March 25, 2010

The Transition

So many people scared me about the transition from man-to-man to zone defense. In my very informal, non-scientific poll, I would estimate that about 80-90% of people I've talked to have said that the transition from 2-3 kids is the most difficult. I spent the last month of my pregnancy freaked out about how we were going to add a whole extra person to the chaos that already existed in our home.

And then I actually wised up for just a moment. The light bulb came on just long enough for me to realize that I needed to get on my knees and plead for strength and wisdom for the next stage of life. So I began to do just that. Every time it crossed my mind, I would all but beg God to help us in the transition as our family grew. I asked for everything I could think of to help us in the process: an easy baby, a baby that slept well, Sophia and Noah to adjust quickly, a slower schedule and empty calendar, and the list went on.

We are now already a month into life as a family of five. And every day since Phoebe arrived, I have been amazed at how God has answered my pleas. There have been so many times where His grace has been almost physically tangible in my foggy, sleep weary state. He has given me exceedingly, abundantly more than I could ever have dreamed. I know it's early on, but I have been amazed at how smoothly Tim and I have transitioned into the new style of parenting defense. So far, the zone defense has treated us well, and every time I actually take time to reflect on that, I can't help but feel showered by love from my Heavenly Father. The analogy is poignant as I can't help but feel the adult version of what Phoebe must feel.

Before sleep time, we wrap Phoebe up in an extra large blanket, made specially for her, just for this purpose. It keeps her warm and tight. It keeps her arms from flailing and startling her out of sleep, as sometimes happens with newborns. And then, when time allows, we take a few minutes to snuggle her up on our chest, where she feels our heart beat , under our chins, where she smells the familiarity of a loving parent savoring a moment that will all too quickly pass.

So far, in our lives as parents to THREE! kids, I can't help but feeling as if God has wrapped me up in warm flannel blanket, made especially for me for this purpose of snuggling me close to Him, so that I feel warm, safe, protected and beyond all LOVED by a Father who loves me beyond compare and has heard my prayers and answered them beyond my wildest dreams!

March 16, 2010

A New Chapter

Phoebe Grace Nielson
joined the family at 12:39 AM on Tuesday, February 23, 2010.
She weighed in at 6 lbs. 10 oz. and measured 19 1/4 inches long.

After a full day of questioning if this would be the day that our family grew, Phoebe made quite the dramatic entrance into this world just about 20 minutes after we arrived at the hospital. Although I had had contractions all day long, they were irregular and sporadic, so we carried about business as usual. The contractions finally picked up at about 11:00 pm, and then my water broke shortly thereafter. Tim made a frantic dash to drop off Sophia and Noah at our friends house, and then we left for the hospital at about 11:45. We got there at about 12:20 AM, and I was holding Phoebe in my arms not long afterwards. In fact, we filled out the medical consent forms after she was born- giving the doctors permission to do what they needed to do (or in our case what had already been done!). I never even got an IV prick or anything!

After a few very quiet, uneventful days in the hospital, we brought Phoebe home to join the family. She is a perfect baby. She is SO content and happy. She's been smiling almost from the beginning. She's like clockwork on her three hour schedule and usually sleeps better than any of the rest of us. More often than not, I have to wake her up to feed her.

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