Friday, January 24, 2014

The Story of Shiloh Mae

It's been a good bit since I've posted an entry! Much has happened since my last blogging bit, but the biggest (yet smallest) thing to report is that our sixth living child, sweet Shiloh Mae Turner McGee, made her way into the world January 21st, 2014 at 12:27am!

As I sit down to write (It is currently Wednesday as I begin this), it seems a little unreal that 36 hours ago I was less than a half hour away from birthing this tiny little baby, but before I get ahead of myself, let me start at the beginning.  I'm not really a brief person, so... this will definitely not be the "nutshell version" of our birth story!

While the Lord has definitely been in each and every pregnancy and birth, Shiloh's pregnancy was one that I knew the God was very, very active in.  In the beginning, when He gave me this baby's name (before we knew the gender), I felt like He was telling me that her pregnancy and birth would be a huge spiritual marker in my life, much like the stones that the Israelites gathered and stacked together as a monument in the fourth chapter of Joshua:

 Now when all the nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the Lord spoke to Joshua, saying, “Take for yourselves twelve men from the people, one man from each tribe, and command them, saying, ‘Take up for yourselves twelve stones from here out of the middle of the Jordan, from the place where the priests’ feet are standing firm, and carry them over with you and lay them down in the lodging place where you will lodge tonight.’” So Joshua called the twelve men whom he had appointed from the sons of Israel, one man from each tribe; and Joshua said to them, “Cross again to the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan, and each of you take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Israel. Let this be a sign among you, so that when your children ask later, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ then you shall say to them, ‘Because the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord; when it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off.’ So these stones shall become a memorial to the sons of Israel forever.” [...] 
  Now the people came up from the Jordan on the tenth of the first month and camped at Gilgal on the eastern edge of Jericho. Those twelve stones which they had taken from the Jordan, Joshua set up at Gilgal. He said to the sons of Israel, “When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, ‘What are these stones?’ then you shall inform your children, saying, ‘Israel crossed this Jordan on dry ground.’ For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed, just as the Lord your God had done to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed; that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, so that you may fear the Lord your God forever.”

 I knew that the Lord was taking me into a deeper place of dependence and trust in Him. Specifically, in this season (not just this pregnancy), the focus has been on relying on Him in the moment—not looking ahead or behind, but being present, right here and right now, with the Lord. 

I think most of us like to walk into each and every situation completely prepared, right? We like to feel like we know what we are headed into, what we're supposed to be doing, what's going to happen, and how it's going to play out.

Sometimes the Lord gives us provision beforehand.  For example, with the home we are building, there have been times when the Lord has given us material in advance, but, really, most of the time, what we have needed (material, finances, help) has shown up just as we needed it, just when we were at the end of what we had.

So has it been in most areas of my life this season— there has been little "stored up".  What the Lord has offered has been "manna for the moment".

This was one of the roughest pregnancies for me.  I cannot pinpoint exactly why since I was far more sick in my first three pregnancies than this one.  Yes, my body hurt more than normal (likely because of the cold weather), but I don't think that was it either.  Something in me was just weary.

The year of 2013 was incredibly busy, and our time together as a family, specifically my time with my husband, was stretched thin since we have been in the midst of building our home.  This means that my husband works full time, and then uses his "spare time" to work on the home.  Every day of good weather is a treasure when you are framing and such, and there has been a rush to get the house dried in so that the wood doesn't mildew and warp. (Praise the Lord, we now have a roof and over half the house is dried in with foam board.)

I really struggled with my emotions this pregnancy, especially in the last month, and became really worn from this go-go-go season (which has lasted so long)!  Often I felt like some hormonal creature had taken over my body.  Part of me was very rational, looking over at this crazy hormonal freak wishing she would get her stuff together!  It's a very tough place to be, very scary, very exhausting.  It's a bit strange to be hormonal and know you are being hormonal and wish you weren't being so hormonal but lacking the power to change it.

This season of life has driven me to place of utter dependence upon the Lord.  We have been through a lot as a family, but this is the first time in a long time that I have really seen how incredibly limited my control is.  Even in chaotic situations when circumstances were out of my control, I at least felt like I could control myself. Having no control over my thoughts, hormones, and emotions as well as no control over my life circumstances was really eye opening.

Control is just an illusion.  

