Until I can figure out the problem I'm having uploading pictures to the blog, you'll just have to deal with words only. Bummer. I know.
Well it's about 2 weeks away from Christmas. It's my favorite time of the year. I love being with family and friends and celebrating our Lord's birth.
The last 2 Christmases have not been completely joy-filled or relaxing in anyway.
2 years ago, we had 2 week old Mady who wasn't gaining weight. The week before and after Christmas were spent desperately trying to get her to gain GRAMS not just OUNCES. We were told, her situation was borderline "failure to thrive" and if she didn't gain any weight, she would be hospitalized.
Like any new mom, I was filled with emotional stress. Since I was breastfeeding, I felt it was up to me to make her gain weight. We spent a little over a week, feeding her this hour long routine of breastfeeding, followed by "finger feeding" followed by me pumping. Fun times. I ended up getting mastitis and the antibiotics they gave me completely emptied my stomach in multiple directions.
I was so excited that I was going to get to bring my little girl home for Christmas at my parents house. It would be the first time my grandparents would meet her.
Since Mady's situation was so poor, we were not allowed to travel.
It was a hard Christmas for sure.
Fast forward to the next year.
We found out 3 weeks earlier we were pregnant again! So excited! We were going to announce it at Christmas to our families.
Instead we spent Christmas Eve morning in the ER learning that we would most likely lose our 2nd baby.
After traveling down to Oklahoma that day, we did lose our little one in the afternoon.
Instead of experiencing the joy of finally being able to be in Oklahoma for Christmas after 2 years of missing out, we were filled with sorrow, grief, and sadness. I still miss that little one even though I have the blessing of Abigail this year.
Not only did we have to deal with our loss, but Mady came down with the stomach flu on Christmas day. It was the only time she has thrown up, and she threw up a lot that day. 2 days later, I got it. And after suffering a miscarriage 4 days earlier, it completely wiped me out. Poor Jeremy had to spend his vacation time holding a bucket for me and pulling back my hair.
In the midst of all of this, Jeremy and I had to deal with our computer accidentally getting thrown away at his parent's house. It's a long story and I won't go into the details, but we lost all/most of our pictures of Mady girl's first year and our pictures before we had kids.
I don't mention all of this for sympathy. We had 2 really rough years at Christmas. This year I'm praying that we will experience the joy of Christmas instead of emotional stress, failed expectations, sorrow, sickness, and the result of an unfortunate accident. I want to be able to enjoy my kiddos and thank God for the blessing they are.
I know traveling 9+ hours back home for Christmas will have it's challenges. the girls will probably get off schedule a bit, we may get a little less sleep (although I'm not sure how considering Miss Abby's eating habits), and we may get sick. But I want the memories to be filled with happiness and laughter and being able to focus completely on the true meaning of Christmas, instead of being surrounded by the sorrows of this fallen world.
Please pray for us.
It will be a long drive.
So many things could go wrong.
Pray that we will take each event-good or bad-with thankfulness and gratitude and JOY.