Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A fathers thoughts

Over the last few weeks, I have caught myself thinking about this time of year. As I did, I was reminded of another dad who probably sat and had similar thoughts.

One of the songs that really made me think this Christmas season is “Joseph’s Lullaby” by Mercy Me. Keep in mind, I'm certainly not trying to take anything away from the true meaning of Christmas. The story of Mary and Joseph and the birth of my savior, Jesus, is why the Randalls look forward to this time of year.

That said, every time I hear this song and look at my children, I connect with what Joseph may have been thinking.


"Go to sleep my Son, this manger for your bed.
You have a long road before You. Rest Your little head."

 What is in front of my child? Will it be a long life of struggles? Will he/she float through decisions easily? Will I be around to watch them grow and mature into adults? As a father, I long for a long, wonderful life for each of my kids. And yet, I know that I am not in control of that. They are here for a purpose.

Today, all of them remind me of God's grace. We couldn't have kids, but wanted to love one the way we are loved by God. Enter LilliAnne. God chose me to be her father because he knew I needed to learn compassion, needed to learn to deal with frustration, needed to learn to show love and mercy unconditionally.

God gave us Grace to remind me that I don't deserve anything, yet He is still willing to shower his grace on me and give me hope. He knew that Laura Jane and I were ready to lean fully on each other and Him. Allowing us to go through the joy and pain of losing a child in the womb forced us to lean - lean on God, lean on each other, and lean on many of you.

God gave us Wesley and Talitha to flesh out that hope and bring us joy. He knew that, somehow, we could handle the craziness of two babies at the same time. He knew that every time I look at them, I would receive an ear to ear grin back at me, melting my heart. He also knew that I would shortly thereafter begin to think about all of their futures, what was in store for each of them, and begin praying for them - a discipline I lacked before now (and still fail miserably at!).

"Can You feel the weight of Your glory? Do You understand the price?
Does the Father guard Your heart for now, so You can sleep tonight?"

 I believe God watches over all of us, especially as we sleep, but that doesn’t mean I don’t worry about them. What is in store for them? Only God knows. What were they made to do? What God-given talent will they have to change the world and influence people? Will they make the most of this? Will they obey God like Joshua, obey with reservation like Moses, or run away like Jonah? What can I do to help ground them in their faith, and help them discover their talents and destinies?

I think of Joseph. He knew what Jesus was here to do. Matthew 1:21 says that God told him, "She (Mary his wife) will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

Joseph knew what Jesus was destined to do. Yet, like me, he had no clue what that would look like. It's a conundrum we as parents get to live with, wait for, hope for, and more than likely get surprised by. Some of us try to direct our children at an early age into what we think they'll be for the rest of their lives. Others of us try and give them any, and all, opportunities to try whatever they desire to keep the doors open to anything. Joseph did what every other father in his time did - he taught Jesus a skill, carpentry, but also taught him his heritage and his faith. I can imagine Joseph and Jesus had many, many conversations as they worked on various wood pieces together.

What will I talk about with my kids? Will I make the time to include them in my life to afford us the opportunity to talk about life? Will I be open to their questions and not quick to judge? Will they know that I spend time with my Father, praying for His ever present hand to be with each of them?

"Go to sleep my Son. Go and chase Your dreams.
This world can wait for one more moment. Go and sleep in peace."

 Why do we as American’s try to rush our children into things? Why do we try and figure out what they should do for the rest of their lives by age 6? As I watch them sleep, and avoid my own sleep, I ponder why we as human beings need answers immediately. Yet, peace is really all we are after. We want the peace of knowing our children will be all right. We want the peace of knowing they will make it. We may even want the peace of knowing that their success will provide for us when we ultimately need it.

"Wait". It's a word I have a hard time with. Many are the moments where I have lost my cool with LilliAnne because I couldn't wait for her to do what she had been asked. I was unwilling, in that moment, to harken back to my own childhood and remember how I liked to observe and discover new things, how I liked to figure things out on my own, and how I got frustrated when things didn't work out just as I had envisioned. LilliAnne is a young me in so many ways. Why can't I let her chase her dreams on occasion? Certainly there are times where obedience must be immediate. That is, after all, the essence of obedience. However, all I really want is for her to rest in the knowledge that I love her and want the best for her.