When control, and all illusion of it, was ripped from my hands, what I realized is that all I ever have, and all I really need, is Jesus.  All I have in the moment is God. My only solace in the moment is Him.  My only grace for now is Him. My only source of life is Him. My only escape is Him. My only rest is Him. My only strength is Him. My only wisdom is Him. My only trust, my everything.... is this divine Life of Christ that dwells in Me. He is the power and strength and life that flows within and out of me. He's all I really have.

And He is enough.

I have spent many, many, many nights (especially the last few weeks of Shiloh's pregnancy) wide awake, crying out to the Lord, reaching out to Him, allowing myself to feel the comfort of His lap and arms, releasing myself to trust in Him, reminding myself of His abundant love and grace, thirsty for His presence, relying completely on His provision for my own sanity, begging Him to give me a clear mind and calm my hormones, to lead me in truth moment by moment...

I have never been more aware of my weakness.  I am so, so weak. Frail. Fragile.

And so, as the weeks rolled on, Shiloh's due date passed, my 42nd week of pregnancy neared, and time seemed to be running out (and there were no signs of labor) I felt a little frantic. We had just managed to (finally) get her to stay head down after multiple (successful) attempts at flipping her. (She would always manage to flip back to breech or hang out transverse shortly after.)  She was not following any of the rules.  At 41 weeks, she had yet to even engage in the pelvis. I had gone "overdue" (by 10 days) with another child, but nothing like this.  I felt like I was going to be pregnant forever.

Each day would come, and I would think, "Maybe today!" and then into the night I would beg God for contractions, and still the days passed. Nothing. I just felt tired and crummy.

At 41 weeks my husband and my midwife, together, flipped the baby head down.  It was incredibly painful. It took both of them to do it. She was very resistant (whereas previously, she had been fairly compliant, even though later she had flipped back around). Then we bound my belly with a rebozo wrap to limit her movements (so she would not be able to spin around again).  While this whole ordeal was exhausting and uncomfortable, it worked, and she remained head down for the remainder of the pregnancy.  Our goal now was to get her to engage!

Clearly my husband was having a lot of fun...

A few days later I had an ultrasound to make sure everything was okay.  We needed to know if there was a reason why she wasn't engaging. Had all her gymnastics in the womb caused her to get tangled in the cord?

Nanci, my friend and midwife, felt the baby was pretty small.  Maybe my due date was off?  We needed to know how things appeared so we could decide what to do next.  I always feel a little anxiety over ultrasounds since we have received bad news several times through ultrasounds. I kept having to lay everything at the Lord's feet, trusting Him with Shiloh, this pregnancy, and whatever turn things might take.

I was very excited to learn that everything was great. Shiloh was still head down, even though she had yet to engage.  There were no cord issues, she looked healthy, fluid levels were awesome, everything was fabulous.  But my due date definitely was not off. The tech (whom I have used in the last three pregnancies and is absolutely wonderful) explained that the placenta was grade 3, which is normal for this late in pregnancy, but it definitely meant that we were on a time limit. Placentas don't last forever, y'all!

10 days past my due date. Shiloh was low, but still not engaged.

I had been doing some pumping with a manual breast pump as well as taking some herbs and using clary sage essential oil on my belly (and doing lots of walking) but we knew we needed to step it up. I went to the chiropractor to make sure everything was in line for the baby to move down properly.

 My midwife stripped my membranes Saturday. She said I was at about 2 centimeters and I was at about a 3-4 after stripping my membranes, which was good news to me since I had felt like my body was failing me and it had taken so much work (pumping and walking) to get contractions going (and they never stuck around). I started taking a different herb mixture every couple hours, and began walking more frequently (and as fast as my weary legs could carry me). Nanci (midwife) felt that things would really pick up if I had an electric double breast pump, so she called a friend of ours and asked if we could borrow hers. Brandon was working out at the land on the house, so Nanci brought me out there (she lives next door to the house we are building) and we walked around for a bit hoping to get contractions going.  (Walking definitely helped.)

Merikalyn and  Nanci walk together while Evangeline pulls Molly Jo in the wagon.

