Saturday, January 5, 2008

on this day...

You know how (those of you with children) when your child has a birthday and it never fails you always think, where did the time go? Maddox's first year of life has been so different for me. I am not sure if I think that. I mean it has gone by crazy fast that is for sure, but it almost feels like I have had Maddox all my life.

I remember new years eve 06 very fondly. We had come "home" for the holidays with no real idea when we would go back to Chicago. I was 9 months pregnant at the time and really wanted to come home for the holidays and crazily we did. (I still cannot believe we did that one.) I loved the idea of not knowing when we had to come back. This was nice because normally a few days before we need to head back to our "home" we would get so sad and almost weren't able to enjoy the last few days we had at "home". (I know enough of the "" already.) We had enjoyed our time being with family and the morning of New Years Eve I woke up and said, ok we need to go home. So in the matter of moments we had packed up everything including our three children and headed back. It was an uneventful drive home. It all went pretty smooth other than me thinking for sure I was going to go into labor in the car and not make it back to Chicago to Dr. Elam. We did make it back. I did have several pretty intense contractions which made me think twice about stopping as we passed our hospital on the way home. We got home around 7:00 and put the twins down. Our house was nice and clean when we returned and Bennett, Andy and I had snacks treats and extra special candy cane popcorn until the ball dropped announcing the end of another wonderful year. To be honest, I am pretty sure this was my most favorite New Years Eve ever. Just spent with our little family, safe in a warm home and still with baby in tow.

I remember that night as Andy and I laid awake discussing the birth of our new son which wound end up only being 6 days later. We were discussing what we thought we would name our new little boy. Would it be Joshua, I didn't really like Josh, would it be Taye, did it sound too much like a nickname?, would it be Caleb or Chase, probably not we already had a C named little one. I remember saying a few times that if by some chance it is a girl I want to name her Avery or Elle. Hands down. No question. For sure. But too many boy names to consider. I really REALLY loved, not just liked, Maddox. Andy had a few issues with this, not because Angelina and Brad, which we had no clue had a son with this name, but because his sisters married name is Maddox. He loves his brother in-law, but just was not sure. We talked about it a little more, wondering if he would possibly be our first child without hair, or maybe a blondie? Then fell fast asleep.

This pregnancy was an interesting one for me. I honestly really do like being pregnant. The throwing up not so much, the carpal tunnel not so much, the extreme dehydration not so much, not being able to breath not so much, but knowing I have been chosen to create a human life that is so sweet so pure and so new out weighs all cons.

After I had the twins I was so on top of losing all the baby weight. I was nursing twins full time, I was exercising right when I was given the ok. I would go to the gym, walk the treadmill at home and was very conscious of what I was eating. We went on vacation and I still was very careful and even worked out. on. va. cation. We got home and I was up two pounds. I was very discouraged. That night again while laying in bed, Andy laughed and joked about me being pregnant. My first thought was, yeah, I am on birth control and nursing twins full time and I am pregnant. Funny funny, ha ha. Skip to the next morning as I am cleaning out the storage containers and stumble upon an old pregnancy test. I think in my head how I can doctor it to make it look like it is positive and fool Andy. Skip to me peeing on the stick and setting it down to finish cleaning and then grabbing it to through away when I see two lines. I saw two lines. I did. Believe me I tried to convince myself it was one, but it was two. TWO LINES!

No way how could this be. I was overly happy with my three sweet children. I loved motherhood at this point. I loved my time with the twins and Bennett. Throwing a pregnancy and another child into the mix, would be interesting.

Andy had just left for the morning and I quickly called him. The phone rang and rang. He didn't answer. I took two more tests. Both positive. I call Andy again this time getting a hold of him.

Me: Andy, umm, I am pregnant...

Andy: Why are you calling me?

Me: Ah, did you hear what I said?

Andy: Whatever, I need to go.

Me: Ah, you have a very stressed out wife here you need to say something that is comforting or at least believe me.

