Thursday, December 23, 2010
Merry Christmas everyone! We're enjoying spending time sharing Jennifer with her extended family during all the celebrations! She is 8 months now, crawling and cruising around, jabbering, and always the center of attention. Earlier in the year I thought my Christmas note would be about how "Texan" we'd become, but now we're Carolinians! Arrived in North Augusta in November, transferred our cars and licenses to South Carolina a couple of weeks ago. However, we did round out the year with a Texas-born child, and Mike owns a nice pair of Texas boots too! We are thankful for the time we were able to spend in Fort Worth and the many great friendships which the transition brought us. Looking forward to what new things the Lord will show us in the coming year!
We hope that you are seeking His face too!
Love, The Springsteads
Saturday, November 20, 2010
You will be seven months old on monday! can't believe we've had you in our lives over half a year already.
You're such a sweet and easy baby...and still healthy too! at your 6 month appointment you weighed 14lbs 3 oz and were 25" long, average for a 4month old, but your head was still big! 17" is average for an 8 month old!
You're very smart and curious, so our packing may have motivated you to get moving. You began crawling one week after turning 6 months, the day that we began loading our truck to move to Georgia! every time i'd put something on the floor to get a box ready for it, you'd find your way right to the item! you looked like a little wind-up doll with your perfectly planned arm and leg motions. You also began pulling up on low items the same weekend.
About 2 weeks ago you began going back to a seated position on your own from crawling. This skill has made you unstoppable! You are able to crawl to something, sit and play with it, crawl some more...sit some more....
You handled the long-distance move pretty well, though you certainly weren't quite as eager to ride in the car this trip than on our visits over the summer.
You have recently become quite attached to mommy, which makes sense with all of the changes we've tossed your way. If you're on the floor with several people you know around, you go straight for me most of the time. thankfully, i have lots of extra hands around to help with you, which should also help prevent too much separation anxiety in the near future, thanks to your aunts and grandparents living next door!
I like to think that you know you are saying my name when you say "ma ma ma ma ma" but your daddy is quick to point out that you say the same to him, so we really think it is your word for "i need help with something"....which makes me think that must be the baby-talk word for it and is what babies everywhere have named us....
I really think that today i heard you say to me "my ma ma" and then you looked at your daddy over my shoulder and i heard you say "...and daddy"
You are learning to self-feed cereal and other finger foods, and get frustrated that you cannot eat all of your meal on your own...but seem to not like holding squishy foods, so spoon feeding is definitely required for some things.
I started pureeing some foods for you in place of using only store-bought babyfoods, but you seem to dislike the peas and carrots unless they are from the baby aisle. bananas and sweet potatoes are your favorite in any form.
One of your favorite "games" since we moved into great-grandmas house has been to make a bee-line for Goldie (the aging dog) so that she pays attention to you and smothers you with licks. You are one frequently-bathed baby by dog-standards.
Thursday, October 07, 2010
We moved to Texas 14 months ago, and in about a month we will be moving back to the Augusta area.
Our sweet baby was born just before the end of spring semester, which made for a difficult wrap up, and through various occurrences its been quite a rough beginning to this semester. This week it became clear to us that Mike seriously needs a break from school to regroup and refuel, which we realized two days ago means withdrawing now to prevent failing grades at the end of the semester (because failing at this point would lead to a whole year delay in his schooling.)
We plan to move back to North Augusta, SC for a while to stay with family and save some money to replenish what we've been using up here. Mike also plans to take a few online classes through SWBTS while we are gone. This afternoon Mike submitted forms to completely withdraw from classes, and to reapply for classes (yes, both forms had to be submitted in this circumstance, strange aint it?) He also gave the housing office our 30 day move-out notice. It's official. By November 6th we'll be all packed up again and moving.
I can not say that this whole year was a waste. I don't feel that way at all. If this had been our choice last winter, I know that I would have felt that we'd wasted our time and money in making this huge move just to go right back, but from where I stand now, I am able to clearly see several amazing blessings which we have received and been able to give through our time here, plus some very important faith lessons.
1. the life we were living in Augusta prior to moving here was wasteful. We thought we were making just enough to live on, but now that we've been here, i can easily see that we lived in a too-big home with two full incomes, bringing in twice what we really needed to live on and spending out of control and living in twice the space we required (though by many standards we weren't making that much, when compared to the way we've learned to live here, we were living extravagantly)
2. If we hadn't moved and hadn't had difficulty finding work here, we couldn't have afforded to pay for the birth of our daughter. Being broke has had its benefits.
3. I think i have learned to better manage wants-vs-needs, and also have begun learning the coupon thing, which will benefit our family for a long time. Even if we ever begin to make more than we need to live on, we want to be able to save and to bless others as we have been so very blessed during our needful times.