I was really hoping Sunday would be the day.  We spent the morning together as a family, did a little shopping for children's shoes, ate lunch at Red Robin (mmm, burgers), and then went out to the land so Brandon could get a bit more work done.  I walked, and walked, and walked... and did have some good contractions.  Our fellowship meeting was at Nanci's that night, and I wasn't sure if we should stay or if we should go home so I could rest up (since I was really hoping to go into labor that night).  We decided to play it by ear, so we ended up staying for the potluck meal and meeting, then left after the meeting was over rather than hanging out and chatting as we usually do.  I was tired, and Becky had brought the breast pump so I was eager to use it and get things going again.

Sunday night contractions got going, but would die out 30 minutes after pumping.  I was tired and realized it would be best for me to just to stop pumping and striving, so I went to bed and slept fitfully.  Time was really running out, and I felt pressed.  One wonderful thing about that night was that Brandon and I had a really great conversation before bed in which I shared my heart, what I was feeling, some of my anxieties, and I really felt like that was helpful for me spiritually and mentally.  I had felt a little disconnected from my sweet husband, and so I was relieved that we were able to connect and share our hearts. It brought me a lot of peace in that area. I believe it is so important to have that marital relationship in a connected, peaceful place before labor and birth.

Monday Brandon stayed home from work because we knew time was short, and we had to get labor rolling because Nanci wouldn't legally be able to be our midwife after 42 weeks.  Knowing the placenta was running out of time drove us forward as well.  Otherwise, we wouldn't have worried about a time limit, but since the tech saw the placenta was beginning to deteriorate, we knew we couldn't go much over 42 weeks without hurting the baby.  I began to have a lot of anxiety over the tick-tock in my brain and again had to continue laying that down before the Lord.  I really felt like He was calling me to trust Him. I hated that there wasn't any predictability. I felt out of control. I felt like a ship without an anchor.  The Lord reminded me that He is my anchor— not a method, not specific time line of events, not a check list of how labor goes.  A couple lines from one of my favorite songs repeated through my mind the last few weeks of pregnancy whenever I felt anxious:

"I will trust in You; You've never failed before." and "I will wait for You; You've never failed before."
(Sidewalk Prophets, Help Me Find It)

Trust and wait.  Those are such difficult things for me to do.

"Today is the day," I told myself. "I'm going into labor today."
Nanci suggested a special chiropractic adjustment or acupuncture. I knew we could only afford one, so I told the Lord He would have to make it clear which we were to do.  The chiropractor wasn't available until Tuesday (too late!) so I called the acupuncturist praying she'd be able to fit me in.  As God would have it, she had an appointment if I could get there in the next 40 minutes, or she could fit me in later in the afternoon.  Of course I took the first available.

I had acupuncture needles in my face, back, hands, ankles, and feet.
I had never experienced acupuncture before, but I am definitely a fan of natural, alternative medicine, and I had heard so many great things, so I went for it. [Becky Castano is a wonderful acupuncturist if you live in the Northwest Houston area!]  I left feeling very relaxed as a lot of the tension I was holding in my body was released, and all over I just felt "loose".

Brandon had taken the kids for pizza while I was at my session, so we stopped at Panera so I could get a sandwich and then headed to the park so I could get in some more walking while the kids played.  Nanci called us as we were walking and said they were "in the area" (yeah, I think she arranged that..) and wanted to know if they could come by.  We headed back home and met up with Terry, Nanci, and their youngest daughter Emily there.  Nanci and I slipped away to the bedroom while the fellas relaxed on the couch to chat.

We talked over the options, then called Brandon in to discuss with him.  We all agreed that she would strip my membranes again, and then, if I wasn't in labor by Tuesday morning, she would break my waters as a last ditch effort.  Tuesday officially marked the 42nd week.  I tried my best to stay in the moment and not think about Tuesday though.

Nanci noted that I was easily 5 centimeters dilated and she could stretch me a bit more, so I was encouraged by the progress.  I should point out that I went my whole pregnancy and labor with Molly Jo without one single check from Nanci.  I am not into intervention during pregnancy and labor, so making these choices was very difficult, yet necessary. The Lord definitely smashed to pieces some stakes I had put into the ground about things I would "never" do!  (He does that a lot, you know.)

Brandon and I went on walks around the property every hour for about 15 or so minutes, then we would come back, and I would take my herbs then use the breast pump while we watched a movie.  As you can imagine, it took a long time to finish the movie!

I started tracking my contractions, noting that while pumping (and shortly after) they would be 3-4 minutes apart but only 30 seconds long.  They would stretch to 10 minutes apart, but still 30 seconds long until I pumped again.

The kiddos to got ready for bed, and we let them watch a couple shows on Netflix before instructing them to head to bed for the night.  We were all pretty sure we'd have a baby by the time they woke up in the morning, so there was a surge of excitement in the air!

Around 9pm I noticed that the contractions were getting quite uncomfortable, and I was longing for the relief of hot water. I turned to my husband and said, "I don't know how people labor out of the water. I know I did it with the first two (they were hospital births) but I wouldn't ever want to do that again!"

I texted Nanci and asked her when it would be safe to get into the water without potentially stalling things. (Sometimes getting in the water too soon in labor can cause the contractions to stop.)  "For you," she replied, "I would say 8-9 cm. Are things happening now?"

I was having a lot of bloody show (and had been for a couple days) but I told her the contractions were still very short (still 30 seconds long). I definitely didn't want to walk during them, and I was highly uncomfortable during them, but since they were short, I figured I had a long way to go.

Nanci texted, "Sounds like things have changed a lot since 3pm when I saw you. Don't wait to long to call me!"

About an hour and a half later I texted her:

Reads: "Okay, so I hope you got some rest because I think it would be
 good for you to make your way here. This labor is so different, I'm not sure what to do or expect."

There was so much pressure on my bum with each contraction. I knew enough that often that's a sign that "the end is near", so I figured it would be better to have Nanci come over than to wait!  However, since my contractions were only 30 seconds long and still 8-10 minutes apart, I was just sure she would end up coming and having to hang out allllllll night long, missing out on a good night's sleep. (When your midwife is your friend, you worry more about her sleep than your laboring! Ha!) I was genuinely torn, but decided to stop stressing. I kept reminding myself, "This is her job! She is used to this! This is what she does!"

Minutes after I texted her to come over, my contractions moved to 3 minutes apart (although still 30 seconds long), and I told Brandon that we should start filling the birth pool in faith that I would be able to get into it soon.  Plus, I knew it would take a bit to fill since we would have to stop several times to allow the water heater to catch up. We had already inflated the birthing pool the night before, so it was ready to go!

Nanci arrived around 10:15pm or so and brought in all her things. She asked me if I wanted to be checked, and suddenly I felt unsure. What if she checked me and I was only at a 6? I would be really discouraged and still not able to relieve the pain in the birthing pool!  I voiced my concerns and she said, "When you texted me asking when you could get into the birthing pool I knew something had changed."  On that note, I decided it would be worth it.

Nanci checked and I was already at 8cm, which meant I could get into the birthing pool! I was elated! The water wasn't very high as it just barely covered my legs when I sat in it, but it was incredibly soothing to my bottom, providing some relief.

Before I had texted Nanci to come, I was thinking I still had a long way to go, but once I got into the water, I realized that, even though my contractions were not very long, I was likely not far from giving birth, and so I became concerned that the pool wouldn't fill in time! I desperately needed the water to get higher and provide some back labor relief!

My husband made the comment that maybe he should get the water pump out so that we could drain the water as it got cold and refresh it with hot water.  I told him there wouldn't be enough time for the water to cool off!  I'm not sure if he believed me at that point, though!

I spent a good bit of time talking to the Lord through the contractions— praying for Him to be gentle with me and thanking Him for giving me contractions (because, you know, they are a good thing when you need to have a baby!).  Between contractions I would read Isaiah 41:10, which I had taped to the wall near the birth pool along with a 3-D ultrasound photo of sweet Shiloh's face.

"Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand."

This birth felt very odd. With Molly Jo's birth, I had known just what to do at every stage. I knew exactly how to breathe, what position to be in, and everything was very, very clear and peaceful and, yes, pain-free.  Her labor was incredibly easy.

But with Shiloh, I found that there wasn't a single position that was comfortable. Nothing, not even pressure points, relieved the back pain. The intensity and pain of the contractions pushed me to find the Lord in each moment.  I felt like He was telling me not to look ahead, not to question how I would have the strength or endurance for the next contractions, but to be present with Him here and now.  So in each contraction I begged Him for strength and grace. I looked toward Him and asked Him to get me through it. When they subsided, I praised Him for the shortness of the contraction, thanked Him for taking me through it, thanked Him for relief, and accepted the rest He had given.  Often in the intensity of the contraction I would hear Him say, "It is finished," and I received comfort that I was already seated in Heavenly places, and I felt like He was saying even my children, the ones who had yet to be born, were already seated in Heavenly places with Him. That probably sounds a bit crazy to some of you reading this, but it was so, so comforting to me. Yes, in earthly time I was still living out the limits and pains of life, but in His heavenly Kingdom, the work had already been accomplished.

