Sunday, January 30, 2011

2 Girls, 2 Tales, 1 Post

There must be words I can write tonight.
The days seem like they are flying by in fast forward.  I barely have enough presence of mind to know that somehow we woke up, made it through the steps of our day, only to realize that it's past 8 o'clock and I should be tucking my Little into bed.
Let me start by telling you about Miss Bell, as I heard her Daddy refer to her today.  Is saying that "I love her" enough?
I don't think that is enough...
I really, really love her.  Literally, I barely put her down.  Maggie is a sweet girl, she does much better in your arms than she does on her own, and I  like that about her.
While I know after each 1:00 am feeding I should re-swaddle her and gently lay her in the cradle next to my bed, something about the way her little body fits into the bend in my arm makes me keep her near me.  Before I know it, the clock has crept passed 3, and there she lays, curled up next to me.  There is this part of my brain that tells me that I will sleep so much better if I lay her down, but there is this other part that always says, "just hold her a little longer," and something in the core of who I am listens to that voice instead.
Before I know it, my love is heading out the door for work and he whispers  that he's going to change her for me, then lay her down in her own bed....
I mutter something in half asleep voice like,"oh thanks babe... I was just about to...have a good you so much," and then I sleep for an hour or two until I hear her call me in the way that only a newborn can do.  It's not a cry, it is her deep breath, her little mouse noises, and her stirring that tells me that 2-3 hours have passed and she needs me again.  The part that I love is  that God designed my body to realize that my arms have been empty for that time and I need her too.
It is enchanting to have a new baby in the house again.  I was nervous about the lack of sleep, the changes, and all the unknown that having a newborn brings, but with Mags there was nothing to be nervous about.  She fits in with us like she was always here, and I think that's the way it is supposed to be.
And about my Little.  I love her too.  
Still not enough.
I really, really love her.
I am still amazed that through this topsy turvy time of life that she is just completely in love with this little person that has infiltrated the Jones house.  She'll stop everything, even a temper tantrum, to get Maggie a fresh diaper, or to quite energetically shove the binky in her mouth if she's crying.
She and I have had little to no time together, so Friday I did what I said I wanted to do a couple of posts ago.  We went to Starbucks, just the two of us.  It was cold and snowy, so she had a hot chocolate and I had a peppermint mocha, easy on the peppermint.  We toasted our paper cups together across the table and said "here's to a Mama and Libby date," and it was just what I needed and maybe it's just what she needed too.  
I was afraid of that too, you know, I wrote about it last month, that she and I would lose something, but it's still there.  I think it will always be there.  She is  my precious girl.  God bless her, she is a living, breathing, replica of me in mannerisms and personality (for this I will apologize to her for repeatedly when she is older) and there is a bond between us that can not be lost.  I know that there will be times, like when my arms feel too short, that it feels all but lost, but peppermint mochas, hot chocolate, and all those things we love doing together  will always bring us back...I'm sure of it. 
 So here's to my two girls, I love them both...
I really, really love them.

Grace and Peace

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

We Got Mail

Is it just me, or is everyone having babies? 
My cousin's wife and I were pregnant together and originally were due to have our babies within a day of each other.  God had different plans for us though, sending Baby Jackson several weeks early, and Little Maggie a week late.  Baby Jackson was born with a "magic chromosome" (as I've heard it referred to here ) and his sweet Mom, Becky, has bravely typed out their story on a new family blog here.

Baby Jackson's Grandma, my Aunt Di, sent us a package yesterday and guess what came in it...

These sweet little Nella Cordelia Mary Jane's  that were made to support the Oneder Fund .  Click on that link and read all about it, it is one of my favorite stories.  Aunt Di said that Maggie could wear them in honor of Nella (I've been reading about Nella for a year now) and Baby Jackson, and we are doing so with pride.  We love the new little shoes and are so honored to wear them for sweet Jackson...I can't wait for our two little ones to meet.
Our family is big huge, and over the years it has always been fun to watch the different generations grow up together.  I love the fact that in a couple years when my uncles, aunts, and cousins are sitting around trying to remember how old Maggie is, or when her birthday falls, they'll say something like, "she's the same age as Jackson, born right after him I think."
Aunt Di also sent the Little a princess hat which she thought looked good on Gussy Boy.  Gussy Boy had other feelings I think...

All is well in the Jones household.  English Grandma is busying herself with the Little, keeping her busy with movies, and treats, and romps outside despite the 20 degree temps we've been having.   It has been a blessing to have extra help and I'm happy to report that everyone's mood has  improved since my last post.

