Our Journey Through Infertility…Conclusion

Hi there!  If you are joining us for the first time today, you may want to go back to the beginning of the story part one is here , part two is here , part three is herepart 4 is here. and part 5 is here. As promised …here is the conclusion…

This time, we didn’t wait to tell our friends and family. I figured, most of them have walked most of this journey with us, might as well have them pray and walk along this stage with us too. So my younger sisters helped me a prepare a dinner for some good friends and we surprised them with the news…it was so. much. fun.

I don’t remember when we settled on the name Lucas, but I do remember speaking to him long before I could feel him moving around…I had minimal morning sickness and because I was still on Sabbatical I wasn’t overly tired because I could sleep whenever I wanted. But soon my sabbatical would be over and I would be returning to ministry and the school in the midst of a lot of upheaval…but I knew it would be short term for me because of mat leave, so the stress of it didn’t really effect me thankfully. The summer weeks flew by.

We had been invited to the wedding of some former students and now very good friends and had made plans to travel to Florida at the end of the summer…it would be just past the 12 week mark.

I was at work the day I was supposed to begin packing and I noticed some spotting…there was a moment when I felt all the fear and torment from the past 5 years rush up and try to overwhelm me…I rushed home without telling Chris, and ran around the house tearing open drawers and cupboards.

I had to find it…please don’t laugh, or roll your eyes, or get overly analytical.  I was looking for oil. It was this “anointing oil” a guest speaker had given out at a church meeting…I had scoffed at the time, thinking that if it’s in the bible, it doesn’t matter if you use olive oil, or coconut oil to pray with… I had not been convinced it was “special” , but “just in case I’m wrong” I hadn’t thrown it away…(BTW, I’m Still not sure it was special) but “just in case” I had dumped it all over myself and started thanking God that my joy would be full. FULL. FULL.

I was sitting on the floor in the room with the crib, covered in oil, when Chris got home later that evening.  BUT the spotting had stopped.  (I’ll leave it up to you what to believe, I’m just relaying my desperation in that moment to try anything…and I do give God credit for his grace throughout the journey, and for my children, and do believe I was healed that day, or earlier).

We called off the trip just to be safe…but after that day, there were no other problems in the pregnancy. The fall and winter came and went, I got bigger and bigger and happier and happier.

I started Mat leave about a month before my due date, and the next day my friends threw us a gigantic shower. Everything we needed and more was provided…we put everything away that night and I packed my hospital bag – well most of it…and the next day…He, the baby that is, decided to arrive early. Lucas would be our only baby to arrive 3 weeks early, the only one to be early period. I can’t begin to convey the joy in the hospital room…in fact the waiting room was full of people who had to be there when he arrived. Thankfully, it was in the afternoon. It was like a party hit the hospital. (Remember the friend who had called me while I was driving in Alberta? Her baby had been born the day before, in the same hospital, she was surprised to see us, because we were so early, but she just joined in the party) It was so much fun – after the grueling work of delivery that is!


After Lucas, 2 more boys arrived within four years…and I wasn’t sure if God thought he was just being funny – I mean 3 boys? I have 4 sisters, no brothers…”what does one do with boys?”… and then 6 years later our baby girl. Each of the rest of the babies took. their. blessed. time in arriving. Believe you me. But after each one, I knew, my joy was full. My cup ran over in fact. His grace is sufficient, and his love indescribable. But His joy, His joy is complete.

151017_Heaslip_048 (2)An interesting little note… in 2014 we were blessed to have Isabelle join our family. She is from China  and she is staying with us for all of high school. We love her parents like family, and she is definitely family, she fits right in, you’d never know she was an only child. She was born the year we lost Maggie. Isabelle makes every day more joyful for me, and our family. I had always said that I hoped to adopt a little girl from Asia someday, and maybe we will still…but maybe not. But I do know, that Isabelle was destined to be a part of our family from that day, and our hearts were being prepared to share life with her today, way back then. I thank God for her (and her family) everyday. Truly, our joy is full.

