When it Comes To Fathers

When it Comes To Fathers

When it comes to fathers, I found the best.

I’ve told Tom the best part of being married is watching him be a dad. Or if I haven’t told him, I should.

The truth is, I give him a hard time; he’ll say all of the time, I say some of the time. Like this weekend, we were celebrating Father’s day with crabs (the best!), I ask Tom to get Tommy food. I was thinking a hot dog, watermelon, maybe coleslaw and a drink- on a plate, with a fork. Tom had his dad get Tommy a hot dog and that was it; no fruit, no vegetable, no plate, no fork. #dadlife.

Things like that baffle me. Or putting Tommy to bed without pajamas- like what? Or not putting him to bed at all and letting him stay up to watch tv. He’s two! I probably have a list but that’s okay. Apparently we aren’t the only ones who parent differently. Dads are special.

When it comes to fathers, they are kind of the best. And truthfully, maybe more fun than mothers. Maybe a lot more fun. Just saying.

When it comes to fathers I know the best: Tom, my own dad and Tom’s dad are some of the sweetest, laid back (in a good way) most fun people I know.

It must be a dad thing.

#HappyFathersDay

What are the funny things that your husband/dad does that you never would? I have a whole lot more but like I said, he is kind of the best.

-Emily

Our second and third baby

Our second and third baby

Hi guys,

There is something I’ve been meaning to tell you.

In January, Tom and I found out we are expecting another baby.

In February we found out we are expecting twins.

In March we found out our babies had several abnormalities and were deemed incompatible with life. Specifically, both of our twins have limb body wall complex.

Now it’s May and I am 21 weeks pregnant with these sweet babies.

twin pregnancy limb body wall

At 12 weeks our ultrasound technician left the room quietly to get our doctor. I told Tom she looked upset. We already knew we were having twins, we already knew there was a chance they could be conjoined.

My OB sent us to a maternal fetal medicine doctor the same day. The doctor came in and the quietest voice, told us that our babies were incompatible with life. She listed off several abnormalities and showed us each one.

She explained that none of it added up to be any one defect or any one cause. She said they could also be conjoined at the liver, we just don’t know.

She asked if I had any questions. I looked at the screen, where I just saw two hearts beating and asked: “but they are still alive…so why are they still alive”?

She quietly said, “I don’t know”.

She got up to leave and told us to take as much time as we needed which sounded ridiculous.

Then, I looked at Tom and sobbed like I have never sobbed before. Good thing Tom was there to hold me because it was 20 minutes before I could walk again. As we cried, we both cried out to Jesus. The presence of the Holy Spirit became so thick in the room we could tangibly feel God all around us. We both walked out with a peace we still can’t explain. Except we can.

God goes before us, He is always with us, He never forsakes us. God was already there.

And the same God who I walked into that exam room with, is the same God I left with.

His promises are real. And even in this I have joy.

God is bigger than all of my fear.

Our faith tells us God can heal these babies completely. And we know they are already whole and complete in Jesus. No matter how long we have them, we are their parents- stewards of their souls. If we lose them, we know that Jesus conquered death. So we have no fear. We only have joy.

I plan to post about our journey. Even the hard parts. Already, I have gained so much from reading from other parents who faced a similar diagnosis. Already God has shown up for us in ways we can’t explain but will try to witness too.

Will you pray our sweet babies and for us- believe with us for a miracle and trust God to do a work in us either way? We so covet your prayers. Thank you sweet friends.

Cherishing all of your prayers and forever thankful for these babies,

-Emily

Tommy’s Two Year Update

Tommy’s Two Year Update

Our Tommy-man is two years old.

And he is just so funny. Whoever calls twos terrible, well I just don’t know but it’s pretty terrific.

Two Year Update

Two-year-old Tommy is a total goofball.¬†Everything is funny, everything is fun except when he doesn’t get the snack he wants. Then maybe I do get it. #toddlerlife

Two Year Update

Really, Tommy is still sweet natured (just like his dad) but maybe a touch stubborn (like his mama) and now he comes up with the funniest things. Like how he saw the dog eating grass in the backyard and tells everyone Kiptyn eats poop and then laughs about it like it is the funniest thing he’s ever heard.

I love watching his imagination lately- it is out there (not the dog eating poop thing, that’s probably true).

Watching him grow into a two-year-old, he is more confident with most everything. He is not timid about anything and will let you know what he wants. Like cookies and donuts and playing outside.

