02 Jan Momspiration Monday // Kailey’s Story
My husband, Ryan, and I are college sweethearts. We married right after I graduated college so we both agreed that we wanted to wait around 5 years before having kids. Not only were we broke when we first married- ha- but both of our parents started their families pretty early on in their marriage and they shared with us some of the benefits of waiting. Mainly so that we could develop a true relationship before kids, although, their tune seemed to change a few years in when they saw other couples our age starting to have kids. 😉 Looking back, I am so glad we had that special time together as a couple to travel, get to know each other well, and create a strong foundation of being each other’s best friend and #1 before anything else on this earth.
After we’d been married five and a half years, we welcomed our sweet baby boy into the world on September 22, 2014. We named him Haddon Cole Posey. Haddon is named after Charles Haddon Spurgeon, a 19th century pastor that is special to us and Cole was my maiden name. He looked exactly like Ryan when I got a good look at him after I delivered. The hospital stay was a blur but at the same time so memorable and we were both pretty obsessed with him – still are! I had heard many people describe the moment of leaving that hospital thinking the nurse is nuts for letting you take this baby with you while being in disbelief that you are actually parents! That is exactly how we felt.
That first week was such a roller coaster of emotions (hello hormones!) where one second you feel so clueless and then the next you feel like you’re getting the hang of it. God really does give us mommies super powers to fight through the sleep deprivation and begin to take care of these babies without ANY experience or knowledge at all. Those first few weeks were an entirely new level of feeling 100% dependent on the Lord for His strength and to [try and] hand over every anxious thought.
One challenge I experienced with Haddon was nursing. It was NOT what I expected at all. Who knew the shape of your nipple was such a huge deal! Haha To be very honest, I felt like a failure that it wasn’t working right. This was the one thing I was supposed to be able to do as a mother, right? Looking back I can see that I was being WAY too hard on myself. I have noticed that is a repeating theme in motherhood. I digress…one specific week sticks out in my mind so much.
When Haddon was 4 months old, he all of a sudden wouldn’t nurse and would scream like crazy after a few minutes of trying everything. One late night, I had just depleted my entire stash of frozen breast milk that day and in the midst of Haddon and I both bawling, I was having to pump and squeeze out drops of milk to try to feed Haddon before bed and calm him down. I didn’t think it was going to be enough because earlier that day he had a growth spurt and ate a ton and that whole week he had been taking at least half a bottle at night …and just when I thought we’d have to run to the store to buy formula.. he stopped crying and fell asleep in Ryan’s arms.
I let out the biggest sigh of relief and sat alone on the couch while Ryan put him to bed. I was immediately reminded then about how God gives us our daily bread. God graciously provided manna for the Israelites in the desert every day and night for 40 years! It was the exact portion everyone needed, every single day. He had done that for Haddon that day too. Despite my planning, over-pumping, controlling, worrying, and crying God specifically provided the exact amount of drops of milk Haddon needed that day – even though it was a completely different amount than normal. I then realized, that God does this for me every day too with other things like patience, energy, etc. He gives me my daily bread. This has stuck with me so much – that I need to rely on God and ask him to provide these things for me daily because He is the source of ALL things! I don’t need to get caught up in the “what ifs” or worries of tomorrow because He is perfectly enough for each and every day.
Fast forward to January, 2016, when Haddon was nearly a year and a half old, I started getting a sneaky suspicion I was pregnant… and I was right.. and we weren’t planning on it. ☺ Ryan and I had talked about waiting to start trying for our next baby in the summer. God had different plans. We were shocked at first but then so so excited!
Even though we had this wonderful news to kick off 2016, it turned into a pretty rough start. I lost my great aunt in January and my Papaw (my mom’s father) in February, all while we were juggling the news that Ryan’s Papa (his mom’s father), whom I absolutely adored and was very close to, had been diagnosed with liver cancer. It seemed positive and hopeful the first few months of the year but took a quick turn after Easter when we found out it had metastasized to other locations. In less than two weeks he passed away on April 9th. This absolutely rocked our family – especially since Ryan is an only child and his mom is an only child as well. Their family was an extreme exception to how close families normally are. He was the closest example (to me and SO many other people) of what it was like to live and love like Jesus.
After the funeral, one ray of hope that our family was looking forward to was finding out the gender of our sweet baby at a party that Ryan’s family was planning a couple weeks later. At 18 weeks pregnant, on April 20th, Ryan and I went in to have our anatomy sonogram. The moment they turned on the screen I knew something was wrong. Our doctor quietly and tenderly said “I know you all have been through so much and I’m sorry but the baby is measuring much smaller than it should. I’m so sorry but we can’t find a heartbeat”. The pain in my heart and gut was indescribable. We were in shock. Our doctor left the room and the first words I uttered after a few minutes of wailing together in each other’s arms were “Okay, Lord…we trust you”.
On paper most would think this was absolutely awful to be hit by two tsunami waves in a row. But, Ryan and I have explained it like this. For those of you that have had a deep loss, like we did with Papa as we were extremely close with him, you know that it completely shifts your perspective on life and how short it is. He left such an incredible legacy with how to live our lives for Christ that we had on “eternal lenses”. We loved the world less and wanted to meet the Lord sooner. We were already on our knees when we were hit with losing this baby…
We met with my doctor after we had our time in the sonogram room. He let us know that I was too far along to have a DNC and would need to deliver our baby. At first that broke my heart and made me even more upset. He said we didn’t have to rush, so I didn’t. I am the type to take my time making decisions and I also had a desire to be pregnant a little longer.
Those immediate days following, we had an army of friends and family praying for us, and we felt God’s peace in a way that was so unexplainable. The best visual I can come up with was that there was a hurricane of grieving, sadness and storms around us and while I felt like I should be drowning, I was mysteriously floating. Did my heart ache beyond words? Absolutely. But, I was comforted in my immense sadness at losing our child.
Our experience at the hospital was more peaceful and sweet than I would have imagined, especially in the midst of such shock and sorrow. The nurses and my doctors were angels in scrubs. They were so gentle and sincerely sorry for my loss. They made us feel so loved and special, even though they unfortunately see similar stories too often. Before we delivered I asked my doctor if he would be able to confirm the gender and he told us that it most likely wouldn’t be possible.
However, I knew in my heart the gender of our sweet baby. Rewind to the night Papa passed away, less than two weeks earlier, as we laid in bed and I had just closed my eyes – I had the most vivid vision of two rolling hills that were completely blanketed with wild pink flowers. Words will never ever be able to describe the beauty I saw. The vision only lasted a couple seconds and I immediately asked Ryan if he was awake? He was, so I sweetly told him “we are going to have a baby girl”. I explained what I saw and said “you’re going to be a daddy to a princess”. That is what Papa called Ryan’s mom, still, and we had been talking about that earlier that evening. I was so confident after that night that we were having a girl. Little did I know how significant that special vision would be in a couple weeks when I delivered her.
I shared this story with my nurse in the hospital. Right after I delivered her, my doctor looked at me and said “we can’t confirm the gender” but my nurse chimed in, with a smile on her face and said “it’s ok, she’s a girl. She even looks like a girl.” She was actually born en-caul, which means she was still in the amniotic sac so we had the privilege of not only having an entirely whole baby (which isn’t always the case when they are that small) but we got a sneak peak into the absolute miracle of a child growing inside of my womb. This made Psalm 139 even more special.
She was 4 inches long, the length of my palm, and weighed 0.8 oz (you read that right… less than an ounce). They placed her body on a blanket in my lap and we had some sweet moments soaking all of her teeny tiny features in together. During this time, Ryan shared an idea for her name because we hadn’t fully decided yet. We had told Papa before he passed away that we were going to name this baby after him so we decided to use his middle name, Carrol for her first name and Grace for her middle name after a verse that had such significance to us – you will hear about this in a minute. Her name was absolutely perfect for her.
Having to go through the delivery process made being a mommy and daddy so much more real to us. Every mom loves to share her birth story of each child. She remembers every single detail because it is such a badge of honor. I got to have that with Carrol Grace. The hardest part of the experience, as one would imagine, was having to say goodbye and hand her over. I will never forget our time with her right before. All the family said their goodbyes and Ryan and I were able to spend some good time with her. The three truths we had to keep reminding ourselves of were:
- No mommy thinks they can love their child better than anyone else on this earth. And I personally think we are right. However, in Carrol Grace’s instance, she is being held and loved for and cared for by a Father that IS love. He is perfect love. He loves us each of our children more than we can ever love our own child. In fact, our love pales in comparison. Wow.
- If we are believers in Christ, our number one goal as a parent is that our children would intimately know God and have a relationship with Jesus and trust in Him. Carrol Grace is already doing this. For that I am so thankful.
- We will see her again. And we will be with her for eternity. This isn’t an uplifting cliché that we told ourselves to push away the pain. This is truth. But the most humbling thing about it is that only because God chose to love me and save me, despite my sin, was I able to believe in Jesus Christ as my savior. Because of God’s mercy and grace, I have the free gift of eternal life in heaven with God, and now with our sweet daughter. (1 John 5:11-13)
The verse that is her name’s sake is 2 Corinthians 12: 9-10. “But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you. For my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weakness so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ then, I am content with weakness, insults, hardships, persecution, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.’” This verse came alive to me right after Papa passed away and will always stick with me. I was SO weak and helpless and desperate for him to carry me through each hour, let alone every day. His perfect grace was sufficient for me during the midst of my deep grieving and still is there for me every day – whether I am having sad days or joyful days.
As mommies, especially of young ones, ‘weak’ is a pretty good description of how we feel at the end of the day. We pour so much into taking care of them, running after them, loving them, teaching them, disciplining them, and disciplining them again. What a freeing thing to know that I don’t have to manage this all on my own weakness. I have the creator of the Universe that gives me my daily strength.
My biggest encouragement to other moms (and also to myself as I am most definitely still growing in this area) would be to fully depend on the Lord.Let’s be real – most of us barely have time to squeeze in a solid 30 minutes daily of spending time reading the bible. So, even if that looks like listening to worship music, saying 10 second prayers, working on memorizing scripture, whatever it is – the more we focus on Him and His strengths and amazing character, and the less we focus on our weaknesses and downfalls – the more dependent we will want to be on him. He is the ultimate caregiver, provider, and loving parent that we need. Why not use this amazing resource to help us be more patient, present, caring, gentle, selfless, and loving mommies to our precious kids?
Kailey is a wife to her college sweetheart and a SAHM to Haddon  and her heavenly Carrol Grace in Dallas, TX. The OSU graduate and retired wedding and corporate event planner loves to go to the movies, crafting and calligraphy. She and Ryan are expecting the arrival of another little boy in 2017!
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