4. God showed us and our extended family that He is faithful when we are obedient to follow Him, even if it is to a strange place where we know no one. I never felt lost or alone here, even with job hunting and pregnancy and having to build new friendships, I always knew that we were in His faithful hands.
5. We began having planned family devotions here with a through the Bible reading plan and specific prayer for those close to us. I'm not saying that we couldn't or wouldn't have begun that from our previous residence, I'm just saying that it is something that we weren't doing before.
6. We have been able to be a part of an amazing church family here, where we have been able to grow be taught, and develop hearts for ministry, and to be challenged by what it means to live out the gospel in our lives every day. I learned that there is a group of churches which i agree with strongly in the Reformed Baptists. Its where the Baptist in me and the Presbyterian in me collide and make sense. I also learned more what the church as community should look like through our care group and the love we've received and given there. (This is the part I will miss the most from Texas)
These are just some of the lessons and blessings we've gained from our time here so far. I'm sure I'll continue to look at this short time and be able to count many many more great things.
People will ask me in the coming month if this move is temporary or if we'll come back to Texas later, and I can't answer that with any certainty. I thought a week ago that I'd be in this apartment for a few years at least, maybe have another kid or two before we moved again. I cannot plan to settle in one place because I am not in control of our future. This may be a short term restarting to get us focused and replenish our funds, or this might be a longer term settling for mike to take some distance classes while our children get to know their great grandmother, grandparents, aunts, and uncle in SC. It might be that we move back to Texas, or Kentucky, or Asia, for all we can see. If I've learned anything though this, It is that we need to be willing to go wherever God would take us, and live our lives that way.
11Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Jen turned 5 months this past wednesday. she began sitting pretty well with minimal help about a week ago, and yesterday we began the baby cereals twice a day. she's very vocal and loves to splash in the bathtub. she scoots around pretty actively, but doesnt have direction control very well yet, so she very often ends up scooting away from the toy she wants, much to her own dismay. on tuesdays she gets to go with me to a small moms day out class i teach, where she is the youngest of 4 babies/toddlers in the class. on thursdays she gets to go to another childcare program i work at where she gets to go to a different room with babies her own age and teachers who aren't her mommy for a change. she's still a very good-natured baby who is very easy to take to new places and shop with and such, but she has had a few off-days recently where she was actually fussy in the nursery instead of all-smiles! everyone meets her still falls in love instantly, though. she's quite the charmer :)
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Can you believe this has already been two months?
I feel like we are the experts you, yet you still are such a mystery.
I am so excited to be with you as you learn to do new things, but I don't want to rush through the time we have now.
I love it when I catch you smiling at me while I've been looking the other way,
but at the same time, I feel like I shouldn't ever have looked away to begin with....because I almost missed it.
What else did I miss before I noticed you smiling at me?
Monday, June 21, 2010
one road trip down.
we drove from fort worth to st louis a couple of weeks ago for the wedding of my dear fersis. (one of the jennifers whom ours is named for)
our jennifer traveled better than we deserved, and even began sleeping longer stretches beginning our first night away!
This weekend we get to move into a slightly larger apartment. I'm really excited about making an office for Mike out of one closet, and getting to set up Jennifer's room after we've unpacked and get her some furniture. (no ferniture! hehee! ...okay so only two people get that joke....)
but my packing keeps getting interrupted by my being mommy....
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Thursday, May 20, 2010
after having attempted to sit down and write out the events surrounding Jennifer's birth...i can tell you how valuable access to facebook turned out to be for us in labor and delivery. If it hadn't been for Mike using the hospital's wireless internet and posting updates throughout our birthing process (when he wasn't needed directly at my side,) I wouldn't remember how to tell this story! I keep finding myself with holes in the story and uncertain exactly when different things occurred.
the following is a collage or my journal entries from the week after her birth and mike's status updates surrounding the hours spent in labor.
April 19 at 5:39pm ·
"Michael David Springstead has heard from the momma, and we are going to the hospital Tuesday night to have Becca put down- er, I mean induced! Definitely planning to have her induced!"
On Monday afternoon of April 19th, Jennifer's due date, I went to one final doctors appointment at which my Dr suggested we should go ahead and induce labor before the baby got to be too big to fit through. We scheduled the induction to begin the following evening. I felt a little panicked at the thought of having a time set, instead of just waiting on things to happen. I now knew when events would begin and worried that my anxieties might be worse for having a definite countdown in play. I was a little overwhelmed and anxious.
My friend Jenny Mills and I had already made plans to get a "still pregnant on my due date" pedicure...which took place after that Dr appointment.(because i hadn't been able to reach to trim my nails in about 2 months..and they NEEDED it!) Turns out that i REALLY needed that pedicure not only for the trim, but for the time of relaxation in order to process the thoughts i had about the coming induction. sitting for awhile with my feet in a whirlpool and my back and neck being treated to a massage by the spa chair was very good and well-timed therapy.
