Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Christmas Memories

As a new mama to two I can no longer produce timely blog posts
so looking back on our Christmas nearly a month later 
I want to simply capture the details and precious moments 
that might be overlooked if I were to re-tell all the events and happenings instead

I want to remember Nollie's excitement in getting to sit on a white blanketed couch with her baby 
 How the soft light poured in through the east windows

How this was the first time we let her get this close due to her being sick the week we brought him home

How she giggled with delight in touching and naming his eyes and nose, saying "soft" to his hair and cheeks,
and the way he looked up at her in wonder

I want to remember his sleepy days, so warm and content in any position

And even his squinty eyes and peely, rashy newborn skin
How it all fades so fast

I want to see the glow of lights bouncing off glass balls
and remember how she broke three of them in her effort to help decorate the tree
I'll remember the glitter and pine needles that were embedded into the rug for weeks

I will certainly not forget this Snow White Christmas dress
and how she swish-swished it around, saying "oooh!" the moment we tried it on

And her darling monologues and story-tellings the night of Christmas Eve
How she pranced around the house, just basking in our delight of her

I'll remember her kisses to baby on Christmas morning
And face timing my loves so far away

And the way she exclaimed "Open, open!" and signed 'please' for every gift 

I'll remember all the little things that mattered so much to her Nana
the beautiful wrappings, glowing candles, and treats galore
How she splurged and yet remained so content to sit and hold her grandson
And how he barely fit into those Christmas jams!

I'll remember her Papa giving her too much sweets 
and the way she has him wrapped around her finger tight
I'll remember his laughter and silly games with her

And how she plays hard to get but so easy to love

I'll remember how this was the first Christmas together since Megan and Jeremy came home
and how Knox barely left his loving auntie's arms

And all the effort it took to make one toy that she wasn't even thrilled about
and how that's what memories are made of!

I want to remember a day filled with joy, thoughtful gifts and loving words
A meal shared round the table and the comfort of a full home
And a family that calls me their daughter and sister and friend

I choose to remember, to count my gifts and say that I am blessed
I choose not to forget the things and people and moments that remind me of eternity
And the greatest gift of all

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Knox Roy Gill

11.30.15 at 11:15 AM

Oh, the joy of this day overwhelmed me! 
I simply stared in wonder, saying over and over 

"I can't believe he's here!"
The contractions had begun early the day before but none too painful or regular to count. And we were almost certain you would come after your due date on the 3rd. By evening they had strengthened but remained inconsistent and far apart, so I went to bed prayerful and at peace if you would decide to come or wait. Midnight came and I could no longer sleep. I counted a few at five minutes apart and had to breathe with them intentionally. I decided to get up and see if I could focus my mind elsewhere, still unsure if labor had begun. Sure enough, as soon as I went downstairs, the pain increased and the timing was every 2-3 minutes in between. I packed our bags then tried to distract myself with a few loads of laundry. As I waited in between the washer and dryer and folding, I paced around the kitchen island, stopping to lean against it when they peaked. Pandora played lulling songs to ease my mind. At 2:30 am I woke up Curtis and told him I was indeed in labor! He jumped up and excitedly started packing and loading the car... it was a cold, cold night! Angela came eagerly to stay at the house for Nollie and we headed to the hospital so hopeful, so ready to meet you! At 3:30 am we checked in and our nurse, Chantelle, told us we were at 5cm. At that time I decided an epidural was what I needed to cope with the pain. The anesthesiologist placed it at 5:00 am and then Curtis and I were both able to get some rest. At 8:30 am my midwife Christine broke my water and our day nurse, Kelley, stayed close by to monitor your heartbeat and progress. I continued to feel contractions with the epidural, breathing with them, focusing on you coming down. The anesthesiologist came back a few times to try to regulate the dose and cover more pain, but it was bearable and I knew it wouldn't last long. At 11:00 am Christine returned to check your progress and much to our surprise you were very ready to be born! Curtis and I quickly updated our families while the room got set up for delivery. My heart was racing, I could hardly believe the time had come. In only two contractions of pushing you were lifted up and we instantly fell in love!
Your daddy filmed your birth and then handed me the camera so he could cut your umbilical cord, which you had been quite tangled in! I was then able to hold you close and you opened your eyes and gave us some good hearty cries, sweet music to our ears! I cried tears of relief and joy! The moment was truly surreal.
We had a relaxing recovery time and shared your first pictures with our families and the world. You nursed so very well and then Kelley weighed and measured you at 7 lbs 8 oz and 21 inches long! Such a beautiful, healthy boy! We then transferred to our post partum room and all your Gill family arrived bringing big sister Nollie to meet you for the first time. She entered the room saying "baby, baby, baby!"
When Curtis showed you to her she immediately wanted all your blankets off so she could get a good look at you and be able to touch your face and hands and toes. We wondered how she would react to your arrival and to our delight she was so very soft and curious, but just to make certain she was still loved by her family she went around the room several times giving out hugs and kisses and then proceeded to prance and play in her sweet, silly ways, still wanting to be the center of attention.

Your daddy went home to stay with her that first night and even though I didn't sleep much, you were not at all fussy and continued to nurse well. You received your bath and were quite bruised from your quick delivery, but your full head of hair still made you look so very handsome. The next morning your bruising had gone down and my midwife and your pediatrician both agreed we could be discharged home that afternoon.

Your daddy came back to get you set up in your carseat and load all our bags and at least four bouquets of beautiful flowers and balloons we had received in congratulations of your birth.

Your Gill family welcomed us home with a home-cooked meal your aunt Megan had made. She had slaved away the entire day before to make us meals for our first week home, such a blessing! We all marveled at you and praised God for your healthy and smooth transition into this world and our hearts and home!

Two days later I took you in for a weight check up and you had only lost one ounce of your birth weight! Such a good eater! Then all of the sudden we blinked and you were one week old… your tininess fading each day and more and more of your personality being revealed to us.
You gave us your first smile at only 3 days old and every day since you have remained such a happy and healthy baby, you even laugh in your sleep! God must be sharing wonderful secrets of heaven with you!
Your birth story is a testimony of His goodness and love, because we could never have earned or deserved such a precious gift, a son, our pride and joy, our heart's delight! A brother for Nollie and the first grandson and great-grandson for your Gill family as well as an even-split number 8 for your Unruh grandparents with now four grandsons and four granddaughters. 

We love you immeasurably Knox Roy Gill!

Roy is the middle name of your grandpa Jim 
and the first name of his grandfather, your great great!
Knox means "from the hills" which is 
the word God gave me, Psalm 121, to rely on 
throughout my pregnancy, labor and birth.

Your birthday is truly a special one,
and one we will never forget!