151017_Heaslip_024 (2)Thank you for sharing in this journey with me. Thank you for your encouragement and kind words. Someone had asked me why I decided to share now, and honestly, because I was finally ready. I want to keep writing, and I know writing through the hard stuff  is part of the process. I hope you’ll come back, I hope you’ll share some of your stories with me. I love hearing from you and thank you for your friendship and love,

xoxo

Tammara

 

 

Dear Elaina

Dear Elaina,

We don’t know if we’ll ever be able to convey how much we love you…but we will spend all of our remaining days doing our best to show and tell you just that.  You are a special jewel in the crown of our lives. Our family is better because you are in it. We are all smitten with you.

We wish that we could protect you from all the sorrows and hardships that life will bring you, but we can’t. If we did, you would miss out on all the beauty and joy that is born out of pain. We can promise you that we will be there for you, and when we am not, we trust that we have and will have always pointed you towards the ONE who will never leave you.  Your name can always be a reminder to you on what our intention was in raising you.

Elaina means “shining light” or “torch”. It represents Jesus” the light of the world” and His victory. It represents Truth, Divine Wisdom and Victory…as well as Life, Peace and leaving a Legacy. Please always remember, you can never fulfill this apart from the Grace of God in your life…        

This leads to your middle name…

Grace is God’s undeserved favour and blessing. We live a life that we don’t deserve because Jesus took our place. We hope and plan on raising you in Grace…because that is the only way we can.

            We are so excited to fill these next years with great memories together and to live life to the fullest together as a family. As we dedicate ourselves to raising you for the Lord, we also reaffirm that this is our intention for all of our children, for your brothers – Lucas, Max and Carter. They will be your greatest friends, and bring you much joy. They will also bring you grief. This is good.

It is our responsibility to help you find your way, to know who you are in Christ and to live up to your names, as well as to know what it means to be a Heaslip. The Lord will help us, and give us the wisdom, provision and spiritual gifts we need for this.  As for us, and our House… We will serve the Lord.

            Happy first birthday Elaina! It’s been an amazing year of firsts with our baby girl, and we’re anticipating another year full of God’s richest blessings for, not because we deserve it, but because of His great love for all of us.

With all our Love,

                            Mommy & Daddy

Ist Birthday and Dedication

I love to throw a good party… you know, with a theme and lot’s of details. Beautiful decor and really really good food. For a long time I felt like I needed a reason to do this for others, for bridal or wedding showers, for work or church events. I felt like I needed to justify all the effort, not just for myself or my little family. However in the most recent years, not having a specific church or work family to party plan for and I also realized that if I can’t put that effort into celebrating my own little family, I really shouldn’t be doing it for others…
So we pulled out all the stops to celebrate our Baby Girl’s 1st Birthday and dedication ceremony.
Scrumptious dessert table…all sorts of decor was borrowed from bestie JT of course (keeps the costs down) and the heirloom quilt was dear hubby’s grandma’s – perfect for the pink baby girl party.
Mason Jar Ring Pumpkin
Pink Harvest Theme with Diamonds and Bird Houses
Perfect opportunity to display the baby books and a year of photos. 
Painted pink pumpkins and pearls…
The birthday girl checking out her balloons in her pj’s with Grandma before the party starts.

Menu: Harvest Soup, Split Pea Soup and Beef Stew
  
Pretty in her party dress.
With Grandpa and Nana
Dedication
Great grandma reading a scripture verse
Everyone shared a verse
Including big brother
And Geema
Mom and Dad read a letter written for your first birthday.
Surrounded in prayer
Great Grandma, Aunties and Mama in front of the Photo Wall
Cupcake!

Presents!

Baby Jar Jelly Bean Favours

Thank you to all the friends and family who were able to celebrate with us! A birthday on September 30th is the perfect way to kick off celebrating Fall each year, looking forward to it 🙂

A perfectly pink baby shower…

These posts are obviously “catch ups” and are posted months after the fact. It’s for my records and for posterity’s sake. The events of the past few months are too important to not have posts up for 🙂

Back in October …a couple weeks after our lovely Elaina was born my dearest Jodi and sister Steph hosted a baby shower for us. 
It was perfectly pink and pretty and sweet.  Jodi has a thing for details it was everything you could imagine. We were blessed with so many gifts and everyone took turns holding her sweetness.She met her Great Grandma Baker and so many of our friends and relatives. The food was amazing and the company great of course. We are so blessed!
prettiest pink decor and food – in the back ground Stephy is setting up…her home is so picture perfect and pretty.

details like the No. 4 are Jodi’s specialties

My sister Andrea did up the favours.

The cupcakes were from my dear friend Vanessa of Vanessa’s Cupcakery and Confections.

My mom and grandma holding Baby Telis – Stephy’s babe and Elaina’s first cousin.

My Jodi – party planner extraordinaire!

Elaina Grace

These posts are obviously “catch ups” and are posted months after the fact. It’s for my records and for posterity’s sake. The events of the past few months are too important to not have posts up for 🙂

Reflections for Elaina During My Pregnancy with Elaina…

February
-One last baby…around the New Year we thought maybe we were pregnant, but it was a false alarm. So we decided if we weren’t pregnant before the summer that we would be done that summer. The very next month mommy took a test and there were 2 lines… we were pregnant!
March
-Telling our friends and Family…We waited a bit to tell people because Auntie Stephy was pregnant with her first baby, your cousin Telis and we didn’t want to take away from her feeling special. She was one of the first we told, and Jodi. Then your brothers and our parents and your aunts and uncles. Everyone was happy, and hoping for a girl.           
-Crazy Symptoms…Mommy had the most morning sickness with you. I remember I was throwing up in the bathroom one morning and your brother Max was calling for me, he paused when he saw I was sick, and then asked “When’s lumch?”

April

-Ultrasound…the technician asked mommy and daddy if we wanted to know, she knew we had 3 boys at home, so she paused and said, well…“it’s a GIRL!”…I aksed her to check again and then mommy cried happy tears and daddy said “Good job honey!”. On the way home I called Auntie Jodi Taylor and told her the news, she was driving at the time and was so happy she had to pull over and cried happy tears too.
May
Mommy hosted a baby shower for Auntie Stephanie at her house outside. It was a lot of fun, and we started to get really excited about meeting our babies!
June   
-Crazy Symptoms…throughout the pregnancy I had some weird symptoms…of course I swelled all over (I took off my wedding rings at 4 months along) then in the late summer I got Gestational Carpel Tunnel, my hands and arms would go numb, especially when I fell asleep. I had heart burn, and of course having to pee all the time.  

July                                                                                                                    

– summer life goes on…We had a busy summer while my tummy was growing bigger and bigger. We joined Geema at a cottage she rented at Braeside Camp, Camping at Bissells with the Crazy Moms Trip, Lot’s of Swimming, visits with Geepa Jim and Nana Jo, Trips to Safari Niagara and Marineland. Busy, Busy, Busy.

August

-your cousin Telis is born…On August 9th your cousin was born!

-The boys started school early because mommy knew we would take some time off when the baby arrived.

September
(I have pictures from the labour story… but they aren’t available yet. I’ll have to add them later).
so many ultrasounds…the midwives were worried about how big you were getting so they sent me for many ultrasounds. The doctor they referred me too said he would induce me at the end of September (your due date was Oct. 2nd)
-Waiting…it was getting hard to wait as I was so uncomfortable and was having contractions all the time.
-getting ready for baby… We had girls from Korea staying with us for 7 weeks in July-Sept and I was eager for them to go home so I could start getting your room ready. It was so fun decorating in pink – even on a budget! I was given lots of clothes from friends who had had girls Monica, Laila and others. We were set for you to be the best dressed until you were 2 years old! Mommy still had the crib and change table from your brothers, repurposed an old dresser (painted it black), hung some pretty curtains and frames, found pink lampshades and an antique chair. We left the queen size bed in the room so she could sleep in their if you had a fussy night.