Lately he has turned into a chatterbox, literally repeating everything we say. (Like that one time he told his dad to chill out.) His favorite word might be no, but I’ve heard it’s a toddler thing. He says a lot of other things the funniest being heavy- which he says with a weird accent- heeeavvvy. It’s the best.

He outgrew his dance to all rap music stage but I am sure it will come back right?

A big milestone for us is now at two he may have outgrown his dairy allergy. Hallelujah. Tommy had a whole piece of pizza the other day and did just fine so fingers crossed.

I just realized I have no idea how much he weighs or how tall he is so maybe I should get on that but he is in 3T clothes and I’ buying bigger shoes every week.

Here are some more of two year old Tommy’s favorite things.

favorite food : shrimp lo-mein (just like me)
favorite color : orange, he thinks everything is orange or pink
favorite book : Everyone Poops (I mean, it’s a classic so..)
favorite thing to do : be outside
favorite toy : toy shotgun
favorite sport : baseball
favorite tv show : PJ Masks on repeat (make it stop! jk)
favorite place : the farm
favorite animal : dogs
favorite dog : Ripken, his aunt Val’s yellow lab
loves : all things animals, balls and sports, guns
most used phrase : “what happened? or what is that?”

That’s all about Tommy for his two year update. I’ve got to say I love raising a two-year old. Especially this two-year old.

The luckiest,

Emily

We Bought a Minivan, for Real.

We bought a minivan and it is a total God thing. Do you believe God loves us enough to care that we have a car to drive? We do because we’ve lived it.

Ever since we dated, Tom and I have struggled with our vehicle situation. I almost wouldn’t go out with him because he didn’t have a car for the longest time. It drove me crazy and was probably the number one point of contention in our relationship- him not having a car and my truck always breaking down. See Tom went to school to be a mechanic so I thought that meant he would have a car that ran. It was a struggle that continued into our marriage even though we had two vehicles that ran, most of the time. To his credit, Tom has never not been able to fix our cars, it’s just that our cars just needed a lot of fixing.

Before we we even thought about having a baby we for sure knew we needed to buy a vehicle- basically anything newer than the ’93 Honda and ’97 Ford pick-up we had. But that didn’t happen. So one day last week I was driving our Honda and smoke started pouring out of the hood. Our baby was asleep in the back seat. I panicked, pulled the baby out of the car, ran into a Roy Rogers and waited for the car to explode. It never did and we were perfectly safe.

Tom came two hours later, fixed a hose and drove the car home. The baby slept the whole time.

So our friend Josh has a car lot with his dad (shout out Josh) and literally one week before the car broke down Josh told Tom about a 2006 Town & Chrysler minivan they had for sale. Tom was transfixed for some reason and would not stop talking about this minivan. I ignored him because we didn’t have the money. Plus don’t you need to have like five kids to buy a minivan? Tom went ahead and applied for a car loan- bad credit score and all.

We bought it a few days later.

Luck? Not at all. Just the fact that our ghetto Honda didn’t catch on fire is proof that God loves us. And us buying a car newer than twenty years old? Oh man this is a big deal. We prayed and prayed about our vehicle situation and when I was sitting in that Roy Rogers I prayed even harder. God answers prayer. And this is proof. For real.

See neither of us wanted a minivan- we were those people, thought we were too cool and didn’t have enough kids. At least that’s what I thought, I have no idea why Tom didn’t want one. But then I had a dream that we bought this exact van and Tom for some reason just would not stop talking about it. It was like God saying hey get over what you think you need, I know exactly what you need and here it is- oh and it’s going to be so much better than you ever expected. Because it is. Vans are like the coolest cars out there, so much room. We could have a party in the back. A dog and baby party.

So that’s our story. We bought a minivan and it is a total a God thing. The timing, the price, the mileage, the fact that we were able to get a low super interest rate, the fact that we bought a car that runs- God is so good. And minivans are awesome.

What is God blessing you with this week?

xoxo,
Emily

Mother’s Day Week

Happy Mother’s day week! Mother’s day can be a whole week right? For my first ever Mother’s day All I wanted to do was thank my Mama because, seriously- how did she make this look so easy?

So here is me on Mother’s Day thinking my hair looked put together enough to take a picture and holding my baby like a sack of flour. (I promise I’m not strangling him) 

 

 

 
And here is my mom on Mother’s day, mother of four. FOUR! Notice how put together she looks holding that same baby. Gee wiz. 35 years of raising kids (she had my oldest brother and then me 17 years apart), I don’t think I heard her complain once.
 
 
And she’s so pretty. 
 
Now if you had to guess, who do you think got who a gift on Mother’s day? 
 
My mom got ME a gift. What? She said it’s because she knows how hard motherhood can be. Are you serious? My plan was to bring her dinner because sometimes, food is the BEST gift so I asked her what she wanted and she said fried chicken. If you know my mom you know she is a super healthy. So I questioned the fried chicken. 
 
“Really? Fried chicken?”
“Yeah I’ll just pull the skin off. “
 
You all, this summarizes my mother so well. Yes my mom really does like fried chicken, I mean who doesn’t but the reason she said fried chicken was because she knows her family likes it and because she knows I just had a baby and it’s easy. I mean seriously isn’t my mom ridiculous? Even on mother’s day, thinking of her kids. Not to mention who has enough willpower to eat fried chicken without the skin? She’s superwoman.

So that was my grand plan right? To buy the fried chicken for Mother’s day dinner- well I go to pick it up and my dad already paid for it.  Parents, can’t do anything nice for them.

We also spent a lovely brunch with Tom’s mom, a mom to six. SIX. She how comfortable she is with Tommy? It looks like he is just floating on her lap.

So we got her a picture of all of us kids for Mother’s day and she loved it. Isn’t that bizarre? Like here are all of us that you do so much for, we’re going to take a picture of ourselves and give it to you and you’re going to love it. And she so did. What? Moms are so crazy.

All this to say we had a lovely 2016 mother’s day. Tommy got me a camp chair that rocks so we can sit out on the deck together and I thanked him profusely for it. And even though I was a little sad my mom wouldn’t let me buy her dinner, I totally get it because I would do the same thing to Tommy. #momlife

Happy Mother’s Day week!

xoxo,
Emily

 
 

Tommy’s Birth Story (It’s a long one!)

Tommy Taylor is six seven, ok now EIGHT weeks old and I am starting to forget the details of his birth. Can you believe it? Probably, because there’s a reason women can’t remember birth details and it has to do with having more babies.

Keep reading if you are into birth stories, stop if you aren’t.

At 40 weeks and 3 days pregnant I walked into my doctors office and asked him WHEN was this baby coming? My due date had been March 10th. It was now March 13th. I can see now how impatient that makes me. But yeah, I was that impatient.

My doctor said how about March 16th. Then he explained that I would have to be induced. He said I would be fine, he said people get induced all the time. I cried in the elevator in his office.

Two days later, on March 15th, I was THIS pregnant shopping at Target for last minute baby things.I thought if I walked for long enough I could get my water to break and not have to be induced. I’ll give you two guesses how that went.