"I believe the glory of Heaven is lying in my arms tonight.
Lord, I ask that He for just this moment simply be my child."

 Unlike Joseph’s son, my children will not grow up to be perfect, will not be the Savior of the world. Heck, they won’t even be perfect children by the world's standards along the way. Yet, like Joseph, I want them to be MY children. There is something peaceful and comforting about holding your child in your arms. Each of my children's faces light up when I hold them and look directly into their faces, especially as infants (LilliAnne is 5 which means sometimes looking directly into her face is for correcting). But there is a sense of gratitude and a sense of thanksgiving that wells up when I hold my children and watch their faces break out into wide grins. They don't smile like that for just anyone. There is a special connection between a child and a parent. We are theirs and they are ours.

As infants, they don’t know that we have fears. As infants they don’t know we make mistakes. They don't know, or care about, our past, our successes or our failures. To them, we are the ultimate providers of all of their needs and creature comforts. In their eyes, we get to feel like someone worth something, if even for just a moment or two. What a gift we are given in the lives of children! Those of us who have never been able to have children, or waited for a significantly long time may understand that gift a little differently than others. But ultimately, deep down inside, I believe we all know how precious and pure is the smile of a child.

"Go to sleep my Son. Baby, close Your eyes.
Soon enough You'll save the day, but for now, dear Child of mine, oh my Jesus, sleep tight."

What is in store for our children? As they lie in their beds or on their play rugs, they are pretty much helpless. Everything they need must be provided by someone else. Yet, what thoughts do they have? What dreams spin through their minds while they sleep?

Will they be parents? Will they work as public servants, farmers, doctors, pastors, lawyers, teachers, or something else? What will the world be like when they are 5? 15? 35? 75? What talents and gifts will they have? How will our God use those gifts?

For now, what is my hope and dream for each of them? Peace. Imagination. Joy. Love. Hope. That they might become exactly who God has made them to be and that I will not get in the way of that, even if I don't understand. Tonight, they are "just" my kids. They're a whole lot more than that to their Creator.

Unlike Joseph, I am not raising the King of kings. Like Joseph, I know I can't raise them to be who they have been created to be by myself. And that is one of the most humbling things for me, a man who struggles with pride. Children have a way of reaching past that pride and bringing us to our knees. As we spend time with family and friends this Christmas season, I know I will also be spending time learning how to be a humble father doing my best to raise my kids to be whatever they are to be.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Whatcom Falls Hike with LilliAnne

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LilliAnne and I got the chance to enjoy a morning fall hike together with Ty. We are lucky enough to live so close to Whatcome Falls Park and often enjoy our walks on the trails. Fall is our favorite time to hike around here. Mainly because we always stop for a donut before we head home. LilliAnne is an amazing hiking partner and we look forward to lots of hikes this winter and coming spring!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

We are enjoying being able to sit up these days! The twins love chatting with eachother and endlessly smiling at their big sister and us. Wesley has rolled over while sleeping multiple times now and I think it scares him awake. He always looks so shocked when I go check on him. Talitha and Wesley both love to tell us all about their days and it is so funny to me how different they sound. Wesley is all boy with his noises and Talitha is all girl. Wesley grunts and coos. Talitha trills and shrieks. It is too cute!

LilliAnne is doing great in school. Last week I got to go in for a few hours and help her teacher while observing her class. LilliAnne is a leader and a good helper to her teacher. She felt pretty special that her mommy got to go to school with her for the morning.
LilliAnne also enjoys reading to the twins. She is into the book Heidi right now. Talitha and Wesley both give LilliAnne big smiles whenever she is around.
We are all ready for the snow to fall! Whenever there is frost on the ground LilliAnne gets very excited. I, Laura Jane, get to teach at Timberline again this winter. I will teach over Christmas break and our Spring break and maybe a long weekend here or there. I am very excited that they are letting me come back! I am also teaching a few kiddos from our church here in Bellingham. LilliAnne is very excited to get back on her skis. I look forward to making some turns with her this winter and watching her take off!