My labor and birth playlist, which I had downloaded onto my iPhone from iTunes, played songs at the perfect time. Truly, my labor was a time of intense fellowship and worship with the Lord, and not just with the Lord, but with my husband and midwife as well.  I knew they were with me, joined in Spirit with me, praying for me, and praising the Lord with me.

[Note: I have made a YouTube Labor & Birth Playlist featuring the majority of the (Christian) songs I used. A couple of the specific artists I used were not available, so I picked the next best soothing artist for the song.]

I quickly hit transition. I hate transition. I hate the shaking that comes with transition, and I had really hoped to skip all that! (I did not experience transition with Molly Jo's labor. As I said, it was the most peaceful, pain-free labor I had ever had.)  I hate feeling like I have no control over my body. Lack of control has been the major theme of this whole pregnancy and labor, so it was not surprising! I felt the Lord calling me to focus on Him rather than the physical and emotional feelings I was experiencing.  At one point during labor, "I Need You More" sung by Kim Walker came on, perfectly expressing my heart.

I need You more, more than yesterday. I need You more, more than words can say! I need You more than ever before. I need you Lord! I need you more.

Really, it has never felt so good to be needy. I have always viewed neediness as such a bad thing, and as I recently explained to my husband, I have really tried, since the Lord healed our marriage back in 2006, to not be a needy wife or needy friend.  I do not want to be a "taker", but the Lord has been showing me that I have nothing to give to Him. In fact, in my relationship with Him, He is calling me to be a taker. A receiver. He is calling me to hold out open hands and allow His blessing, love, strength, grace, and joy to pour into my life through each circumstance and situation.

So in those moments of labor I accepted my position of being desperate and needy, and I wildly, boldly, unashamedly threw myself into His arms.

And it was good. So, so good.  Because He has never, ever failed me once.

He didn't take away the pain, but He was there in it.

I pushed for what seemed like forever. It probably wasn't long. My husband says it was about 15 minutes. I sobbed uncontrollably. I wasn't sure if I was crying because of the intense pressure and pain or because of the worship and fellowship with the Lord or because I knew it was almost over. But my body shook as tears poured out. For a few seconds, I berated myself for crying, making noise, and being negative (because in Molly Jo's birth I was very quiet, hardly made a peep, and was so positive), and then quickly let those things go and grasped the Lord's grace and accepted that it was okay to cry, scream, and say whatever came to my lips.

I kept repeating that I couldn't do it, and at the same time those words rolled out my mouth I knew I was doing it, and Nanci reminded me that I was doing it and kept telling me I was doing a good job.  Inside, I knew that those feelings were normal, and the fact that I felt that way was evidence that it was almost over. Crazy as it sounds, I was encouraged by the "I can't" feelings because I knew that meant I was so close to holding my baby.

Nanci helped support as I pushed the baby out. I was looking forward to the relief that comes once the head is out, but it didn't come. It was really the first time I had experienced that. There had always been relief after the head was birthed, but it was not so.  Usually, the rest of the body just feels like a jiggly plop that comes out in a single, easy push (at least, for me) but, again, that was not the case.  Every bit of pushing her out was labor on my part.  This time I actually had to push along with my body (in some of my births, my body has done all the work, and I could not have "not pushed" if I wanted to!).  This time I felt every little movement as she came down.  This time it took real work and effort for me to labor and birth her into this world.  It's really amazing how each birth can differ so drastically!

But then she was there, in my arms, her little cord wrapped a bit around her tiny little foot. And, just as Nanci had promised me days before, the long 42 weeks of waiting no longer mattered. We looked at the time- 12:27am.  We had entered the wee hours of Tuesday!

My vocabulary suddenly became limited to three words for the next five minutes.

Thank you Jesus.
Thank you Jesus.
Thank you Jesus.....

I mean, how could I utter anything else but praise?

