"And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live." Deuteronomy 30:6

but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.
2 Peter 3:18

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Coming Home

JOY MICHELLE is coming home!!!!! The hospital called this morning and she has been discharged. :)


Friday, October 29, 2010

Joy and Janie

Joy Update: She nursed like a champ today! She has been great throughout the day and if she does well through the night, then she has a very good chance of coming home tomorrow! YAY!

Joy Michelle is 3 days old today, and Janie Beth would have been 10 months old. They were both born on a Tuesday, in the NICU Tues. night and Wed, and I went home on a Thursday after delivering each of them. Obviously, Joy Michelle is still in the NICU. She will hopefully be coming home 10 months to the day after Janie Beth went home to be with Jesus. Amazing Grace! 

My arms have not hurt like they did yesterday when I left the hospital since the days and nights after coming home from the hospital after Janie Beth. October 28, 2010 was the first time I have ever walked out of the hospital after having a baby without carrying one in my arms or lap. (I carried Janie Beth out because we brought her to the funeral home.) We went to the cemetary on the way home to see Janie Beth. I miss her so much. There are things that I didn't experience with her that I hadn't even thought about.

I am so thankful to get to smell Joy Michelle and feel her precious skin by my face all nice and warm. To hear her cry and little noises that she constantly makes. To hold her warm body close to mine as I nurse her. I am blessed! I have peace. Many things are bittersweet, but the sweet outweighs the bitter because I know Janie Beth is smiling down on us. She is thankful that Joy Michelle is here, and she is beyond thankful that she is in Heaven.

I am amazed that I sit here 10 months later. I look back at December 29, 2009, and I do not recognize that person anymore. God has done wonders in my life. Joy Michelle is a huge ray of sun in the storm that we have been walking in!

I am off to bed! I hope to type Joy Michelle's birth story soon, as well as share some more pics.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Joy Gets Fed By Mom

Well, we had our first meal with mom feeding Joy Michelle.

She is getting better and better.

The Karr 5

Here they all are....

Joy Update

Joy Michelle is doing very well! She is moving into the Progressive Nursery at the shift change this evening. She had her first bottle at 4:15, and she sucked it down. Hopefully, I will get to breastfeed her on Friday (I think I will pray for late tomorrow :) ). They think that she may have just had trouble adjusting to being on the outside. She will not see an ENT unless she starts showing signs of struggling while eating. Her doctor right now said she looks great! :) He said she would probably not get to come home until Monday because of the weekend, but we are going to pray for earlier. We serve a Great and Big God!!!!!

The kids saw her and are so excited. They kissed all over her face and kept feeling her cheeks. Katie Jo told her that she is going to help take care of her when she comes home. KJ has been quite worried that Joy Michelle wouldn't live since she had to go to the NICU, but I believe she is doing much better after seeing her.

I must Praise the Lord that I have gotten to hold Joy Michelle and change a couple diapers and I will get to feed her next time. I am so thankful for all of your prayers!!! I believe that they have everything to do with how quickly she is doing so well! What a Mighty God we serve!!!!!

I ask that you please pray that she will latch on well when we can start breastfeeding and that it will all go smoothly transitioning.

Abba, thank You for Your strength and grace!!!

Just A Peek At Joy

Here are some quick pics of Joy Michelle I tooklast night in the NICU.  She is beautiful, although her siblings think she looks like a boy.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Its A Girl

Joy Michelle Karr was born at 5:35 PM (a whole two hours of labor, post water breaking).  She is 6 lbs, 3.8 ozs and 18 1/2 inches long.

Joy is having a bit of a struggle breatrhing so they have her in NICU for a transition evaluation.  Mom is doing wonderfully.

Having A Ball

Well we are up to 8 centimeters and are now sitting/rocking, trying not to fall off of the birthing ball.  For the guys who are reading this, don't ask, because it defies explanation.

Water and Such

Well, we have broken the water and the doc said he does not feel he needs to be far away.  This could happen fast.

Preparing For Joy

Well, the day has arrived.  This is Michelle's husband Joey and I will be your tour guide for the next several hours.  :)  Michelle is offically at 6-7 centimeters, up from the 4 centimeters she was at an hour ago.  As I am able I will be updating our friends during the impending arrival of Joy Michelle Karr.

And away we go.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Washington Post

Janie Beth made the Washington Post. The local paper here did an article about Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, and we were blessed to be a part of it. (I will try to find the link to it too.)

Well, the Post picked up the article as well. None of our pictures were used in The Post, but they were here in our paper.

I am amazed at the way God has used Janie Beth! His ways are truly higher than our ways!!

Here is the article.