Friday, October 28, 2011

4 months

Well our babies are now 4 months old and thriving! Wesley now weighs a half a pound more then Talitha and is half an inch longer. They both are now smiling, cooing and starting to laugh at us. Wesley is quite the flirt and Talitha always has a smile for anyone who holds her. They still sleep together and often won't settle down till they are both in the crib together. If someone is holding them they will often fight sleep as much as they can to socialize! Talitha loves sitting in her bumpo. Wesley is still working on holding his head upright for more then 10 seconds. He does have a giant head though so I can't get too worried.
These last four month have been an amazing ride! I have mastered getting to Bible Study Fellowship once a week and enjoy the adult conversation. Other then BSF, I don't get out unless it is a walk to a park near by or church on Sunday when I have Matt to help. Twins are so much fun and so much work. I have to chuckle when people tell me they always wished they had twins. I think if you were to talk with any twin mom she would chuckle as well. It's much more then just an extra baby. And yet that much more joy! I am still amazed that God gave us two sweet babies after so many years. And two babies that resemble their big sister in so many ways. We are very lucky and blessed!
LilliAnne is loving school and has made so many new friends. She comes home with all kinds of new things to tell us! It has bee fun watching her progress at school. She keeps us busy on the weekends and loves her brother and sister so very much! Once again we are very blessed! She is still my favorite hiking partner and we try to go hiking once a week or every other week. We have so much fun finding cool things in the forest to look at and explore!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Family Autumn Hike

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This was an amazing beautiful day for a hike around Galbrith Mountian behind our house. LilliAnne was all full of energy and powered up the steep hills to get to the top in record time. She kept telling us to not give up and that we would make it if we just tried really hard! It was fun hearing her say the words we often say to her when we hike.
From the top of Galbrith we can see the whole city of Bellingham and the San Juan Islands. Needless to say one of my favorite spots! LilliAnne made friends with all the bikers we came across and found many fun creatures to observe. We caught a lady bug, saw a giant spider (I mean gigantic!), four caterpillars and a snake. It was a fun hike for all of us!
Ty loved it. He ran all around with his tongue hanging out the side of his mouth the whole time. Zoey was steady and tried to sprint a few times but those days are behind her now. She was just happy to be with us though.
This was the babies first big hike and it was delightful! We are so very lucky to live where we do and have trails like these so close to our house. Now if I could only figure out how to pack both babies so I can take them on hikes during the week. For now I will enjoy the weekend hikes with the family!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Pumpkin Patch field trip 2011

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This field trip was a blast! Stoney Ridge Farm is an amazing place to take the kiddos for fall fun. Our school provided every kid with a bright yellow poncho which I must say was brillant. Other schools were there admiring these ponchos as their kiddos were getting very wet.
I was incharge of two kiddos, LilliAnne and her friend Eva. We had so much fun looking at animals, listening about how honey is really bee throw-up, learning how to pick apples the right way and then getting to take a very fun hay ride to the pumpkin patch. We did eat lunch at a point in there but that was just because we had to.
LilliAnne choose to paint her little pumpkin with a happy face when we got home. We are both very tired and so glad we got to do this together!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

5 weeks

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So we are back tracking a bit with these pictures. The twins are just over 5 weeks old in these pictures and they are before Wesley's surgery. Amazing the difference and so thankful for the difference! Wesley eats like a typical boy and has caught up with his sister for sure. They are both sleeping through the night now and will be moving into their room with LilliAnne next week. We are going to keep them in the same crib for a bit longer though. They are just too cute sleeping next to eachother and I think they enjoy looking at each other as they fall asleep. These pictures were taken by our friend Ann Appel who has an amazing website you should check out when you have time: http://theviewthrumylens.smugmug.com/ You will find the twins pictures under Portraits and Children. There are a few more I haven't included here. Enjoy!!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Home from the first day of Kindergarten

Well, we all did it! LilliAnne had a fabulous day at school and even got to bring Pete the cat home. From what I could gather Pete helps the kinders know what to do while at school. He uses his new school shoes for walking. LilliAnne told me that she colored, drew and read as well as ate her lunch. She enjoyed recess very much too. Riding the bus was a big highlight for her. She rides bus #5 and sits upfront. I am so excited for her and so glad she had a great first day!