Several phone calls later, mom, dad, nick, and the twins decided to make the trip to join us for the birth (if possible) and some days afterward. They hit the road on tuesday afternoon from south carolina and drove to Monroe, LA from where they would make the remainder of the trip wednesday morning...hoping to arrive before jennifer's birth.
"Michael David Springstead , in the face of a planned Tuesday night induction for their little girl, has to quote his wife: "I sure do hate waiting for good gifts!"
April 20 at 3:17am"
Tuesday found me feeling achy and nauseated on the couch all day , which forced me to rest instead of running all over town doing errands...turned out to be a good thing!
That evening we got smoothies for dinner (since i was required to cease taking solid foods) then we packed the car and checked into the Labor and Delivery at Harris Methodist Hospital Southwest. We got settled in and began Cervidil (a "pill" to ripen the cervix and start labor) about 9pm. by early morning the Cervidil had done its work and my water broke, along with some contractions beginning.
"Michael David Springstead is letting folk know that water broke just before 2:30 a.m. (We're on our way!)
April 21 at 3:34am"
"Michael David Springstead wishes it to be known we're about 1.5cm, and the nurse is administering Putocin to intensify the contractions.
April 21 at 5:37am"
The pitocin made the contractions stronger (read: more painful and more frequent) by 8am, when the dr stopped in to check on things, i had had about all i wanted to handle. Nurses were given permission to allow me to have pain meds. For months preceding this, i had feared the epidural needle, but by this point, i was very ready for its help. i don't remember feeling afraid of it at this point..just ready. It took some time to get the anesthesiologist to our room. when he arrived my contractions felt like they were right on top of each other. it was about 9:30. I remember asking him what would happen if a contraction hit while he was administering the needle. his response: "you will just breathe through it and don't move." (don't move? are you kidding me???) once he was done, things began to calm down, and stayed calm for a while. i could see on the monitors that contractions were happening, but i didn't need to breathe through them and hang on till the end of each one. i was able instead to rest (and apparently respond to emails, though i don't remember doing that...i have proof that i did)
"Michael David Springstead is catching you folks up: water broke about 2:30 am; epidural administered around 9:30 am, around 3 cm; doctor checked before lunch, and we're at least past 4 cm - mom has been good and relaxed, but we're still moving along.
April 21 at 2:31pm"
I don't remember what time it was, but i did begin to feel the need for more medicine through the epidural @ some point that afternoon. the lower contractions were again becoming more painful than i could cope with alone.
I don't remember what the times were, but i remember that my dilation began to progress, though slowly (1 cm, 2 cm, 3 cm...then 6cm,) and we began to think we'd have a baby before the day was over (still wednesday)
"Michael David Springstead wishes it to be known that Jennifer's head is at -1. Still waiting. (I have a funny feeling we're gonna have this baby TONIGHT.)
April 21 at 5:31pm"
we used the verse cards I'd made to help me remember God's promises to be with us and be my strength. I remember reading them myself during the easier times, I sent the stack with my family to read over while they were in the waiting room, my mom read them all to me, and then when it got really tough, mike read them over me while i agreed with them. Taking every thought captive and correcting them with the truths of scripture. I was shaken so much by my need to be reminded of these simple known truths. I'm very glad that I had the cards were the review and focus on.
"Michael David Springstead Around 9cm dilated for the last hour or so. Still waiting, but perhaps not for much longer.
April 21 at 8:37pm "
by 11pm I was stuck at 9cm...and needed more meds in the epidural to cope. I was afraid to get more because I didn't want it to delay the labor any further, but i also didn't feel that i could endure pushing through delivery without the relief of the epidural. I finally asked for more and received another dose. still no sight of my Dr (we'd seen him at lunchtime but not since) I was exhausted , and still feeling pressure and pain, and still not dilated far enough for birth.
Around midnight the dr showed up, checked me, said he'd be back to check again after another delivery (since i wasn't going anywhere yet) but if no progress was made by then we might talk about a c-section.
it felt like for-ev-er till he came back,and by then i had made up my mind that i "couldn't" push after all of this, and unless progress had been made, i wanted the c-section.
"Michael David Springstead After little change in four hours (and a third dose through the epidural), we're about to switch to the operating room for a Caesarian section. Jennifer is about 6 days larger than average, so she gets extra help coming out!
April 22 at 12:28am"
By 1am we were on our way to surgery and at 1:16am Jennifer Mikaela was born. It was a long long day or two, but worth it! the Lord Sustained us through it.