We checked in for our 8:00 PM at exactly 7:56 PM and I was exactly 0 centimeters dilated.
Now, I don’t claim to be a labor and delivery expert but I thought I had a pretty good idea of what was about to happen. Let’s just say it’s way different when it’s you and every animal I have ever seen give birth handled their business like a champion compared to me.
Seriously. Champions. 
I had my cervix manually dilated with a foley bulb then tried to sleep but just watched the baby’s heart beat on the monitor all night long. Then it was 6:56 AM and I was 3 centimeters dilated and was ready to rock and roll. 
I got some pitocin and started having contractions 5 minutes apart. 
10:40 AM the doctor on call from my practice broke my water. The doctor’s exam was really rough, but otherwise I couldn’t feel anything, just a trickling down my leg. He said I was 4 centimeters dilated and that felt like a big deal. Tom was texting friends and family saying we were on the way to having a baby. I felt like I was rocking at this labor things, just cruising through contraction after contraction. I was smiling a lot and super polite to everyone. 
The thumbs up ‘I’m in labor’ selfie seemed to be important so I took a lot of them. 
Then BAM. 1:15 PM all of a sudden contractions were one minute apart and GOOD GRACIOUS they hurt. There was no rolling through anything. I wanted the epidural stat. Tom chose right then to get lunch probably because I told him he could….when he got back I just about ripped his hand off and asked where he had BEEN. I told Emily I thought I would need the epidural soon and then the next contraction I told her I no, I needed it NOW.  I was 4 centimeters dilated and asked Emily if I should wait to get it, she told me it was totally up to me. 
The birth class we never took, yeah it seemed really important all of a sudden. 
2:13 PM Still only 4 centimeters dilated,  I decided to go for it, the epidural was in in 7 minutes flat and I was on a cloud. Everything was good again. I was back to being polite and smiling. The epidural totally worked for me, but I kind of see why there is so much debate about getting one. Anyway, it was way WAY worth it for me. 
I stayed 4 centimeters dilated for seven hours. (Some people say epidurals slow down labor so maybe it was the epidural’s fault but who am I to judge) 
Then my doctor came in and said I needed a c-section. That totally messed with my mind. I started thinking I wasn’t meant to deliver this baby. Tom and I started praying. 
Almost immediately after we started praying I felt something change. Suddenly, there was so much pain that I couldn’t deal. I asked Emily (the nurse) if the epidural wore off. She told me no, the baby was just moving down. Well HELLO, I thought that was what the epidural was for. 
Turns out an epidural was just for contractions, or something (I’m still confused)  but I know it hurt a ton. I asked Tom to put worship music on to help me focus of Jesus instead of all the pain. I wanted to start cursing the pain and Tom and everything and everyone but Tom kept reminding to call out to Jesus instead. I did. Jesus was all I was holding on to. 
8:00 PM Boom. I was 8 centimeters dilated. It felt like a miracle because it was a miracle. God answers prayers and we had a whole lot of people praying for us. The doctor came in and basically said wow, I wasn’t sure your body was going to do it either but you got this now. You’re going to have a baby!
What happened next is a bit of blur. In my mind we changed rooms but in reality two hours passed and I felt like I had to push the whole time. Actually I felt like I had to poop the whole time. True story. Just keeping it real. That’s all I could fixate on, how much I had to poop. Apparently it was the urge to push but I was only 8 centimeters so it wasn’t time yet.
I now totally understand, a few things. One: it would be really hard if not impossible to deliver a baby on your own. Two: dads deserve just as much congratulations for surviving a baby’s birth as moms. Three: labor and delivery nurses probably don’t get paid enough. 
All that to say for two hours I completely and utterly lost my cool. Between screaming that I had to poop to breathing way too fast to almost twisting Tom’s fingers off, I was not keeping it together and I didn’t care what happened next as long as someone got that baby out of me and fast. 
For two hours I screamed and for two hours Rhonda helped me breathe and kept me from pushing before it was time. She totally told me to got ahead and poop if I had to but that what I was feeling wasn’t poop it was the baby. I screamed that she was lying. Tom, well I’ve never seen that look on his face but he kept it together too and he was a rock. He tried to help me breathe but I wasn’t having it.
I love my husband though. At one point Rhonda told me the baby’s head was right there, that I was doing so good. I screamed that she was lying. Since I didn’t believe her, Rhonda told Tom look at the baby’s head coming. That is how I know my husband loves me, he looked because he knew I needed to hear it from him. His whole plan was to do whatever I needed but he didn’t want to see anything down there if he could help it. Sure enough Tommy’s head was right there. 
10:00 PM, I’m not sure when my doctor came in or how long she had been there but we went from me yelling at everyone to her calmly telling me to push. I couldn’t believe it. I pushed and nothing happened. (So much for the baby just falling out at 37 weeks like I thought he might). I pushed and pushed and screamed and pushed. And then I was so exhausted that I started falling asleep. As I was pushing. I told myself I would go until 10:30 and then I would ask for a c-section. 
10:34 PM They told me to push one more time. I said I couldn’t. I did it anyway. 
WHOOSH it felt like something hard and followed by a whole bunch of jelly coming out and that was my baby. He came out screaming louder than I was. 
Within minutes he was on my chest and I was in shock and in love. 
I never told anyone but I was nervous I wouldn’t love my baby right away, like he wouldn’t feel like mine but the love was instant and it was intense. There was no doubt that he was mine and my heart was so full. My heart has never been so full. 
Thomas David Howard Taylor Jr. weighed 8 lbs 7 oz, and measured 21.5 inches long. And he was perfectly healthy. 

He was everything we had prayed for. 
God knew exactly what was up when I got pregnant before I thought I was ready and He was in control the whole time. Each time I told Tom I was afraid of something: whether it was losing the baby, or the baby having the most recent genetic disease I googled and even in the midst of the hardest most painful part of labor Tom always reminded that God brings everything together for our good. Always, no matter what. (Romans 8:28) 
For his reminding me of God’s faithfulness and for a thousand other reasons I am glad we named this baby after my husband. I couldn’t have had a baby without him. I mean seriously he had a lot to do with it.

 And that ladies and gentlemen is how we had a baby.
xoxo, 
Emily