First day of Kindergarten

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The morning started early with cinnamon chip pancakes and eggs. As we got ready,I, Laura Jane, realized LilliAnne was going to be gone all day and had to do my best to hold it together. Once she was all ready to head out the door it really hit home that this was it. We walked to bus together. Well she ran I walked. It was reassuring that she was so excited and ready for this major change.
Getting on the bus she barely said goodbye. The bus driver was kind and waited till we got our picture to continue down the road with our kiddo. Matt and I headed straight to school to wait for her bus to show up. When it did it was obvious that she had already made a friend on the bus. She did say hello to us and then promptly followed the mass of children to the playground.
Once the bell rang she seemed to know just what to do. She got her backpack and took her friends hand and walked right in and found class #5. Once again barely saying goodbye. I had to grab her to kiss her and say goodbye. She was ready to explore her new surroundings.
Now I am home and feeling so blessed to have LilliAnne and missing her like crazy. She is going to do amazing in school and I am one proud mommy to have an outgoing girl like her! We lucked out when God choose to give her to us.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Labor Day Weekend

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We braved Labor Day weekend traffic and went to the family cabin on Mt. Hood. The drive down was an adventure all in itself, but we made it! We enjoyed seeing friends and family and Mt. Hood. The twins went on their first hike near Mt. Hood Meadows. It was very hot so we didn't go very far. Ty enjoyed the huckleberries as much as we did! We also took lots of time to play near Still creek and in Still creek. All in all it was a good trip and we hope to do it again next year.

3 Sweeties

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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Big Sister!

LilliAnne with Wesley and Talitha.
LilliAnne is loving being a big sister!  She is always giving them loves and calling them sister and brother.  She used to call them baby A and baby B.  She is such a big help and is even willing to put dirty diapers in the garbage.  We are so blessed to have her be Wesley and Talitha's big sister!

A True JOY!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

4 weeks and still going

Adjustment. Bringing two new lives into a crowded home, especially one that hasn't seen anyone new for 5 and a half years and has reached an equilibrium, can really shake things up. We have witnessed our pets be more needy or more independent depending on the day. Both of the dogs have really perfected their "poor me" looks, Ty especially. They know there are two new beings here who take a lot of our time. Ty spends a fair amount of time moping on his bed or in the living room. Zoey spends even more of her time under Laura Jane's heels. She is also a lot more alert as to things going on in and around the house. The Border Collie in her causes her to pace more. She is constantly trying to keep tabs on all 5 of us now.

The cats have also become more vocal in their desire for attention. Both Max and Tabor will climb up trying to get attention when we are eating. Tabor has really come out of his shell even letting LilliAnne pet him on occasion (desparate times call for desparate measures!). Tucker enjoys that the bedroom door is open a lot more and the big bed is available for napping. He often spends large portions of the day lounging on our bed or sitting in our open window. Lucie, on the other hand, has decided she doesn't need us as much. She still greats us, but up until the last couple of days, she didn't try climbing into our laps. Prior to the babies coming, she was Queen Lap Kitty.

LilliAnne is doing her best to be helpful, but is also struggling with the loss of attention. Up until now, she had our attention whenever she needed it. Now she is learning that sometimes we both have to give the babies attention at the same time (usually during feedings and diaper changes). That is a hard change for her.

On the flip side though, she has been a big helper and loves holding the babies and giving them kisses on the forehead. She tries to get them to smile (we don't have the heart to tell her that's a couple of months away still).

LilliAnne finished two weeks of swim lessons at the local country club where she learned to dive, swim with her face in the water, hold her breath appropriately and swim under water, and learned to float and kick, amongst other things. Bath time has now turned into practice swimming time. :-)

Laura Jane and I are both working on getting by on 2 hour naps. On occassion we'll alternate sleeping through a feeding so one of us can get a little more rest, but because we only have 2 bedrooms, we still wake up during the feedings. It is amazing what the body can do though on naps.

We have been blessed with help and meals from family and friends over the last couple of months. It's a fact that we'd be pretty hungry and wiped out without it. It certainly takes a village.

A special thanks to Ann Appel for the photos of Wesley and Talitha. She has many more here. http://theviewthrumylens.smugmug.com/Portraits/Randall-Family/18127284_B2tXkM#1391355501_FxbSpdh
(password "Twins")

Friday, July 8, 2011

Coming Home!

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July 8, 2011!  The day they were scheduled to arrive turned into the day Talitha and Wesley got to come home.  All three of us were so excited this morning. We could hardly wait to get to the hosiptal to do all they required to let us take them home.  The nurse that discharged us had been our nurse for three days and one night so it was a bit sad to say goodbye.  She had taught me, Laura Jane, so much.