September 29th
Your Delivery Story…we finally were told to come to the hospital to be induced on Saturday

morning. The doctor started me on the drip in the morning and we basically started walking through the contractions. Yaya and auntie Jodi arrived in the afternoon and we tried to visit until the contractions were too strong. Unfortunately, you were not moving down the birth canal very fast. Around dinner time the doctor decided to break my water and gave me morphine. That was not good because it made mommy sleepy and it was hard to concentrate on the contractions. My blood pressure was getting very high, so the doctors were getting worried. They tried to get me to start pushing around 8 pm because you still weren’t moving along. After pushing for 2 hours I was finally fully dilated and “ready to go” but you still weren’t co-operating, mommy blood pressure was even higher, plus, I was collapsing after each contraction (either from the drugs or exhaustion). We prayed again in the room for things to come together.
I could tell you weren’t co-operating (your brothers were the same way), I could tell everyone was worried about my blood pressure and then your heart rate started spiking, I knew in my heart that I wouldn’t have the strength to push through your delivery. I told the doctor I was ok if he thought I should have a c-section. That was 12:30 am on the 30th.
The doctor decided that that was best and then they tried for 45 mins to give me an epidural, I was still out if it from the drugs and in full labour so it was so hard to sit properly to have the needle in. Eventually I told them I was ok for them to give me gas and knock me out. They decided that was best too. It was almost 2 am by then. I wish I could have been awake to meet you right away, but I felt like the drugs would have effected me anyways… and knew your daddy would see you right away. The last thing I remember was the midwife’s eyes and then I woke up in recovery.
September 30th
-Happy Birthday Baby!…You were born at 2:30 am. Everything had gone well, Daddy had gotten to hold you for 20 mins after you got to the nursery.

First Photo

I was wheeled me out of recovery around 4 am when they stopped for me to meet you in the hallway by the nursery. Yaya and daddy and Jodi were waiting in the hospital room for me, and they brought you in shortly after that. I was still pretty groggy but I remember how perfect you were, and you had lot’s of hair. I thought you looked like Max and Carter, but mostly like you. Auntie Jodi held you for a bit and took some pictures. 

The nurse took you back to the nursery while I slept a bit. When they brought you back around 7 am I nursed you and we did fine. We had lots of visitors in the hospital. My recovery was actually easier than both Carter and Max’s, despite the fact that it was major surgery. Daddy brought your brothers and Geema to meet you that day. Carter and Max left with Geema for her house while I was in the hospital. Later on Geepa Jim and Nana Jo stopped in to meet you and then took Lucas back to Simcoe with them too.

We stayed in the hospital until the Tuesday morning- the staff and care at the hospital in Niagara Falls was amazing. They worked well with the midwives too.

 
Other visitors included Yaya, Laura Tolhoek, Uncle Dale, Phil & Lisa VanTol and Monica Edwards. Daddy picked us up and brought us home. We had Wednesday to ourselves as he left to pick up the boys in Simcoe. They went to the Norfolk County Fair that day. Then we were all together on the Thursday for a few days before daddy went back to work. My recovery was so good, I actually joined to Home School moms for a short walk at Dufferin Islands on the Friday. 

They were so happy to meet you.

Random thoughts…
I am excited to have a daughter to share all the girly experiences with. To teach you about being a woman, a wife, a sister and friend. To share going shopping and tea parties, princess parties and dolls and dance classes among all the things we will be doing with your brothers.

I’m looking forward to teaching you how to take care of a family and how to cook and other home crafts as well as anything else that interests you. In sharing about the things of God and showing you the wonderful world he created for us. I’m looking forward to you going to your first dance, your graduation and your first date. To watching you fall in love and your wedding day. Life is especially beautiful when you are a girl and I’m excited to be sharing it with you. 


Elaina Grace
Heaslip
Isaiah 54:13
And all your children shall be taught of the LORD;
and great shall be the peace of your children.
Elaina
Greek – “Shining Light”
…after your mom “Helaina Tammara” and her
Grandmother “Yaya” on her father’s side.
Grace
Latin – ‘Favour, Blessing’
…because you are highly favored and because you will need God’s grace,
not only for all of life, but to thrive in a family with 3 big brothers.
Heaslip
Irish – ‘dweller in the hazel valley’
Your name is fitting because our desire for you is to grow in the knowledge of the Light of the World – Jesus. As you do, you will continue to be a shining ‘light” wherever you go. We are so happy to have a little girl in the family and to see the changes it brings to our lives. You are lovely in every way and already have brought a new “light” to our days.

My Sisters Baby Shower

In my last post I mentioned one of the many things I did in June was host a baby shower for my sister Stephanie. It’s her first baby, it’s a boy, and the shower was a big one 


At one time I fancied being an event planner so when I’m hosting… I like to really throw a party when I do showers, especially for my sisters, but Steph had quite the guest list, it grew from 40 to 60 to over 80 within a few weeks…. and I was also pregnant with my 4th pregnancy myself, so couldn’t afford to overdo it…

So…I suggested a garden “open house” style shower on a Sunday afternoon. People could come and go as they please, no shower games or prizes to organize, and a light menu since it’s not lunch or dinner. Steph is having a boy, and they really love travelling and she likes vintage decor so my bff Jodi and I brainstormed some ideas for a vintage-baby boy-travel theme.

We planned on serving finger foods, desserts and cold drinks (cheaper than feeding over 60 people lunch for sure) – and I begged recruited the rest of the family and some good friends to help with the decorations and food – which they did because between the 2 of us, we have some pretty awesome, amazing, wonderful and irrecplaceable friends.

Thankfully, the weather co-operated with us beautifully, early that morning we started trickling in an setting up. Here’s a few before pics courtesy of our good friend Chantie who also did the favours and a bunch of stuff the day of… she is awesome, and if I ever do decide to go into event planning, I would ask her to join my team
Chantie and I (after I had “cleaned up” and put on a dress)

The Gift Table

Rather than have one time of opening all the gifts, we directed the guests directly to Steph who opened the gifts as they arrived, and then we displayed them on the table. 
This way, the flow of the afternoon kept moving along. 

We stationed one of my other sisters beside her to write down who the gifts
 were from to send thank you’s out later. 
   

The Sign In and Favour Table

The favours were provided by our friend Chantie – “B-shaped cookes in the cellophane) and in the bags were bath bombs in a couple of gorgeous scents. (I used mine at the end of this long day for my aching back – AWESOME!)
We had this book for people to sign and add their advice, etc.
Its also a photo album that Steph can add pics of the shower to later.
Flowers

 

 
Almost all the flowers were pulled either from my garden or “harvested” from the plants growing at my husbands work (with permission of course – Thanks Honey!) Then they were arranged by one of the may helpers who showed up early. We collected a variety of small vases and canning jars, and then I asked for as many bouquets as possible to be made. Steph and her husband Cam also used the opportunity to finish off the barrels on their porch with plants from my hubby’s work too.

The Refreshment Table

On the Menu:  Fresh veggies and dips, crackers with a variety of cheeses, nuts and spreads. my fav. was the brie with maple butter and pecans. Various fruits and sweets.

