Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Brennan: Four Months

February 2, 2015

  • You are wearing 6-9 month clothes. I remember Emerson being in so many of these outfits, which is such fun! 
  • Disposable diapers at nighttime continues to work well for you, with cloth diapers during the day. Unless I'm running behind on laundry, and then it's disposables during the day, too. These things happen.
  • At your four month (+ 2 days) doctor's appointment, you weighed 15 lbs, 9 oz. and were 2' 2" long. You are a healthy baby, growing right on track. When Dr. J walked into the room, he said "well, I've seen that face before!" Clearly, there is a fair amount of resemblance between you and your big sister! You got four shots again this time, but calmed remarkably quickly as soon as I picked you up afterwards. I love being able to comfort you. No fussiness or fever post-vaccines, either!
  • You continue to sleep through the night well, though you've woken up early a couple of times lately, at 5:00 a.m. or 6:00 a.m. You are usually able to nurse and go back to sleep on those occasions, but it's enough to throw us off. I still nurse you to sleep on the couch at bedtime, though have learned the hard way that, no matter deeply asleep you may appear, you wake up almost immediately when placed in your crib...if done so before 10:00 p.m. For whatever reason, you're not ready to be in your crib until 10:00 p.m. or later, so we stay up until (at least) then.
  • You love being with and around Emerson. You so obviously look for her in the room, and regularly perk up with a smile when she comes close. She makes you giggle more than anything else. I love watching your relationship develop, and I love that you're already friends. 
  • You are recognizing people these days. Daddy usually gets a big smile when you see him in the morning or after work, and you know Grandma and Grandpa, too. 
  • When I look over your crib in the morning, you are so happy to see me. You have fresh eyes and a wide smile that makes my heart burst. You are ready to enjoy the day, and I get to help you experience it. What a gift.
  • You have begun to find toys next to you on the mat, or reach over to grab one on the changing pad. It takes such effort to close your fist around one, and slowly bring it to your mouth. But, you're doing it!
  • Your favorite "toy" at this point, though, is our fingers. You love to gnaw on our knuckles, and will "chew" for as long as we'll allow it. It must provide some relief on potentially tender gums. Emerson got her first tooth just before turning five months, so we're on the lookout for teething symptoms from you, too. Other than the gnawing and slobbering, nothing yet. 
  • Laying down to nap in your crib is becoming a more regular thing. You still nurse to sleep, but are more willing to be placed in your crib afterward, where you'll sleep for anywhere from five minutes to thirty or so...usually dependent on the amount of noise and activity going on in the rest of the house. 
  • You so enjoy time on the changing table, and you really move your arms and legs constantly when you're up there. You "talk" and squirm and it seems like it's your "happy place".
  • You seem to really want to sit up, straining to lean forward when leaning back on a pillow or up against me. You're not quite there yet, but certainly gaining strength and confidence. You know that's the next step!
  • There is a definite ease to your time with Daddy. You enjoy being together and you are comfortable and trusting in his arms. 
  • There is a lot of "cooing" and blowing bubbles going on! You want to communicate and are certainly exploring ways to do that. I love hearing you!
  • You have the cutest bashful smile, especially for Daddy. You see him, smile, and then shyly turn away and nuzzle back toward Mommy. It's precious.
  • You seem quite easygoing, and relatively low-key. You want to be a part of things, and you let us know when you're discontent...usually when you aren't as much a part of things as you'd like to be. But, otherwise, you're happy to watch the action and just be around it all.
  • You giggle when Mommy nibbles and kisses on your neck. It's become "our thing" and your smiles and happy laugh make me feel so loved right back.
  • You have a somewhat high-shrieked voice when you're trying to get our attention...lots of cute little squeals!
  • You're really enjoying bath time lately, turning towards the mirror and smiling at yourself. I'd say being able to sit up a bit better in the tub has impacted that. You are patient as you're washed, quite tolerant of water dribbling in your face, and happy for the change of activity. But, when you're're done. All of a sudden, for whatever reason, you begin to fuss, and the fun is over. 
  • Finding your toes has been a fun source of entertainment recently, and you seem so proud of yourself. You quickly lift them to your mouth on the changing pad when your diaper is removed, and we have lots of "diaper-free" time on the floor so you can continue to explore. 

Brennan, you make all of us smile...and smile...and smile. 
Watching you grow is nothing short of incredible.
I'm grateful for the gift of you, precious. 
I love you with all of my ever-growing heart.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Eleven Days

One week ago today, Bobby and I watched two of our best friends bury their eleven-day old son.

I am taken aback just writing that sentence. This is all so entirely surreal.

Eleven days.

Eleven days to hold him in their arms. Eleven days to memorize every one of his tiny fearfully and wonderfully made. Eleven days to sing lullabies, read Bible stories and whisper his name. Eleven days of fervent prayers, petitioning the Father to heal their son.

For nine months, they prepared and anticipated, full of excitement and joy. The pregnancy was as normal as could be. There was no reason to expect that the birth wouldn't be, too. For nine months, they waited as their baby boy was knit together.

And then, in a matter of a few short moments, their world was shattered as things went very, very wrong.

The story is theirs to tell; the sorrow is ours to share.

Eleven days.

I am heartbroken with and for them. I am angry. This isn't how it's supposed to work. This isn't what should have happened. They are enduring what no one should have to...certainly not them.

It is beyond comprehension, and although it is not for us to understand, the questions persist. The devastation continues.

This traumatic experience causes me to consider how I might handle the situation if it were me facing it. I can say with near certainty that I would not be responding as well as they seem to be. I am in awe of the faithfulness and trust in the Lord that these two are displaying. They are the epitome of grace, embodying what Christians are called to do in the face of trial. I am overwhelmed by the evidence of God's work in and through them throughout this experience.

"The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. 
Blessed be the name of the Lord."
Job 1:21

The journey, though, is just beginning. The reality of the grief is only now setting in.

Bobby and I pray for the Lord's perfect peace and continued presence in their lives, and for His guidance and wisdom as we seek to discern how to be the kind of friends they need in the coming months and years.

I struggle to know how to end this post. For a situation where there are really no words, anyway.... It seems appropriate, though, to conclude with a verse that I know our friends have found comfort in as they navigate their grief.

May we all hold to this truth so confidently, faithfully clinging to His assurances.

"Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 
and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 
and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts 
through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us."
Romans 5:3-5