I'm also happy to report, as if there was any doubt, that my Littlest seems to be getting cuter every day!
I'm a little concerned about that wrinkle above her right eye, I'm thinking about introducing her to a anti- aging wrinkle cream early...

I also need to share this picture b/c babies are really cute when they sleep.  I particularly like pictures of my babies sleeping b/c they do really special things with their lips that make me want to kiss them and wake them up. Mmmmwah! Right on the kisser!
And then there is this last picture that is over a week old now, but I needed  to share it because I want to squeeze both of them till they pop when I see it.  Their faces make me melt like a stick of Paula Dean's butter in a church social casserole!  The truth is we were trying to take family pictures on our own and they were both totally over it...however, they might look indifferent, but they are not crying, so it could be worse than indifferent.  Indifferent or not I'm still melting!

Here's to sweet babies...Mine, yours, and the ones we don't know.  They are all precious gifts!
Grace and Peace

Saturday, January 22, 2011


Have you ever written a post that you wanted to hang on to?  So you decide to not update because you love that last thing you wrote about so much.   That's what I've been doing...Thank you so much for all of your sweet comments on Maggie's birth story.  It was such a beautiful experience that  I just want to hold onto those exact feelings I had the night that she joined us... But life continues to move forward and  Mags is 2 weeks old now, so I suppose the blog should move on as well.  We love her so much.  She is such a precious girl, just like Libby.

Speaking of my sweet Little...what a time she has had!  We had two days this week with just the three of us.  Babs and G-dad went home and Dadue went back to work, leaving me, alone, with both of them until Grandma arrived Tuesday evening.  At one point on Tuesday all three of us were crying on the couch.  Libby was crying b/c she could not have her way, Maggie was crying b/c she didn't have my full attention, and I was crying b/c I couldn't figure out how to be everything that they both needed me to be.  I was sure that my arms were far to short to hold them both.  That was the low point,  that was the point when I couldn't find something to laugh about...
A few tears and minutes later I was trying to make a grilled cheese sandwich for Libs,  and hold Mags all at once.  Well, I guess I jostled my Littlest a bit too much b/c she spit up all over my hair, my arm, and the floor after a few flips of the grilled cheese.  I think that God sent the spit ups, He knew that breast milk crusted in my hair would make me laugh.
What else is left to do when you have to throw your shirt in the laundry and find 2 seconds to run up stairs to find a clean shirt so that you're not running around the house in your ever so sexy nursing bra?
If I'm honest with you, I would tell you that I'm having a hard time finding the right balance of mothering them both, the best I can.  There is this part of me that wants to sit on the couch and stare into Maggie's deep blue eyes all day long while she tucks her little body into a ball on my chest and ignore the rest of the life that is whirling around me.  
Then there is this other part  of me that wants to scoop Libby up and go to the park, or the movies, or go on a Starbucks date together so that I could get a Mocha and she could get a "cow milk," just the two of us and nobody else. 
But, I can't sit on this couch forever,  and Libby loves her baby sister too much and would be sad if we tried to go somewhere with out her I think.
Deep breaths,
deep praying,
I can almost feel my arms stretching.

  I'm going to continuing searching and praying for just the right balance in mothering.  Let's be real though, we're girls, I'm sure there will be other days, lots of days, when we're all crying on the couch and I think that's okay.
'Till then, I'm gonna love them to death, the best that I can, and pray to my Lord that he will continue to stretch my arms long enough to wrap around them both twice...or more!

Grace and Peace Friends


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Maggie's Birth Story

I have to get this story down before I forget the details.

I don't even know where to start...
Having a baby is similar to your wedding day, the details slip from your mind before you even have a chance to think about what just happen to you. I didn't write Libby's birth story until months after it happened and I'm sure there were details that I forgot. So I'm writing this before I loose the feeling of complete awe that I experienced in birthing Maggie.

So, I was induced.  This was a hard decision. I had this vision of going into labor naturally like I did with Libs, but b/c of circumstances beyond my control (you know, that funny post I promised to write one day) induction seemed to be my best option.

My midwife started the induction by ripening my cervix, then giving me Pitocin, then breaking my water.
Finally, after 24 hrs of waiting it seemed like my labor had become active. The majority of  laboring was spent standing by the bed.  Our doula, Rachel and midwife, Leslie rubbed my back and legs and Kev stood in front of me and held my hands, and talked me through each pain.