This is the picture that is referred to in the article, but it was actually the last time she opened her eyes, not the only time she opened her eyes.
Here is the family picture that was used in the local article talking about her being surrounded by her family.
We were, and are still, so blessed by the pictures that Kelly provided for us!!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Re-Cap of the week

Last week was so busy! Yes, even when on bedrest there are times you must leave the house.

Monday started with check-ups for Katie Jo and Eli. They are looking good. :) Katie Jo is 40.5 lbs. Eli is 33.5 lbs and 37 in. Eli will be evaluated for his speech just to be sure he is good since Josiah and Katie Jo both had speech troubles. I have to say, I LOVE our new doctor!!!!! We also got new epi pens for Eli, and we are looking into whether to re-test now or wait a bit. Josiah had a soccer game that night.

Tuesday we did school. I went to the doc. I was 3-4cm and still 50% effaced. I am to continue taking my meds when I need them and continue to keep off my feet. Katie Jo had a soccer game that night.

Wednesday we went out and about. The kids have been wanting to see where D-Daddy (Joey's dad) was buried, so we took them out there. Then, we went and saw Janie Beth. After visiting her, we went to the mall and the kids built Joy Michelle her Janie Beth bear. We are calling her Little Janie. :) I forgot my camera in the L&D bag. :( We ate lunch and then headed home to rest. Some wonderful ladies came over to visit and brought us some things for Joy Michelle. That night was choir for Josiah and Katie Jo at church. Eli and I hung out at home and watched Funniest Home Videos. :)

Thursday we got some school done again! YAY for 2 days! Josiah went to the doctor that afternoon for his check-up. He is 47lbs and 47in. He has a dislocated knee cap. He was running rather goofily (my made up word) at his game Monday night, and we brought up his leg at the doctor. He also mentioned some double vision from time to time, so he is set up for a full eye work up on the 25th. He will also be re-tested for his speech just to be sure he is all set and not having anymore issues.

Thursday night was my semi-annual consignment shopping night. If you ask Joey, he will tell you that I plan my entire year around my Kid's Market shopping trips. :) I buy everything for the upcoming season and usually some birthday and Christmas gifts as well. We borrowed an electric wheelchair from some new friends for me to use while I was shopping in order to not be on my feet much. I got in bed about 1:00am.

Friday I had to be up and at em by 5 because Gwyn would be at our house extra early since my sister was having a little procedure done. God graciously gave me strength for the day! Katie Jo, Gwyn, and I went to a MOMs club baby shower for 4 mommies, us included, who are due in Nov with girls. It is just a chance to get together and celebrate. We got a little basket with some goodies in it. That morning we looked at the $1 movie theatre schedule. Nanny McPhee Returns is playing. We decided to take everyone to see it that afternoon since we don't know when Joy Michelle will make her appearance. It was a cute movie!! The kids all enjoyed themselves.

Saturday was full of football! As is every Saturday during college football season! We ROLL the TIDE at our house. :) Although, Josiah has become a rebel and now cheers for the Florida Gators. Katie Jo has been a rebel since last season when she decided to follow her Nana and cheer Geaux Tigers. :) We cooked out with my family that night.

Sunday I ventured to the worship service and then the church gave us a shower for Joy Michelle. I must say I was blessed beyond measure!!! We have not been here very long, and they have welcomed us in.

We spent lots of time outside throughout the week as the weather here has been lovely.

I am hoping for more than 2 days of school this week as it is a slower week. Tonight I get to celebrate Joy Michelle with one more shower with friends. :) Tomorrow is the doctor and 35 wks, and both kiddos have soccer games Tues and Thurs night and Sat morning. This ends our soccer season!!! YAY! I am ready for our evenings to be back. We are really looking at dwindling down our schedule and asking God what He wants us involved in.

Sorry for no pics! I hope to get some up soon. I have several posts I want to type up as well. We shall see what the schedule allows. :)

I must also send a shout out to my Beloved!!! He has been doing an awesome job at the laundry and kitchen duties!!!! There are also several wonderful people who have brought us dinner. :) God is providing and blessing!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Trying to Prepare

I am trying to prepare for Joy Michelle's arrival. With most of my pregnancies I try to be pretty ready around 30 wks or so. I believe I went into protect myself mode. I allowed myself to put up the crib and put some bedding on it. I have clothes for her, but they were in boxes or just stuck in random places. If I didn't prepare then I wouldn't be hurt if something goes wrong.

Yea right!!! With the early dilation and contractions, I have been somewhat forced to move forward. Without even realizing it, I was in L&D 9 months after Janie Beth passed away to get my steriod shot. I went the next day for my second shot, 9 months after I left the hospital holding my baby to take her to the funeral home. This time, both days, I had a cute little girl with me in a stroller. :) Gwyn accompanied me to get both of my shots. She happened to be with me at the doctor the first day, and she got to come the next day too.