Before we made it home we stopped by Matt's work, 2020 ENGINEERING.  They were thrilled to see them and had even written them a funny story, "Mad Libs" style, about what this pregnancy has been like.  Matt's co-workers have been so very patient this last 8 months thru many doctor visits and a few emergency visits including a month plus on bed rest.  I am so very grateful for their patience and support through these last 8 months.

We are home and loving it.  LilliAnne is very excited about being a big sister and wants to be very helpful.   Now it is getting into a routine, remembering to eat, drink and sleep.  Glad we are here and excited to watch them grow!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

What's in a name?

Some of you have asked how we came up with the names Talitha Nicole, Wesley Samuel James, and LilliAnne Joy. Well, now you'll know.

Talitha was the name of a very special girl whose father Laura Jane looked up to. Talitha was their first born. They wrote letters back and forth, and Laura Jane was able to see the heart of gold she had as well as her faith in God. Talitha's family was called to the missionfield when she was a teenager. Unfortunately, she came down with cerebral malaria and passed on to be with her heavenly Father. In her short life she left a wonderful legacy for our Talitha to follow. We hope and pray that our Talitha is blessed with that same heart for others.

The name Talitha is actually an Aramaic word for little girl. In Mark 5:41, Jesus raised the little girl from the dead by saying "Talitha koum".

In choosing a middle name for Talitha, we asked her namesake's family for an idea. In so doing, we came upon Nicole, which means "Victorious People". We really liked that. We also found out at the same time that Talitha went by Niki in Africa because the people had a hard time saying "Talitha". So not only were we victorious over infertility, we were able to honor, doubly, a wonderful girl.

Wesley has always been a boy's name we have liked since we started talking kids nine-plus years ago. On a side note, we thought about naming Talitha "Buttercup" like the Princess Bride (if you don't know, her true love was named Wesley). That thought only lasted about 30 seconds.

The name Wesley really doesn't have an historical meaning other than being linked to the founders of the Methodist church, John and Charles Wesley, English preachers in the 1700's.

The book of 1 Samuel begins with the story a barren woman named Hannah who prayed to God to heal her womb. In exchange for a child, she promised to give him back to God for His work. The name Samuel means "God has heard". Boy do we resonate with this story. We'd have chosen Samuel as a first name, but know too many Sam's, Sammy's, and Samantha's.

James is Laura Jane's step-dad's first name. We chose to honor the legacy he left in her life by adding his name to Wesley's. James is also a hero of the New Testament. He was a "don't mince words" kind of guy who spoke the truth (read the book of James in the Bible).

LilliAnne is a combination of two of Laura Jane's favorite names "Lilly" and "Anne". A Lily is a flower that symbolizes innocence and purity. Anne means grace or favor. It's also the name of Laura Jane's favorite movie character, "Anne of Green Gables." LilliAnne was an answer to our prayer for a child. In her life, God granted us a beautiful and pure favor.

Joy, LilliAnne's middle name, describes the feeling that we both felt when we found out she was going to be ours. In fact, Laura Jane says her heart lept inside when she heard about her.

And now you know, a little bit about why we feel so blessed to have 3 wonderful gifts.

By the way, unless these two fail their car seat test, they are coming home tomorrow (Friday)!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Day 4

Here's a quick update to go with the photo's. Laura Jane was let out of her hovel, I mean hospital room, yesterday. She is now splitting time between the NICU and our bed. The pets really missed her. I don't know how many times Zoey and Ty licked her or did a dance in the last 24-hours. Both the dogs and cats seem to know that something has changed with her belly as the dogs haven't tried to jump up to greet her as they typically do after she's been gone overnight. And only Lucie has climbed onto her lap, avoiding her belly.

The babies are doing great. They are a little "jaundicy" so they are being watched to determine whether they need to spend some time under the special lights. They are both nursing well, getting a few direct feedings from mommy and being supplemented through their feeding tube. The big news though is that the IV's are out. Now their hands won't look like they had a major injury.

LilliAnne is absolutely excited to see the babies. She is taking to the big sister role well. She has also enjoyed swim lessons this week and the one on one time she has had with friends and family. I think she went to two birthday parties this week, which means two pieces of cake. Good thing we didn't have to deal with the sugar effects afterward!

