Monday, July 19, 2010

A Little bitterSweetness

This time 2 years ago was extremely stressful for our family. There was so much uncertainty around us. It all started with Chris' mom going into the hospital for a surgery, and ending up in the ICU. This was not supposed to happen. She was in the hospital for some time in Bryan. Chris and his sisters were traveling back and forth from Temple/Georgetown at least every other day. My Father-in-Law, Don was pretty much living in Bryan. I was pregnant with McKinley and of course was already dilated (still had more than a month left), therefore could not accompany them. I was relying on Chris and everyone else to give me updates on Jackie's condition. It was slow going for awhile. Chris was coming home from work one day and was going to be heading to Bryan, when he called to tell me that we needed to grab some clothes for me and Aby and that we were going to Temple. I was a tad confused, but jumped up to do so. As I was standing in the bathroom getting some things together my water broke. Only I didn't know it did. All I remember doing is freezing, then hearing Aby say, "Mommy!!! Did you pee on yourself?" =) I of course said "NO!!" I know you are wondering how I didn't know my water broke. My water had to be broken by a doctor when I had Aby. So, this was new territory for me. Anyway, I had a doctors appointment then next day, so I decided that I would wait to talk with her about it. Then Chris busted through the door and told me that his Grandfather passed away. I was in shock. He was pretty much hysterical. We both finally calmed down and made a plan. We would go to Temple to see Mamaw Dell, then I would stay with my parents while he went to Bryan to see his mom and to relieve his dad. I can remember standing there in Mamaw's living room giving her a hug, and she told me that now it was time for some good news, so I could have McKinley. I of course laughed and said not yet!!
The next morning I got up and got ready for my Dr. appointment. I remember getting ready to put my shoes on and bending down to pick them up. I knew something wasn't right. I could BEND OVER!!! I was a little alarmed at this point. I couldn't get to the doctor fast enough. Of course my doctor was in a delivery, so I had to wait. I ended up seeing a nurse who did some litmus test to check to see if my water had indeed broken. She told me to stay calm, and then I saw her face. She immediately told me to get on the phone to Chris and tell him that he needed to come home. 5 hours later I was holding our beautiful McKinley Rhaye. I was 36 weeks. I had held on to this pregnancy for two extra weeks. I considered that victory =) McKinley was perfect and was deemed perfectly healthy from the NICU team.
We were in emotional overload. We were grieving and in a state of sheer joy, amazement, and shock at the same time. I had a hard time feeling joyful, because I felt that I was betraying the mourning process. And it was hard because I really wanted Jackie to be there when McKinley was born. While we were in the hospital McKinley had a hard time keeping her temperature high enough on her own. I constantly had her swaddled in 2 blankets and had to use the technique kangaroo care often. We ended up being discharged, only to wind up going back to have her admitted into the NICU. She went in for jaundice and ended up in an incubator. We were devastated. It took Aby forever to get out of the incubator. So, I was nervous we were going to have a long stint in the NICU. Praise God she was only in for three or four days. This time around it was less serious, BUT was more difficult running to the hospital every 3 hours while having a toddler at home that I had to spend time with too. Thank goodness for my sister-in-law Andrea. Aby really buddied up with her and she took Abigayle under her wing for several days. McKinley and Jackie came home on the same day. By that time Jackie had been caught up on what had gone on around her while she was in ICU.
Here we are 2 years later. Still mourning our beloved Papa Don, and still rejoicing for a full recovery of Jackie, and still celebrating a life greatly anticipated. Here are a few of my favorite pictures from the past two years.

One proud Daddy

One overjoyed Big Sister

One tired and blessed Momma

One teeny tiny baby

One big yawn

One smiley little girl

One curious 6 month old

One "big" 12 month old

This is our sweet McKinley Rhaye. From the beginning she has been a fighter. Like her big sister, she was way too ready to come into this world and take it on. I find it amazing how anyone can fall in love with just one glance, and know that nothing that person does can EVER take that love away. It's fun to watch how alike she is to her sister, but at the same time so different. She is sweet, but fiery tough. There is almost always a smile on her face. She is our blonde, blue eyed, fair skinned princess. I am looking forward to seeing the gifts that God has bestowed upon her, and how she will use them for His glory. How she will excel, and what will be her weaknesses. I cannot wait to see this little girl grow into the young lady that God will be proud of and happy to call His own. We love you sweet Mac!! Happy 2nd Birthday


  1. What a whirlwind...I'm sure it's not easy to re-live some of that roller coaster ride you were on 2 years ago, but what an important and life-changing part of the Graves Family Story it is. :) Happy Birthday, McKinley!! (And I especially love the last pic.)

  2. If I wasnt smack in the middle of that week, I might not believe it! haha :) Great post! love you!!