When I became pregnant with Libby I weighed my birth options and we decided together that natural birth was the best options for us.  Now, I did my best with Libby, but in the end I had an epidural.
This time around, I felt a bit defeated to start with, since I was already having medical intervention.  However, as each contraction came, Kev would tell me to drop my shoulders and relax my jaw, and I would repeat the verse "Rejoice in the Lord always...," then I would remind myself that I was working towards a goal, and I would sing with the music playing in the background.  Despite the intensity of thr pain that was quickening, and lengthening, I was making it through.  Looking back now, I could feel the presence of the Holy Spirit so strongly, more than I ever have in my life, comforting me and guiding me through the people in the room I had for support.

At one point, in between contractions, a song that we had at our wedding was playing in the background, and I looked down and realized that Kev was holding my hands and rubbing them the same exact way he did the day we joined ourselves...I cried, that day and this night too.

He is so strong, and not just because of his biceps..:) He held me, like all of me, through every pain that was bringing us closer to our baby. It was one of those moments that I don't want to forget. I was overwhelmed with love for him even in the midst of pain that was literally sucking every ounce of energy from my body.

Four hours after active labor started,  the urge push was there, but b/c of my past labor, I was afraid to say it out loud.  When I finally admitted that I was feeling like I could possibly be ready to push Leslie moved me to the bed and told me to try pushing with my legs pulled back.  I actually thought that I was going to die.  Kev said that it took his full body weight and the weight of Rachel to keep me from coming out of the bed.

Leslie  helped move me  forward off the bed and onto a birthing stool, that appeared from no where as far as my memory is concerned.  I sat down and they told me to push.  It was awful.  For two years, I have been telling people that even though I had an epidural with Libby they turned it off so that I could feel pushing.  I now know that there was a lot I couldn't feel, b/c that pain didn't compare with what I felt trying to push Maggie out.  There was a point that my body was so tired, and the pain was so much that I just quit.  Leslie, I think, realized this and took my hands and told me to reach down and touch my baby.

She was coming.   I used my own hands to help guide her out.  I pulled her to my chest, no one handed her to me.  It was the most amazing thing that I have ever been through.  I wish I could remember exactly what I said, Kev and I agreed that it was something like, "Oh Maggie, you're here!"

She didn't cry, she just looked at me and all around at the faces staring down at her. Our Littlest was finally here. Our crinkly, wrinkly, baby girl was sinking into my chest.  Trying to use words to describe these moments is nearly impossible, and perhaps you may find it odd that I would document such a thing...but it was so beautiful, so amazing, such an incredible example of how God designed us.

 My entire body shook as they moved us back to the bed. Exhaustion set in, all I could do was stroke her tiny little face.  She looked at us, and we looked  at her, completely smitten by our new little girl.

Maggie Bell Jones so seamlessly slipped into our lives January 7, 2011, at 10:34 pm.  She was a surprising 8lbs 6oz and was 20 1/2 in long.  She came out with a full head of dark hair and deep blue eyes that I think are going to lighten up and look just like her big sister's and her Daddy's.
Just a few weeks ago I had gone to my weekly checkup on a snowy day and mentioned to Kev that I thought a snowy day was a good day to be born...Right after Maggie came, someone looked out of the window and the ground was covered with snow that was still quietly coming down. It was beautiful, and so is she.

She has a quiet little personality, I think that we've only heard her really cry when she's had to wait a little bit to long to eat.  I nursed her just moments after she was born, she seemed like she knew exactly what to do.  She stayed camp out in this position for most of her first night, I think it was comforting to her out here in this big new world she found herself in.  Besides when they were examining her, I don't think that I put her down that first be honest, I don't think I've put her down since.


With both of my pregnancies I had this vision of what I wanted our births to like.  I learned from Libby's birth that things don't always go the way we plan, and that is okay.  My plans are sometimes different than what God plan is, but He is always in control.

What I learned from Maggie's birth is that, God listens to us when we come before him with our petitions...He was near us the whole time.
He brought us our Littlest safely and in the most beautiful way I could imagine.  Everything was perfect.
She is a little piece of him and a little piece of me...she looks like her big sister, but with her own quiet personality.
She was worth the wait, 40 weeks and 5 days, just like Libby.
"My heart is full.  Full of love for their father, full of love for her sister, and full of love for my Littlest..Maggie Bell..."
-Making Art Again August 2010 

The Lord is good.  He has given us 2 beautiful little girls.

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 

Ephesians 3:20 

Grace and Peace

My cup runneth over


(a big thanks to my friend Beth for photographing our decision we made to have a birth photographer, these pictures are priceless to me)