Andy: ok you are not pregnant don't worry about it, go back to sleep. CLICK.

Me: ok go back to sleep? Maybe it is a dream? No. Pack up three children and run to the nearest store with pregnancy tests. Buy 10. Yes TEN and take them all and see them all come up positive as quick as possible.

Me: Calling Andy again.

Andy: You are pregnant aren't you?

Me: Yes.

Andy: How blessed are we?

Ok, so the story goes on. I page my doctor which technically you are only supposed to do if you are in labor and say to her...

Me: Ummm, Dr. Elam? This is Terica. I think I am pregnant.

Dr. Elam: Why do you think that?

Me: Because I took 13 pregnancy tests and they all came back positive.

Dr. Elam: Then why do you think you are pregnant?

She then assured me that everything was going to be ok. She said some really nice amazing things, that to a normal person would make feel a lot better about the whole thing, but to someone who had 2 month old twins, not so much. She told me to run right up and get a blood test to be sure sure and then we would go from there.

I did just that. The nurse called me back that evening and said yes you are pregnant and said my number looked pretty high as the did with the twins, and they were thinking it was a possible multiples pregnancy again. I honestly do not think I even really processed that. She told me to think about what I was going to do and then get back to her. I said, think about what I am going to do with what? She said, you know, if you are going to keep your baby. I said as in? She said as in are you planning on keeping this a viable pregnancy? Ok honestly I naively didn't even know that was a legal option. It was right then and there that I knew with out one single shadow of a doubt that this child was exactly what we needed. I was supposed to be pregnant with him as much as I was with our other dear children.

I instantly called my dear friend Alison. I cannot even begin to talk about how much of an impact she has made on my life without tears in my eyes. She is one of those friends that you know for sure was placed in your arms for great reasons. She has twins that were about my twins ages and I knew she would get why this was so surreal and stressful to me. She of course in her loving and amazing ways reassured me it would be fine. I found comfort in her words. I found myself calling my friend Lisa and bawling like a baby the moment I heard her voice. She is another friend that seems to just be that friend who always knows the right thing to say and you value her words just so much. She validated my concerns and listened to me babble and again told me everything would be alright.

After a few phone conversations and hundreds or prayers I knew it was ok. It was was going to be hard and that I would be ungrateful to be anything but grateful.

You have got to understand that I had always wanted to be the crazy lady who had too many children some thought. The woman that may look crazy to some, but to herself she was doing what she had always wanted to do. That even though things were indeed crazy, she rather her hands be full than empty any day. So I kept on reminding myself of these things. That was helpful. I even reminded myself of one of my many prayers promising that I would take hundreds of babies over not enough any day.

I wanted a boy so bad. I really did. I don't know why. I lo-ove my girl. I would have thought I wanted another one, but I wanted a boy really bad. I knew every second of this entire pregnancy that this baby was so sweet and so special and he was so needed in our family.

My pregnancy went so ultra fast. I was running around keeping up with a Kindergartner and two twins in their first year of life. It was great. In fact in some cases I was wishing it all to slow down a little bit. I was really enjoying it all and really felt like I was one of the luckiest ladies around.

January 6th 2007 a very special boy was born. He was an angel to me. He came out so perfect and beautiful. I got a quick glance as the pulled him out and he was whisked away with the nurses. Later they took him to the NICU for a few breathing issues. Andy repeatedly would come back saying he is just SO sweet. Every time he would come back he would say that. Every single time. Which was by-the-way- better than what he would say after seeing Bennett, "His head is just so big".

I didn't get to see my sweet boy for a long time. There were a few moments I was really scared. Andy would come back with pictures of him hooked up to all kinds of tubes. I felt like he was suffering. It was hard. Here he was 8 pounds of perfection, struggling to breath on his own.

