Madison's Birthday:

June 8, 2010

From the Word:

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart." Jeremiah 1:5

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalm 139:13-14

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Blog from Mommy

It's been a while since I blogged and now that I'm starting to feel adjusted to parenting a newborn, I thought I'd take this opportunity to blog about motherhood and Madison while I have the chance. I'm sure everyone would much prefer Dustin's clever wit but I wanted to share things with everyone about our precious girl. Regretfully it might be a bit longer before we venture out into public so no one is really getting to know Madison other than Mommy and Daddy. So I'll tell you that she is pure joy, and sweetness, and perfection wrapped up in one tiny, little beautiful body. Now keep in mind that I haven't blogged since before Madison was born so get comfortable- I've got lots to share.

I remember thinking on a daily basis while pregnant, I can't believe God is growing a person inside of me. Madison almost seemed unreal to me before she arrived because she was so hidden. Of course her movements reassured me that she was real but I was just completely overwhelmed by the miracle of life God was allowing me to experience. Needless to say, when I heard my little girl take her first breath and cry in the operating room, God's power took on a whole new meaning for me. I thought I could literally rise and fly up off the OR table when I heard that sound. It still gives me chills to remember and every tear and every heartache I experienced during my difficult pregnancy was erased in that one moment. God had sustained her in my belly for all that time and formed her in His image before allowing Dustin and I to meet her on June 8th.

Now that Madison is here and I can see her and touch her, I am even more amazed that God would allow us to experience such a miracle. One night I had put her to bed (her bassinet is right beside our bed) after our nightly routine and climbed up in bed to get some sleep myself. Unlike her usual good baby self, she got fussy. I knew it was not hunger, or a diaper, or a burp that was causing our princess to cry. So, I just leaned over, picked her up and held her so that she could look directly at me. Almost immediately Madison's crying ceased and mine began. It was the first time that Mommy was what Madison needed to soothe her and it completely overwhelmed me. We spent the next few minutes just staring at each other, studying each other's faces. I just wept at how beautiful and special she was and in awe that God had entrusted this amazing creation to us to take care of.

While I can't speak for Dustin, parenting Madison has felt as natural as breathing for me. For as long as I can remember I have wanted to be a mommy and the experience is more rewarding than I ever thought it could be. The fact that I teach family & parenting classes has no doubt helped me in caring for Madison but I now realize that Dustin and I were chosen for Madison and our ability to care for her the way she needs to be cared for is nothing I learned in school- God has given me this wisdom and patience and ability to be the mommy Madison needs. Hebrews 13:20-21 says, "May the God of peace...equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever." There is no doubt in my mind that the Lord has equipped us to parent Madison. We do not know what challenges or obstacles may/may not lie ahead for our little girl but I know that God will accomplish His perfect purpose in Madison and work through her as it pleases Him. I would be lying if I said that my concern over Madison's Spina Bifida has vanished but the Lord will equip me to handle whatever He has in store for us and Madison. He has already blessed us beyond what we thought was possible through her birth and health thus far.

Like I said earlier I wanted to share things about Madison since very few people have actually gotten to spend time with her. Everyday she shows us more of her personality and we fall more in love with her each passing day. In efforts to acquaint you with her, I'll give you a list of 10 things you should know about Miss Madison...

1. Madison rides a bicycle. You're thinking how in the world is that possible but it's true...well, figuratively at least. When she gets her diaper changed or gets fussy she pumps her legs vigorously up and down and I promise you it looks like she's riding a bicycle. We laugh every time she does it and I whisper a prayer of thanksgiving to the Lord at the same time for giving her the ability to move those little legs. She shouldn't have that kind of leg strength with her form of Spina Bifida- but her strength comes from the Lord.

2. Madison is a diva. Now Mommy has been called a diva before and whether or not I agree with the label for myself, there's no mistake that Madison is a diva with a capital D. She knows how she likes to be held and if you don't do it just right, she's gonna let you know. Madison will not go to sleep until Madison is ready to go to sleep. If you put her down too early, she's gonna throw a fit which has lasted anywhere from 10 minutes to over 3 hours. We've had to learn how and when to put her down to rest to avoid those altercations. Madison does not like to have her clothes changed. Too bad for her- Mommy has to have that girl looking 100% FAB-U-LOUS at all times so she'll have to get used to being dressed up. :)

3. Madison is a trooper. Our little girl has had to undergo so much in her first few weeks of life and she has hung in there extremely well. One difficulty she still has to endure although she's left the hospital is the 4 times a day catheterizing we have to do. Every 6 hours Mommy and Daddy have to insert a tube into her urethra to drain any excess urine that she might not have emptied on her own (bladder dysfunction is a common symptom of her form of Spina Bifida and it is being closely monitored by her doctors). The first few days I had to do this I just wept because I hated that she had to endure it. But like I said Madison is a trooper. She calmly lays there while we complete the process and rarely makes a peep while we do it. When I finish with her each time I scoop her up and love on her and say a quick prayer that we will not have to continue cathing her for much longer. Needless to say we celebrate each time she has a pee pee diaper because it means she is emptying her bladder on her own. Who knew peep pee diapers would be something I could get excited about?

4. Madison is ticklish on her tummy. We learned this because we started tickling her belly to get her to contract her bladder when we cath her. I can't wait for the day when she laughs when I tickle that little belly.

5. Madison loves getting her hair washed. The first time I washed it was after a midnight feeding when I was restless and couldn't sleep. She was so cooperative and I thought it was because she was so sleepy after feeding but when I washed it again a few days later, while she was fully awake and alert, I realized that she really does enjoy it. She just lays there and lets me wash that head full of hair without any grumblings. If it were ok I'd wash it every day because I love the smell of baby shampoo and a clean head. But I don't want her gorgeous hair to fall out so I'll restrain myself.

6. Madison is the cutest thing you've ever seen when she wears a headband. So, in the future when we do start going out and about, I'd be willing to bet that girl will be sporting a headband. She has one to match virtually every piece of clothing she owns considering she has 27 headbands. Every single one of them was given to her too- Mommy hasn't bought a single one.

7. Madison is most alert from 9:00-10:00 pm. This is all good and well while Mommy is home for the summer and has no real plans from day to day. But I fear that her wanting to be awake at this hour will start to take a toll on me when I have to get back in the swing of things with school.

8. Madison loves her swing. I was so worried that she wouldn't like the swinging motion or would hate being strapped in but on the contrary, she enjoys it and it usually puts her to sleep. The swing is great for when I need to do things in the kitchen or living room and don't want to put her down in her bed for a nap. I can keep an eye on her while she sleeps when she's swinging and be productive at the same time. A big thanks to all my friends at CHS that chipped in to buy that for her!

9. Madison has the longest fingers. While her hands as a whole are very dainty, the girl has some long fingers. Which makes me will God use those beautiful hands? I pray they are used for His glory.

10. Madison is constantly bathed in prayer. A few months ago our amazing Life Group leaders gave me a prayer journal so that I could keep track of prayer concerns, blessings, and things God teaches me through Madison. Before Madison was born I would go in her room and sit in my rocking chair and write in that journal, search the scriptures for peace, and pray for Madison. One day I will share some of things I wrote in that prayer journal and then tell you how God answered those prayers. But He is still in the process of answering our prayers and those of the many, many people (maybe yours) who have been lifting up Madison. God continues to glorify Himself through our daughter and He's not done yet! Dustin and I have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of prayers and encouragement we have received during the months leading up to Madison's birth and the nearly three weeks since then. You wouldn't believe the number of cards, emails, Facebook and text messages people have sent us saying "We're praying for Madison." Now I'm Madison's mommy so of course I love her but it amazes me how much she is loved by others and how her little life has touched so many. If you have ever sent us a card, an email, a Facebook or text, or any kind of message to encourage us or to let us know you were praying for us and Madison, I must tell you thank you and God bless you. You will never know what those prayers have meant to us. God has answered many prayers for healing from hundreds of people from across the state and beyond. So if you prayed for her, just know that the Lord has used you to bless our family. We pray for you that He will reward your faithfulness to pray for us and bless you in return.

Now before I finish, I must share a funny story (Dustin has had so many to share, now it's my turn). One night while feeding, Madison had a major spit-up incident that soaked her pajamas and mine. I carried Madison into our bedroom where Dustin was laying in the bed reading- I needed to change before finishing with her feeding because I was covered. Upon entering the room he asked what was wrong and I told him and asked that he keep an eye on her while I changed before resuming feeding. I told him that as soon as I got done feeding her I was going to sponge her off before putting her down to sleep. Well, that apparently was a call to action for Dustin- didn't mean for it to be but it was. I went back to the living room and had just finished feeding, burping, and changing Madison's diaper when Dustin appeared. He wanted to know if he could help. Wasn't that sweet? Yeah, you'd think it was sweet but now I regret asking for his help. I said sure, go wet a washcloth and put a little head-to-toe wash on it so I can sponge her off before I put her in her pjs. Dustin goes to our guest bathroom to complete the task but I noticed that it was taking him a little longer than expected. In a few minutes I found out why. Dustin returned to the living room with a washcloth so lathered in bath wash that I couldn't even see the washcloth and he has lathered soap all the way up his forearms. He looked like he was scrubbing in for a surgery. I sat in amazement at the pure amount of soap he had used and asked him what in the world he was doing. Before I could get an answer he started washing Madison all over. Let me remind you that all I wanted to do was sponge her off with a damp washcloth. Within seconds she was covered in soap from head-to-toe (I think he took the bath wash name a little too seriously). I was freaking out hollering- "What are you doing? She just needed to be sponged off! I didn't wanna give her a bath at 11:00 pm! Stop! Quit!" But it was like I wasn't there because he just kept scrubbing her as if she was covered in mud. I thought he might rub some of her little sensitive skin off. Then I asked him what he planned to do to get all that soap off, mind you we're sitting in the living room, Madison is laying across the ottoman. He said he didn't know. So, Madison got carried to the bathroom where she got a bath because that was the only way I could rinse off all that soap. All in all we wasted about 15 minutes on Dustin's procedure and I was fuming mad when we finished and Madison was exhausted from all the scrubbing. Needless to say it wasn't one of Dustin's shining father moments. It's funny now but I was not happy that we had wasted so much time when we all could have been in the bed.

Well, those are all the thoughts I have time to share with you for now. Thank you for taking time to read our blog and share this journey with us. I know this entry didn't provide you with any new information about Madison's medical progress but I simply wanted to share about her and what she's like since many of you have not met her or gotten to spend time with her. Like I said earlier...she is perfection, created in the image of her heavenly Father.

Take care and God bless! Love always,



  1. What a joy to hear what you're going through. You were meant to be a mother! It's so much fun to hear the joy in your words. You and Dustin are so sweet to share. We're remembering Madison in our prayers. Becky & Jack

  2. Love to hear more about Madison! Glad you three are doing well! Can't wait to see her in whichever of the 27 headbands one day. Just might have to bring her another one!

  3. Thank you Mandy! This was SO beautiful and I loved reading every line. I also LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the picture of Madison. We thank God for you all and know you remain in our prayers!
    Sally Hall

  4. You guys are such an awesome couple. Your blog is beautiful, touching and uplifting - and your precious miracle is gorgeous! May God continue to bless your family!