I realized in the evening of the 30th that I had been at the hospital and that it was the 30th. The 29th escaped me completely. I really didn't feel bad that I hadn't noticed, but it made me catch my breath. It made me think back to those days in December that I was in L&D and how different they were compared to these days in September.

I have emotions that fill me every time I walk down the hallway in L&D. I cannot tell you what they are, but there are many. It is vast mix I believe. Every time, my mind goes to December 29, 2009. I will never forget the nurse that brought us back or the room we were in. The huge mix of emotions from that day as well.

I wonder just how it will feel to walk down that hallway when I go into labor this time. I wonder who my nurses will be. I wonder....

I am trying to allow myself to be excited again. As we draw nearer, I long to hold Joy Michelle and see what she looks like. As I do, I try to remember what it felt like to hold Janie Beth.

My bags are packed. My list is written. My heart is ready. My arms are longing. Her bed is waiting. Her clothes are washed. Now, in God's perfect time she will come and join our family outside my belly. I have let go. I am giving God control, like He didn't have it before, but I am not trying to take it now. :) If she ends up in the NICU, that is ok, that is the plan. We will be ready when He is ready.

Do I feel totally ready? NO! and YES! LOL "He makes all things beautiful in His time."

I go back to the doctor on Tuesday. As of Monday, I was 3 cm dilated. I have had to up my meds in the last couple days to 1 every 4 hours because they weren't doing as much anymore. I am supposed to keep my feet up practically all the time. I am anxious to see how Tues goes! I will be 34 wks on Wed. Janie Beth was born at 34 wks 1 day. My heart is full! My cup runneth over! God is healing me!

I took a picture of myself this morning. :) (Not the best, but I hope to get a good one later.) I haven't really grown much in the last few weeks. I have been measuring 34 wks since 30 wks. I hope to have grown on Tuesday, and if not I may ask for a u/s to check everything.

9 Months

It was 9 months ago today, on January 10, 2010, on a beautiful afternoon that we celebrated Janie Beth's life and buried her precious little body. It was a cold day! We decided not to go to church that morning and instead we went to breakfast at Ryan's. We just spent the morning together as a family and had a little rest time before going to the church.

It was a beautiful ceremony! We praised God and celebrated how Janie Beth had touched out lives up to that point. I can close my eyes and picture it all like it was yesterday. I will never forget watching Joey carry Janie Beth's casket everywhere that it went. He brought it in the sanctuary, he carried it out, and he carried it to the grave. She was very proud of him, and I know she still is.

My heart hurts for her today. I long to hold her and kiss her. I miss her so much. Her 9 month birthday and heavenly birthday snuck by me in September, so I am aching today for my baby girl.

I cannot believe that it has been 9 months. It had not occurred to me that the 10th would fall on a Sunday again. her birthday and heavenly birthday have both fallen on Tues and Wed, but this is the first time anniversary of her celebration has fallen on the same day of the week. This coming after attending Joey's Dad's funeral this week in the very same sanctuary.

Jim's funeral was not as hard as I thought it might be. The hardest part was going into the sanctuary and seeing the casket open for the family to see and say good-bye. I was flooded with seeing Janie Beth in her casket and it brought tears to my eyes. The other hard part was walking out behind the casket. Thankfully, we did walk down a different aisle, and this time I got to hold Joey's hand since he wasn't carrying the casket. Of course, singing the couple songs got to me because they brought Janie Beth so close to my heart. Singing does that to me! It also brings me closer to God. There are not many Sundays that go by that I do not have tear stained cheeks. :)

This Sunday, 9 months later, I sit will my belly swollen and moving with another precious little one. I am at home and not in church as we are trying to keep Joy Michelle in my belly for a bit longer. I had a nice quiet time with God, and He is once again teaching me and molding me. I am excited to see what He does in my heart! There is a Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep balloon release this afternoon for the families that have used them over the last 2.5 years. This year is not my year to get to go. I long to be there among other families that know the ache in my heart, but I believe our family is going to head to Janie Beth's grave this week and have our own little balloon release as we did not too long after she went to Heaven.

I know that in God's time He will open doors for me to reach out to families that sit where I sit. He isn't done healing me and changing me yet. I am amazed at how this pregnancy has been hard and healing at the same time. God is a Big God!!! He is so patient with me. Thank You, Abba!

I want to share a few pictures from January 10, 2010. A day that will forever be etched in my mind. A day that God blessed despite overwhelming sadness.