This weekend will consist of splitting time doing things around the house and hanging out with the babies. We're looking forward to it. The babies will get to spend the holiday celebrating their independence from the cozy confines of mommy's uterus as well as the independence that made this country the best in the world.

Our first week

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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Laura Jane's Experience

Since Matt has had a chance to share his thoughts about bed rest and birth over the last few weeks, I thought it would be a good idea to share my experience of how our two little miracles came into this world.
For the past couple of weeks, my body was so sore and I had completely slowed down. I spent most of Monday morning sleeping. Sometime after 11:00, I felt the urge to go potty. When I sat down the blood gushed. For some reason I had my phone with me. However, I actually had to think about how to dial 911.
The 911 lady was very helpful, though half of the time I was thinking about the fact I hadn't showered, was still in my pajamas, and was trying to put the dogs in their back area. The 911 lady wanted me to stay on the line, but I needed to call Matt. He didn't answer and his office line was too frustrating to try and get the receptionist. Fortunately, Matt's co-worker called me and then gave him the phone. It wasn't long before the fire truck and ambulance showed up. They were followed very closely by our 80-something year old spit-fire of a neighbor wondering "Where's Lilly". The guys were all so nice and helpful. They weren't the typical "hot firemen" though. Oh well! On our way I called Mom and heard from Matt that he was already at the hospital.
I got to the hospital around noon and was quickly surrounded by nurses and doctors. Questions were coming from everywhere. I was apologizing for having not taken a shower and for having just eaten a snack and whatever else I thought I needed to apologize for. I wasn't too nervous since I knew I was in good hands. However, once my doctor silenced the nurses I knew I had already lost too much blood and he was ready to roll.
Dr. Mora was amazing. He let me hold onto him during the spinal that they had told me was going to really hurt. I had been told I could scream, cuss and swear, or whatever. I whimpered a bit as it didn't really hurt. But then it was over and I wondered why they thought it was supposed to hurt. I was told I was "quite the trooper" at that point.
The numbing sensation was really weird and cool until it hit my lung area. My anesthesiologist was amazing and made me feel so much better. I remember Matt coming into the room, but quickly started feeling like I couldn't breathe. I was given something that helped. However, I fell asleep or was just completely out of it and was not aware when our miracles were born. I did hear Talitha and I know I sent Matt to be with Wesley. I also remember Dr. Mora telling me I was now fixed. I believe I did a fist pump and said a big "Thank you." He said, "I've never received that exuberant of a thank-you before."
My babies were here and I was okay. I was pretty exhausted from carrying these two around and the drugs, but fine. I kept being told how impressed the nurses and doctors were with both of us. We were so calm and just went with it all. We never felt the need to panic.
I saw Talitha while I was in recovery before she was taken to NICU. But, I didn't get to see Wesley until much later that night when our wonderful nurse, Matthew, rolled me in there. I am still amazed at how beautiful they both are, and yet how different they are from each other. Talitha is still our aggressive one while Wesley just hangs out but doesn't want to be too far behind his sister.
It's also been fun to watch LilliAnne take on her big sister role. She really wants to stay with us at the hospital "until we come home". She has stayed at our house with grandparents and friends, but I think she is scared I'm going to end up here for a long time like when I went to Everett. She loves being in the NICU with the babies, has introduced herself to another mom in there (though Matt got scolded by the nurse for allowing her to talk to someone else), has gotten to hold both of the babies, and today was singing "Rockabye Baby" and a couple of other songs to them through the incubator doors. She also did "This Little Piggy" on Wesley's toes.
We are all looking forward to going home and starting our life together as the Randall 5.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Wait! We're not ready after all!

But we are!

I was going to begin this post on the 27th with a theme of waiting. Pregnancy really teaches patience. Whether it is waiting for the test strip to tell us the news, waiting for what seemed like hours for a few minutes with the doctor, waiting for 5 years for the news that LilliAnne is coming into the world and will be ours via adoption, to waiting through 9 years of infertility to find out we are expecting twins to then having to wait 35 weeks to finally meet them, pregancy is full of waiting.

When it is time, there isn't any waiting involved at all. In fact, from the time I received a phone call from Laura Jane saying an ambulance was on its way to pick her up because of excessive bleeding, to the time Wesley took his first breath, exactly one hour passed. Granted, we had a quick birth because of the praevia, bleeding, and twins and the ensuing c-section. Many others get to wait hours or even days while labor runs its course.