"Michael David Springstead got to see Jennifer Mikaela at 1:15 am, when she weighed 7.9 lb and was 20.5 in! Strawberry blonde hair and good cry. (A little congesty starting out, but with her parents, that's to be expected.)
April 22 at 2:17am"
by about 2am we were back in the L&D room. my arms were numb and my entire body shaking. but i was holding our baby! i was scared to feed her because i was so numb, shaky, and exhausted. but i was able to get a little into her system before i decided (about an hour later) that i couldn't safely hold her anymore, and passed her to Michael. she was SO wide-eyed! seeing them stare at one another was the first of many sweet moments. i slept for about an hour and then they transferred us to our recovery room about 4am..where i slept while michael went with jennifer to the nursery to watch her receive her first bath.
"Michael David Springstead is guessing Jennifer was sleeping through part of that day of labor. Our little bug came out at 1:15, saw some family, nursed for about a half hour, then stared at her worn out parents until about 4, when she was taken to the nursery for her bath. No sleep! (Fortunately, though - remarkably peaceful disposition.)
April 22 at 4:52am"
they talk about not "remembering" the pain after its all over. i remember it, it just all runs together. i dont want to forget the pieces of this big event in our family. thank you facebook and michael for helping keep the pieces so i could reassemble them. it really does feel like i had to "make" this memory. I'm glad, too.
best part ever...i have a hard time remembering what it was like not having a baby :)
Monday, May 03, 2010
Thursday, April 15, 2010
You've had several names since we first found out about you...as we've tried to imagine what you'll be like.
Your daddy and i experienced together the excitement of feeling your first big moves inside my belly.
We've laughed together at your tendency to crowd into only one side of my tummy. (especially recently!)
We've jokingly questioned the wisdom of the people who decided it was a good idea to give us license to parent any children at all, as odd and silly as we are.
We've tried to guess when you'll meet us face to face, assuming it will be at the very moment that i've put a loaf of bread into the oven to bake, or that it will be right after your daddy has pulled an all-nighter in order to write a paper for his classes
Tonight makes 4 nights till your due date. I don't know if you'll decide to show up before then, or if we'll just have to be patient to wait on you a little longer. I sure do hate waiting on good gifts! Thank you for staying so comfortable inside of me, and for growing so healthily! I know that in the future you'll give us many surprises which might cause us to worry, but so far, you've been the perfect little baby.
Of course, We know that the reason for your outstanding health thus far is due to God's blessings on us. Lots of people are praying that you'll continue to be as healthy throughout birth and the rest of your life.
We just can't wait to meet you! come soon, but come healthy.
Love, your mommy
Friday, March 26, 2010
i haven't decided exactly how i am going to utilize these in actual labor, but for now i am using them to keep anxiety down and help keep my focus on Christ as i wait and plan for this little baby to make her appearance. i might print them onto index cards or colored paper and focus on them, or use them in between contractions to remind me of where my help and strength come from.
for those of you who've been there, did you use scripture during your labor experience and if so, how?
any suggestions and scriptures to add are welcome!
"I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well."
“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”
"He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint."
“In my distress I called to the Lord, I cried to God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears.”
“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.”
2 Samuel 22:33
“It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.”
“1 But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. 2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. 3 For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you. 4 Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life. 5 Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you. 6 I will say to the north, Give up, and to the south, Do not withhold; bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, 7 everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made."”
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
“Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.”
"'For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,' says the LORD, who has compassion on you."
“All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children.”
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."
2 Chronicles 15:7
"But you, take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded."
"The Lord is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise Him; my father's God, and I will exalt him."
"The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him."
"1 I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come?
2 My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.
4 Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade on your right hand.
6 The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.
7 The LORD will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.
8 The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore."
"Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength."
"For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus."
"Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you even at my mother's breast. From birth I was cast upon you; from my mother's womb you have been my God."
"For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O LORD, from my youth. From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother's womb. I will ever praise you."
"For truly I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, 'move from here to there', and it shall move; and nothing shall be impossible to you."
"In God I have put my trust, I shall not be afraid."
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight."
1 john 5:14-15
"And this is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked of Him."
"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest."
"Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He will do it."
"I sought the Lord, and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears."
"Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him."
"Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need."
2 Timothy 1:7
"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and sound judgment."
"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam though the mountains quake at its swelling pride."
"Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually! Remember the wondrous works that he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he uttered,"
"The LORD sits enthroned over the flood; the LORD sits enthroned as king forever. May the LORD give strength to his people! May the LORD bless his people with peace!"
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,"
2 Corinthians 4:7-10
"But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies."
"But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you."
1 Samuel 7:12
"Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen and called its name Ebenezer; for he said, "Till now the LORD has helped us."
"But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 'The LORD is my portion,' says my soul, 'therefore I will hope in him.' The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD."