Everest’s Birth Story

“For this child I have prayed” – 1 Samuel 1:27

It seems surreal some days that we finally have a precious newborn in our arms. We are just so grateful and over the moon in love with this beautiful gift. Our sweet sweet, Everest.

If it had been according to our own plans, we would have had 4 children earth side by now – our twins along with a two year old (gender unknown) and also a 7 month old – our baby girl Paisley. But life doesn’t always go the way we hope it will and as hard as it was to suffer two painful losses over the past few years, I can’t imagine life without our son Everest in it, whom we otherwise might not have had the chance to know.

In the hours leading up to our daughter Paisley’s birth last March, I was such an emotional mess and had decided I did not want anymore children. But as soon as she was born, as soon as I laid eyes on our sweet girl, so wonderfully and perfectly made, everything changed.  Ron and I both knew that we wanted to try and have another baby as soon as possible. We wanted a big family and it was such a strong desire placed on both of our hearts, more now than ever before.

But the hardest part in moving forward after we had had time to grieve, was not knowing what lay ahead for us. Combatting the fear of losing again was what I battled on a daily basis from the moment we began to try for another baby. Even though I had made the decision to trust the Lord with the future of our family, I had to continually re-surrender it all back to Him. I had to just wake up each day through this pregnancy and make the conscious decision over and over again to give all my fear and anxiety back to Jesus.  And yes, we were blessed almost immediately with conceiving another baby and we’re so thankful for that. But I think about this often… what if the next chapter in our story had gone differently? The reality is that we could have still been trying today or maybe for another 5 years, or what if we had lost again? And again?  Would we still be trusting and praising Jesus through it all? Yes, I absolutely believe we would. And that isn’t to say we wouldn’t have been upset and heartbroken had that been the case. But God used our daughter Paisley to teach us so much during that difficult season….We discovered ourselves what it truly meant to trust and be joyful when to this broken world, there wouldn’t have seemed like a reason to be.  We both gained an entirely new perspective on life and what it means to be parents.  We saw complete strangers question their faith and friends and family come to know Him better.  And we have learned to own our story. The good parts and the bad.

I have learned to now stop and remind myself when I’m walking through a difficult season, that I will get through it with the Lord on my side. That He will hold us up when it’s too much to handle on our own and that we will come out of it stronger. And although I miss my daughter dearly each and every day and wish we had gotten the chance to know her, I’ve truly become grateful for that season in our life. For the way God changed us and used our loss for His glory. 

So here we are today, with three beautiful boys and I can’t imagine it any other way. Everest Isaiah has brought so much joy and healing to our hearts. He is such a precious gift from the Lord and we thank Jesus for him every day. I often just stare at him and can’t believe He is ours. 

So now onto the birth story of our sweet little man… My induction date was set for Tuesday, February 6th. I had requested an induction as we just wanted this baby boy healthy and earth side as soon as we possibly could. So my OB scheduled me in for 38 weeks. It was great to be able to put a date on the calendar that we could all count down to.

But the thing with induction, is that they give you a date but no time so you have to be ready anytime between 7 am and midnight with the odd chance that you may get pushed until the next day if they are too busy. Well apparently it was a BUSY day, because I didn’t get my call until 10 pm at night. The twins were disappointed as they had been waiting all day long for their sibling to arrive and had to go to bed not knowing when he’d be here. But we were happy to get the call before we went to bed and headed across the city to the hospital, ready for a long night ahead.

By the time we got settled in the room with our nurse, ready to begin the process, it was just around 11:30 pm. The resident on call began by breaking my water and gave me the option of starting the oxytocin as well or waiting it out a bit. We opted to start as I was just wanting things to move along as fast as possible by that point. I began to feel the contractions within an hour or so and athough the pain wasn’t all that bad at first, we ordered the epidural so I could get comfy and try and rest a bit through the night. It’s funny how every pregnancy and birthing experience is so different. I just assumed my induction experience would be pretty similar to my past ones but I felt different side effects this time with the epidural. I felt pretty nauseous until my nurse got me some gravol and got extremely itchy at one point through the night as well, it felt like my entire body was on fire. I’d never experienced any of these side effects with past epidurals. Other than that, it seemed to do it’s job and I was able to sleep for short periods of time. Although I was really just too excited to sleep much at all. During an induction, they check to see how dilated you are about every 2 hours. At around 5:45 my night nurse checked me for the last time before she switched shifts and I was approximately 5 cm. We assumed it would be a while before I was ready to birth. But after resting for another hour or so, right as our morning nurse was checking in at 7 am, I began to feel intense pressure as if I needed to push ASAP. I told the nurse what I was feeling and she agreed to check. Sure enough, I was fully dilated. She ran to get the OB and prep everything and it wasn’t long before I started to push. After about 30 minutes (what seemed to me like 3 hours)  Everest Isaiah Young was born at 8:05 a.m., weighing exactly 8 lbs. They laid him on my chest right away and Ron and I just looked at each other and cried and cried. It felt completely surreal that we finally had our baby boy in our arms. All 8 lbs of him. We were in love.

My mom brought the twins to the hospital later that morning to meet their baby brother, the moment I had been looking forward to most. To say they were excited to meet this baby they had been talking to in my belly for months is an understatement. They had been counting down the days for what seemed like forever and it was finally here.

Since everything had gone smoothly and as planned, we were able to take Everest home that evening and by 8 p.m. we were all snuggled up in our living room, loving on our sweet boy. Below is some video footage of the boys meeting him for the first time. I cry every time I watch it. God is so, so good.

Thanks so much for reading!

photos by my dear friend Sophie of Raw Footage Photography. 

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Road Trip to Nashville

At the end of October we took a road trip out to Nashville. It was a special trip for us for several reasons. First of all, my husband has been a die hard fan of the Nashville Predators for about 15 years now so watching them play live in their own city has been on our bucket list for a while. Secondly, with our next baby arriving in just a few short months, it was our last little holiday as a family of four. So we really took in every moment together, knowing that things will be a lottttt different on our next trip!

The drive from our city to Nashville was about 10 hours long but we’ve been doing long road trips with the twins since they were young so they’re used to it! I always pack them a fun bin full of activities for the car….scavenger hunts, travel bingo, coloring books, a few surprises to open, lace trace toys, water wow books, a bunch of dvd’s from the library and of course lots of snacks and munchies!

It was a quick trip once we were there. We were only gone for 4 nights but I’d say we got a good taste of Nashville life. The only thing we didn’t experience with our kids along of course is the night life, but being 25 weeks pregnant, that didn’t bother me much! The highlight of our trip was definitely the hockey game. The boys were so into it too as we’ve been taking them to hockey games since they were a year and half old. It was great to see how stoked my husband was to be there, taking it all in amongst so many Nashville fans.

I feel like everything else we did involved eating of some sort. We had some good ole’ BBQ while walking Broadway mid afternoon the first day we were there. The scene downtown was quite the experience! Live music for miles and people partying at 11 am in the morning. Not exactly my style but an interesting experience for sure!

The Frothy Monkey was such a fun spot for breakfast and coffee!

We also spent a morning in an adorable small town that a friend of mine is from about 20 min from the city, called Franklin. It just so happened they were having a fall festival that day so it was fun to get out and do some family activities together. And the highlight of Franklin was this amazing bakery we checked out called Five Daughters Bakery. My gosh, the donuts were like nothing I’ve ever tasted. So flakey, so melt in your mouth fresh, so so good! A must-visit if you’re in the area!

A maple bacon donut….not my thing, but he LOVED it. 

And then we jumped over to Greece…haha just kidding. This amazing structure is a historic site in Nashville. It’s model of the Greek Parthenon and it was so neat to see! The boys loved running in and around the huge pillars. 

We had the most amazing taco’s one night at this Mexican place called Mas Taco’s that was recommended to us and that was where we also tried grilled corn on the cob for the first time. (They cover it in parmesan cheese and some other spices and my gosh was it ahhhh-mazing!) They seemed to sell grilled corn on a stick everywhere in Nashville so I was happy we were able to try it! 