But this post isn't about someone else's experience. It's about ours and thankfully so!

Here's a quick synopsis of the hour of craziness we experienced from 11:36 am to 12:36 pm, Monday June 27, 2011 (plus a few highlights from the ensuing hours).

11:36. I was on a conference call with a client on my cell phone because I was a little late getting back to the office. I noticed my phone blinking and that the caller ID said "Randall, Matt". Having a hunch that it wasn't just an "I'm bored here by myself at home, what are you doing?" phone call, I had my co-worker call her back. Boy am I glad I did that. Not more than a few seconds later, I was told I needed to take the call, traded phones and heard "I'm gushing blood. The ambulance is on its way." I hung up, sat there for a second, and then grabbed a few items from my desk while my co-workers essentially told me I was taking too long to leave. Unfortunately, my phone, and my list of contacts, was one thing I had to leave behind as my co-worker was still on the conference call.

11:48. I arrived at the childbirth center at the hospital. I checked-in with the front desk and found out they hadn't even received the call from the ambulance yet. They pulled her records, called our doctor, and started prepping the Operation Room. I had a few minutes to call Gaga Stacey who had LilliAnne (the only local phone number I could remember!) and let her know what was happening. Then I waited...got a drink of water...answered some questions from admission...waited...sat...waited some more...and then realized only a couple of minutes had passed. Then I called Laura Jane in the ambulance and waited a little longer.

12:02. The ambulance pulled up at about the same time as the doctor showed up. They whisked her into a prep room and assessed the situation. I was given the really fun full body gown, booties, and a what essentially amounted to a hair net - for my ever thinning and graying hair...and began getting warm and itching almost immediately. I think 4 people were trying to talk at once (the doc, a couple of nurses, and the anaesthesiologist). I just focused on answering questions, while trying to dress myself (at 35 one would think I could figure out how to pull a gown over my clothes) and realizing that the only camera we had was the ok one on Laura Jane's phone.

And yet, I felt totally at peace with what was going on. So did Laura Jane. I could tell she was just trying to process things and may have been a little scared until the doctor made it clear he was going to go get the babies.

12:10. Called Dad and let him know that the babies were coming (teared up a little with the sudden reality that all the waiting was going to be over VERY soon).

12:12. Watched the doc hush everyone and insist they all move to the OR. That was the last time I saw Laura Jane before they started to get the babies.

12:15. Sitting. Waiting. Watching. Doctors and nurses rushed in. A nurse got frustrated that one of the pediatricians wasn't answering his page.

12:20. Waiting. Lots more rushing. The doctor told everyone to shutup so they could run through the procedural list ("this is Laura Jane Randall. She has complete praevia. Has been bleeding since...etc.").

12:25. Finally allowed to go in and sit by my beutiful bride's head while the anaethesiologist ran her through the drugs she was getting and checked how they were working.

12:30. Laura Jane said she was having trouble breathing, was given something to help that, then nearly fell asleep.

12:36. From behind the curtain, "WAH! Wah! Wah!" "It's definitely a boy!" Through tears, I made sure Laura Jane was ok. She has since said she didn't hear Wesley, but was awake for Talitha.

12:37. An even louder and longer crying stint erupted as Talitha entered the world. So this is what it's like to listen to childbirth. I was sound asleep in a very uncomfortable chair in the waiting room on the day when LilliAnne joined us.

12:39. I finally ventured a look over the curtain, saw placenta, perhaps an organ or two, lots of red liquid, and immediately look up to check on the babies before sitting squarely back down on my seat. Boy, even watching cows, goats, and cats give birth didn't prepare me to see my wife cut open. I admit it. I'm a lightweight!

Shortly thereafter, as I went to snap a picture of the babies, they wheeled little Wesley and his greyish little body out the door to the NICU to help him clear his lungs and breath on his own. Then they stitched up Laura Jane and rolled her to the recovery room with Talitha.

I could write more about the emotions we've experienced since they were born, the many things they went through to get to where they are now (in warming incubators, breathing on their own, with IV's and feeding tubes, but otherwise doing well - just small), and even let Laura Jane tell her side of the story. But we'll just leave you with these photos, a couple of more words, and the promise to write more soon.



Welcome you two. You were worth the wait!