 

 

  

To me, presentation is everything. We did up fruit skewers so we wouldn’t need to use forks and it was an interesting way to display it. (The fruit was all brought in already chopped and washed by friends)

The Beverage Station
We offered iced coffee, iced tea and 3 variations of lemonade. Originally we were going to use mason jars for the drinks, but a friend brought disposables and we opted for the ease in clean up.
We also served champagne to celebrate thanks to the daddy-to-be.
Many guests commented on this lovely piece for serving the lemonade.
It was borrowed and kept stocked by our good friend Julie.
The Cupcake Station
I am very blessed to have a good friend who runs her own very successful cupcake business. She gave me a great deal on the cupcakes which were enjoyed by all! Thanks Vanessa – check out her site here or her Facebook page here. Tell her where you heard about her too please 

Misc Details 
  
For the vintage travel theme we collected and borrowed globes, 
small luggage pieces, atlases, maps, binoculars and books. 
We also borrowed white vintage table clothes, serving dishes, quilts, and anything else.
These are small pics, but I love the mobile of trains and planes above the food table. The banner was done up by Julie with burlap, twine and fabric. She’s amazing!
she also made this vintage framed chalkboard, just for the shower 
This is the closest to a game we got – no prizes, just something to look at and talk about. 

The Sistas (well 4 out of 5…sorry Jennette)

How We Enjoyed the Day

Guests enjoying the refreshments


  

Guests enjoying the company.
  
 

 

  

Special Thanks to…
Jodi – Invites & Planning                      
Sisters: Food, Set Up, Clean Up, Decor
Chantie – Favours, Set Up, Food, Decor        
Christine: Favour Labels, Set Up
Sarah W: Food, Set Up, Clean Up
Julie: Decor, Food, Set Up, Clean Up
Lisa: Food, Decor   
Laura: Food, Set Up, Clean up 
Christina, Charmaine: Food, Clean Up
Food: Mom, Mom Marconi, Sheri, Laura, 
Charmaine, Christina, Estelle, Amanda, Rebecca W
Cupcakes: Vanessa’s Cupcakery



*A side note here – we decided that the most viable location would in fact be Steph and her husband Cam’s large country property. They have a giant deck and are located beside a vineyard. Lovely natural decor and since it’s their first baby, and Steph has run a cleaning business for several years – their house is ALWAYS clean. So it was not a big hassle for them to physically “host” the event and we didn’t have the funds to rent a hall. Plus we felt it was the least stressful for her as she could take it easy while the rest of us did the work…and all the gifts were easily transported to the new nursery afterwards. So it was most easy on the new parents to be overall.


Another positive note, most everyone on the list RSVP’d, which I was happy about. If you don’t remember my rant on this, click here


Overall, we had a lovely day and Steph and Cam and the soon to arrive baby were very blessed. Thanks again to everyone! This mama is going to relax before coming up with dinner for 4 hungry men before daddy’s ballgame tonight! 


Thanksgiving Surprise!

Remember the big announcement from a few weeks ago? In January
Well, I thought that the dream growing within me was a special project that’s been forming in my imagination for years, a book ( and while that’s still something that’s growing)…lol, I was way off base. Then around my birthday, we found out that God had a different adventure in mind for now…
It’s official!
We’re expecting baby #4 to arrive in the fall of this year. Just before Canadian Thanksgiving. We’re pretty excited about it too 🙂
That explains my recent “hermit like behaviour” (I needed to be close to a bathroom) and the random naps in the middle of the day… while my kids are wreaking havoc on the house.
The boys faces all lit up when we told them (and they’ve determined it should be a girl). The parents were all shocked (teehee)…
I’m pretty pumped that my sister Stephy’s little one due Aug. 2nd will have a cousin close in age too – who knows… maybe we’ll both have the girls we want so much 🙂
Now, back to finding some plain crackers…
Disclaimer… to anyone who I love (and there are many of you) and who I’ve spent time with in the past few days/ weeks (also a good number of you) – I apologize that this post is how you found out, we had to tell the parents and the rest of the family first (which took a bit of time, and even then we missed a few), now it’s fair game for the rest of the world to know and I honestly didn’t know which friends should have been the first to know.
I can say that I’m surprised that no one guessed (perhaps they were afeared to ask, and I’m glad I didn’t have to lie) and all have been surprised! teehee~!
Jodi came closest to the subject a few weeks back, but I successfully dodged it, and supposedly my sisters suspected (I quote… ” you were getting chunky”~nice eh?)
Much love!!!
Chris and Tammara