Our last day there happened to be my birthday and my husband planned a little coffee shop hop for the morning. He knows me well! We hit up 6 different spots and split a drink at each spot. The twins had had it by the end saying “Not anotherrrrrrrr coffee shop Mom?!?!” but we had fun! And you guys, the coffee in Nashville is a whole other ball game. I could barely go back to drinking starbucks once we got back. The shops we visited were:

  • The Well
  • Bongo Java
  • Crema
  • Eighth and Roast
  • Headcourters
  • Frothy Monkey
  • The Perch

At the end of our coffee hopping, we stopped at Biscuit Love for breakfast    donuts again. Beware if you go, that getting into this place meant waiting outside in the freezing cold for an hour. BUT, it was well worth the wait! SO so so good!!! Another must visit in Nashville!

So I think that’s a wrap! We heard some good music, watched some good hockey, and ate a TON of amazing food. Another State checked off our list!

Thanks for reading!

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It’s a…

We’re thrilled to be welcoming another baby BOY into our family. This little monkey tricked us as we ALL thought it was going to be a girl again. Even these two. But when we told them they were getting another brother, they were equally as excited! So far, their votes for names are Hunny Bunny Boy, Glider, and Vancouver. ha! Don’t ask.

As for us, we are thrilled! I have come to absolutely love having boys and I see it as such a privilege to strive towards raising up strong, respectful, and integral men.

So bring on more trucks and mud, hockey and skateboards. We’re ready for you baby boy!

Thanks so much for reading you guys!

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Baby on the Way

12 weeks. Here we are again for the second time in 6 months. I feel extremely blessed and overjoyed to be carrying a baby once again yet it’s also been a difficult and emotional journey thus far.

I remember it like it was yesterday…crying to my husband as I lay in that hospital bed waiting to deliver Paisley. I told him that I never wanted to do this ever, ever again. I remember saying that I couldn’t do it again. I couldn’t go through the heartbreak of possibly losing another baby and I couldn’t put my precious boys, him, or anyone else through it again either. He just held me and hugged me. He didn’t try and convince me otherwise at the time. I don’t know what was going through his head in that moment and I don’t imagine he even wanted to think about what our future would look like after we left the hospital the next day. I know I didn’t. We were just so filled with grief, so broken, so completely devastated over what we had lost. I didn’t feel I would have the strength to carry another baby after this.

Yet the moment I had Paisley in my arms, everything changed.

When I stared at her perfectly formed fingers and toes and kissed her sweet smelling newborn skin, I knew I had to do this again. She was perfect. Such a gift from the Lord. And even though He had chosen to take her home early, I just knew as I held her and sobbed that Ron and I were going to have more children together, that our family was not yet complete. That God had more in store for us, despite the immense pain we were feeling in that moment. When I shared my heart with my husband a few days later, not knowing where he stood on the issue or what he was feeling about our future, he cried as he told me that he wanted to have 5 more kids together as soon as he saw Paisley (ok we both decided after that 5 may be a little excessive). But it just confirmed to us both that God had more in store.

So here we are. 12 weeks along with another beautiful blessing growing inside me. It feels surreal, to be at this point again so soon but we have seen God’s hand so evidently in this pregnancy since the very start. There have been emotionally draining moments when fear and anxiety have gripped a hold of me. But in those same moments, with full and complete surrender, I have felt God replace those feelings with overwhelming peace and a strong prompting to simply trust.  I wish I could share everything with you in this post but it would likely be a novel. I will say though, that we believe that the Lord has allowed us to experience this journey for a reason. And we have been learning as a family that faith is not about everything turning out ok but about being ok no matter how things turn out. For God is good. His plans are good. And He says: “ You don’t see now what I am doing, but you will someday.John 13:7 

A scripture verse God revealed to us at the beginning of our pregnancy and one that I have reflected on over the past weeks  is this one:

Isaiah 43:19 – “For I am about to do something new! See I have already begun. Do you not see it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” 

Thank you Jesus for blessing us with another precious gift. We are placing this new life once again in your hands and choosing to trust you through it all. 

 

Thank you so much for reading and following along with our journey.

 

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Balloons for Paisley

This past weekend was so special for us. Our God is so faithful.