Once the cord stopped pulsing Nanci and Brandon clamped and cut it.  Brandon snuggled with Shiloh, who was already rooting and sucking on her hands, eager for a chance to nurse!  The placenta was birthed in record time (for me, at least).  I got to see Shiloh's sack, which was really silky.  Shiloh was so pink and clean on the front, but her hair and back were covered in thick, creamy white vernix.  So weird!  And, yes, HAIR! I had given birth to a baby with hair! HAIR, y'all!

Dark waves of hair, just as I had prayed for.  Who knows if it will stick around (Merika had some hair, but it all fell out after a month or two) but I am grateful that, for now, I get to enjoy it!

Brandon went to wake Merika up so she could see Shiloh.  We knew it would be very meaningful and precious to her to see Shiloh right away.  She was already awake, sitting sleepily on the edge of her bed.

She was so thrilled, so overjoyed to hold her new sibling.  And, as the oldest of our children, I love that we can give her the pleasure of being the first of her siblings to examine and hold and love on the new baby. It's a special blessing reserved for her.

Merikalyn helped Nanci measure and weigh Shiloh.  She has helped Nanci through two of my pregnancies with measuring my belly, helping find the heartbeat, and feeling for the baby's position, so I know it was exciting to help with that as well. She is my mini-midwife in training!

Shiloh weighed 6 pounds and 15 ounces and was 21 inches long!  Nanci had predicted she would be a tiny baby and needed all 42 weeks to grow! Sure enough, she did!

Nanci and Brandon inspected the placenta, which I was told was definitely close to its limit.  It had turned white and yellow in some spots, and was a bit grainy in some areas.  I am told that parts of it were beginning to lose function but it had been so capable of caring for Shiloh during those 42 weeks.  I am so amazed that my body grows an organ to nourish and nurture a baby!  God really thought of everything, didn't He?

All in all, my labor was less than 3 hours long. Three. Hours. Y'all.  I am amazed. In my first two births, I spent three hours pushing! (Those were exhausting hospital births.)

Shiloh Mae is a pro at nursing. I've never had a baby that "got it" so quickly. She nurses for long periods of time and then naps for long periods of time. She's so little bitty- the second smallest of all our babies (Merikalyn was the smallest).  She definitely looks different from most of our children.  The last three (Keagan, Evangeline, and Molly Jo) looked so similar (and BALD!), that I am often shocked by how different Shiloh Mae looks.  She does resemble Merika's newborn baby-ness as far as I can remember (my memory of those days is so fuzzy), and seems to take after my side of the family more.  Not that it matters anyway, but you know how all that is so interesting to consider.  It never ceases to amaze me how each child is so different and unique even with the same parents' genes!

Shiloh Mae Turner McGee

{How we chose her name}

As I mentioned earlier, the Lord gave me her name when I was reading Scripture.  Shiloh is a living river/spring, also considered to be the fountain of living water, a reference to Christ and the Holy Spirit. The Lord has definitely been teaching me a lot about the Holy Spirit and the life of Christ within me this season, so it's so fitting that it would be our baby's name as well.

Brandon has long wanted a little girl with the name "Mae", and it fit so well with Shiloh, giving it a sweet southern spin.

Turner is my maiden name, and very fitting since she flipped and flopped so much in the womb that we had to repeatedly turn her to get her head down again. (I can't tell you how many times I had to do weird positions, my rear up in the air, to get her in the correct placement during those last weeks of pregnancy!)

Molly Jo and Shiloh Mae are the only children who have four names in our family. 


DaBlairs said...

She's utterly precious. My heart is happy for you and your family.

Sarah Davies said...

Congratulations! Beautiful birth story for a beautiful girl x

LauraA317 said...

Such an amazing spiritual birth - this brought me to my knees in praise. Thank you for sharing.

Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton said...

Hi -
This is a friend from OD/Prosebox (don't want to use my journal name here)! First of all, I am really glad I saw this because I have actually been worrying quite a bit about you guys! Anyway, I hope you get a chance to update PB because I'm sure I could comment quite a bit, but for now, congratulations, she is so beautiful, and you are so beautiful and our Lord is so beautiful :)

That said, the reason I wanted to comment was because I wanted to let you know if you haven't heard that the DM announced that OD is officially shutting down in the next two weeks, so we have until then to download anything we want to save (although right now the site is choking on all the traffic).

Just thought I'd let you know and I hope to see you on PB!

Stacy said...

She's precious, Mandy! Congratulations!

Stacy ( from OD)

Neisey said...

Congratulations! She is beautiful!