes I fear speaking loudly about the gentle, easy hand of God in my life. What if this causes a dear sister to compare a difficult experience in her life to the ease of mine and resent God's lot for her in that particular scenario?
You see, when it comes to painful,difficult experiences, I don't worry about that at all.
I mean, who's gonna listen to you talk about your storm and think…
"Why her?!" "Not fair!!!!!" "I want THAT!"
No one I know.
SO there's freedom there.

But here's the thing.
Either way, both experiences are God's kindness to us. Both the pain and the joy. Both the things that turn out better than expected and the things that turn out much worse than expected. They are both from the hand of a loving God. 
If this is true and neither have anything to do with us or what we deserve, then shouldn't we speak as boldly of one as the other? Attributing both to the author of life.
The family on my 30th birthday, 6 days after Joey was born.

Seasons carry so many different songs in our lives.
I have sung many different songs.
3 1/2 years ago, we welcomed our son and I sang a song of desperate plea. That God would save my son's life. My expectations and hopes were not that he'd be a good baby or that he'd sleep through the night. They were simple. That he would live. I watched on with envy when others simply had their babies and brought them home. 
Me and Shepherd, 3 1/2 years ago

On October 30th, I got to sing a song of grateful joy. Joey's birth was nothing short of miraculous, in my mind.
 I have long,difficult labors and I had both prayed and prepared long for this birth. I will share more about my preparations and the details of the birth in a future post, but, in the face of my fear, God was abundantly kind to me. 
We drove to the birth center at 3pm, and I was confident that they would be sending me home. I saw it more as an appointment to assess the situation more than a trip to have a baby. I was far too comfortable to be in labor. This is my 4th child and I have never wondered if I was in active labor. NEVER.
Anyway. This time, God surprised me.
3 1/2 hours later, our Johannah came into the world. I had a water birth. I only pushed 2 or 3 times, I believe. 

It was,of course, hard. But God literally held me up through the whole thing,giving me an immense amount of peace and calm control. Period. Just as I had prayed.
Just a handful of hours later, we were headed home to our other babies and I literally could not believe that I had just had a baby. I was in shock that we were bringing home our daughter, when just hours before I was just so…pregnant.  God showed up in so many ways. I definitely want to write about the journey while I still remember it and will do so in a future post. Not to mention, us women love a good birth story the way men enjoy a play by play of a great sports moment. 
The labor and delivery exceeded my expectations, wildly.
And Joey has done the same.
She's remarkable. She's precious and beautiful and the addition of her to our family seems almost effortless. 
I don't know if it is somewhat circumstantial or perspective but all I know is that I am enjoying just about every single minute this newborn is brining into our lives.
I worried a little that a newborn would be a bit shocking to my system,since Shepherd is almost 4 and that's the longest gap between any of my kids. Also, I am an infamously selfish person with a vicious need for "alone time." Truly,aside from the gift of family, I am one step away from being the crazy,cat lady. I love time by myself …whole days actually would suit me just fine. It's not that I don't enjoy other people but I enjoy myself immensely:) With that said, it's always a bit of a shock to my system to not have my evenings quietly to myself or Noah and I together. To momentarily give up nap time and really any stretch of quiet hours in our home. I get a little snappy during these newborn days.

This hasn't been anything like that. Joey is a great baby and thus far has made life easy on us all. I think some of it may have to do with how much our family had to adjust to all of the changes that came with Shepherd when he came home. Though he got his trach out 6 months ago now and is a totally typical 3 year old, the past three years hasn't been that way. I not only had to bring a diaper bag with our Shep when we went out, but a number of life saving pieces of equipment, an emergency bag in case something were to go wrong while we were out, a plethora of supplies…and most often another person who happened to be wearing scrubs. I had to learn how to manage frequent, serious illnesses with him, scheduling and managing an entire nursing staff along with our life, etc. 
This may have something to do with how easy this all feels. Who knows?
I am just grateful. Period.
I am grateful that she is here. That she came so graciously. And we are all just soaking her up every minute.
A girl.
I Looooooove itttttttt!!!!!!

How do her brothers feel about her?
Let's see, shall we...


The other family members? Good question...

Uncle Bubba and Auntie Mel



Yep, we like her.

 A little...

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