Two weeks ago, the morning after Ron and I got home from the hospital, it was a gloomy one. We enjoyed fresh baked market muffins (delivered by a friend) and warm coffee on our bed with the twins. There was lots of snuggling and hugs and lots of sadness and tears too. But I also vividly remember feeling an unspeakable joy. A joy that comes only from Him. From the reassurance in knowing that my God is so good and so faithful and that He holds our family in His hands. And that we have that complete reassurance that we will one day be reunited with our baby girl and see her healthy and whole and hear her cries and giggles for the very first time. What a wonderful day that will be.

That morning two weeks back as we sat on the bed together, we decided with the twins that we would make pictures and notes for Paisley that we would send to her in balloons up to heaven. The boys both took this task very seriously as they drew her the most beautiful pictures and dictated to us what they wanted to tell her in notes on the back of their pictures. It brought so many laughs and smiles as they imagined her opening their pictures and suggested that God would probably pop the balloons for her because she might be too scared. We folded up the notes and told them that we would take them to a beach sometime soon when the weather was a bit nicer and send them to her then. The weather was not so great the few weeks following so we waited patiently for the right time to come.

About a week ago, I started chatting with a stranger on facebook who had come across Paisley’s story and reached out because she too experienced a still birth a year ago around the same time and our due dates were just days a part. I felt so connected by our stories and as we kept talking, we realized how much we truly had in common. Before I signed off that evening, she asked me if we would like to use her cottage on the lake that coming weekend just to get away as a family together. I was in tears reading her offer because I just couldn’t believe that a complete stranger would offer such a thing. It just felt like it was completely God using her because we were hoping to get to a beach that weekend as the weather forecast was looking so good and we wanted to send up our balloons. I should mention that the beach was where we wanted to let up the balloons because Paisley’s due date was during beach season and the boys would always talk about how excited they were to take her there and show her the water and  help her splash around. So it was a special spot for us.  My God cares about the little things.  “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” Matthew 6:26  

We were so blown away by this act of kindness but so incredibly grateful for this stranger who listened to His voice and reached out to us in our time of need.

It was such a special weekend for us and we felt God’s overwhelming presence so strongly from the start of the trip so I know without a doubt that it was so orchestrated by Him.  As we started out on the two hour drive, I sat there in the car feeling so thankful for this time to get away as a family but so saddened at the same time because our next cottage trip was supposed to include our baby girl.  A friend on ig had sent me a message prior with this verse “Even in laughter the heart may ache, and rejoicing may end in grief”. Proverbs 14:13. She went on to say that our God knows the struggle of feeling two very opposing emotions at the same time but that also there’s such reassurance that we’re not alone in feeling that confusion. He’s right along side us.

I started to get a bit teary. And then I saw the first road sign. Ron had mapped out the route ahead of time and chosen 1 of 3 possible routes. This particular route took us through a town called “Paisley” 5 km away. WHAT?!?!? I didn’t even know that town existed, let alone that we would go through it on this exact trip and at the exact moment that I was feeling so many mixed emotions. I was shaking and crying uncontrollably by this point because it was just so clearly evident to me that my Jesus cares. He looks down upon his children and He cares and He will show us He does so evidently if we just invite Him in and look for His faithfulness in the littlest everyday things. My sweet baby girl is so safe up there with Jesus and I smiled so big through my tears that evening as I was so reassured of this truth.

This weekend, we flew kites and threw stones in the lake. We cried but we laughed a whole lot more. We snuggled and we prayed. We listened to worship music and read His word together. It was such a special time. On the Sunday morning, we went into town and bought the white balloons. We put our pictures and notes inside them and later that evening before sunset, we held hands and prayed together on the beach and sent them up to heaven, to Paisley.

I wish I could say I came back from our weekend away feeling so much better and stronger and happier than before. But that would be lying. As much as it was a healing time for us and memories we’ll always cherish, the void still remains and I still miss her miserably each and every day. I can’t help but think about all the things we have to do without her as the weeks and months go on and it hurts so, so much.

But I do know, that He will give me the strength to keep going when I feel I can’t. And no matter what heartbreak and loneliness and tragedy I face, He says in His word, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

Thank you Jesus, for your faithfulness. Even in the hardest of times, you are so so good.

Your brothers love you baby girl. 

Thank you so much for reading.

 

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