I finally was given permission to be wheeled down to the NICU. The nurse wheeled me in and all the tiny babies where just so tiny and sweet. I was wheeled past the very first one and I told the nurse I wished that one was mine because he was so sweet and she backed me up and said, well it is, we passed him up. I have never EVER ever had that kind of overwhelming feeling of sweetness when looking at this child before. I had that same overhwhelming feeling with my other children as well. All different reasons for sure, but the same feelings indeed. I wanted so bad to pick him up and hold him close and whisper in his tiny little ear how much he is loved and wanted. It was hard to not be able to do that. I did after 20 minutes of trying to stand up without too much pain, was able to hold onto his little finger and stroke his long locks of curly very dark hair.

nicu january 6th

He stayed there all night. It was the only time I have ever been in the hospital that I was not having the time of my life. I love my hospital stays. I was awake all night. Even there midnight snack and checks all hours of the night did not excite me or bother me in any way. I just wanted my baby in my arms and finally a day after he was born I was able to hold him. It was heaven. Honestly that feeling when first holding him in my arms has got to be what Heaven is like. Pure joy.

finally holding him one day old

We contemplated with names. We named him Joshua for two hours, Caleb for two hours, Chase for two hours and Maddox for two hours. Nothing. Andy's parents called and asked his name and Andy said Maddox Lee, which I was surprised by and still was unsure about. He got off the phone and we then decided this sweet boys name had to be Maddox Lee. My middle name and my Father's middle name is Lee. That was his name without one single doubt. Maddox Lee, or what he is really known by, Sweet baby Maddox.

daddy and two week old Maddox

So since that day to the present, yes it has gone by fast. Really really fast. Sometimes life just seemed to be a whirlwind. Lots of babies, lots of chaos at times. But there is something about him that has always been present. There is something about him that is so familiar. There is something about him that is so comforting. I always say I can handle twins and four kids because of Maddox. When times are tough all I need is to glance his way, and I have got things figured out again, I recognize my many many blessings. I know that I am doing what I was placed on earth to do. To raise my children to be the best they can be. For them to know who they are and whose they are. To know that I am not a perfect mom and that I can make mistakes and that my children will love me when I do.

baby maddox 2 months old

This Sweet boy of ours is someone who makes me want to be better. I am so grateful for him. I am so grateful to what he has given me and our family. I am grateful for him recognising his time to come even when we did not.

I love you Maddox. How can this world be anything less than perfect when there are sweet children on this earth as you.

present day


terica said...

Ok this offically wins my longest post ever category!

Andrea said...

Thanks for sharing this Terica. It is such a sweet story that shows your faith and really why God would bless you with 4 of his wonderful children. Happy Birthday to your sweet little Maddox!

Paige said...

Happy Birthday, little brown eyed Maddox!!

janet said...

what a story!! and it's a great one! I love the 13 pregnancy tests and I love Andy's "How blessed are we?" comment! What a dad!

I think it's incredible how you can feel their individual personalities when you first see them.. and you can feel this kids sweetness from his pictures! What a lucky mom you are! Happy birthday to your little ONE year old.

Shane, Megan, & Carter said...

Gosh, you had to go and make me cry, didn't you?! I am so happy for you and Andy and your sweet babies!

Alison said...

What a great story! I'll NEVER forget that day you called me either! If anybody could handle a third little baby it had to definately be you. What sweet little ones you have and what a great mom you are! Happy Birthday to little Maddox (and belated to the the twinners)! Sure miss seeing you regularly but love to peek in on your blog to see what you are up to. Hope we can see you sometime soon!

Ali Howell said...

It was so fun to find your blog and hear your story of baby maddox. We left before he was born and it is so fun to see what has happened since we left. You are such a wonderful mom! My last two kids have been ICU babies so i can remember the feeling of a babies being whisked off. i'm glad everything worked out so well. Congratulations on a wonderful year and such a beautiful family!

Mindy said...

Okay, I'm totally bawling all over the place. What a great post!