Friday, September 23, 2016

Find the Joy

      On September 22, 2008 Eden was born. Since we just celebrated her birthday I thought I should share her legacy. It is a legacy of love and sacrifice that lives on in my heart. Her birth and death has a heavy hand in shaping me into who I am today and in directing me to always do and be better.
      Trevor and I were counselled by our Stake President to wait to have children until after we were sealed in the Temple and then to do so with prayer. Shortly after we were married I became baby hungry but Trevor being the wise man that he is said we needed to wait and we needed to pray about it. We waited two years and while watching conference a voice came into my mind and said "It is time." I immediately knew that it was the Lord telling me it was time to have children. I told Trevor and he was not ready but he took the time to pray and came around. 
      We were pregnant in that first month and everything was going well. I felt her move when I was just 16 weeks along. Which I am so thankful for because 5 weeks later she was born. 
      It was Sunday. We had the primary program that day and I had played the flute. I was really uncomfortable and she was really wiggly. My stomach felt tight. I kept getting odd pains in my lower back on and off all day. I kept feeling like the baby was pushing on me and going too low. Trevor told me the next day that before leaving my moms house he felt inspired that I needed a blessing but he waved it off thinking it was nothing.
      That night when we got home from dinner at my moms I knew something wasn't right. The pain wasn't going away and it was getting worse. We called the nurse and they had me lay down on on my left side and drink some water. If I was going to drink some water I had to go potty first. As I came back I felt something. I was bleeding. We were told to go to the hospital right away. I went upstairs to change and when I got down my water broke. Trevor was on the phone with my mom and she said to all an ambulance. The look on his face in forever etched in my mind. A look of fear and pain and love. 
      When the ambulance came they brought with them the big fire truck with the ladder. I don't know why they thought we needed a ladder. I remember being worried as they came in the house that my carpet was going to get dirty and they were going to step in the amniotic fluid. The fireman trying to do my IV sucked which is irronic because the girl in the ambulance got it in while we were driving away. They wouldn't let Trevor ride with me and I was so scared and felt so alone. When we got to the hospital we went straight to the delivery room and I could still feel her moving around.
      In my room they got me situated and tried to find Trevor. He drove out with my mom and brother Pat. The spirit of the Lord filled that hospital room in a way that I cannot describe. I was not left alone to wait for my family. My mother said it was the closest she has ever felt to being in the presence of God, even while in the Temple. We asked for some privacy so Trevor and Pat could give me a blessing. Pat anointed me and Trevor blessed me. He promised me that the Lord knew me and loved me. That he was proud of me. He reminded me that because of our Temple covenants that our family will be together forever and to have peace. 
      We listened to the Doctors and Nurses tell us statistics and give us some very bleak options. We didn't know what to do. We didn't know what was right. Trevor suggested that we pray and ask God. It was His daughter too and He could see and would know what was best for her and for us. No sooner had Trevor asked what the Lords would have us do then she was born. I had a terrible contraction and started to get sick and she just... came with us and the angles. I sat up and held her as best as I could with the umbilical cord still attached and talked to her while we waited for the nurses to come back. I am forever thankful that the Lord delivered her for us. That Eden and I did not have to suffer long. What had felt like minutes has actually been hours. It seemed we were blessed with the gift of time as well. 
      We took turns holding her. I cried as I watched Trevor hold her and rock her in his hands.She had wisps of blonde hair and a high forehead like her dads. Her little pinkie was crooked like Trevor's too. She had long slender toes. The nurses took her and they dressed her but nothing fit she was barely a pound. They took pictures for us and gave us a beautiful painted box with the Items they had taken her pictures with. I was taken to a small room for the rest of the night. They showed me how to take care of  myself after having a baby and warned me that my milk might still come in, which it did days later and was very painful. The next day we went home. I can't adequately explain the pain I felt at having to be wheeled out of the hospital by the nursery caring just a box with some pictures and baby items. 
      The people of my ward rallied together and we were not left without. Upon arriving home our pantry and fridge were filled and many came with words of wisdom and love. We received cards of sympathy and flowers and packages.  All of this outpouring of love could not compare to the love and peace I felt from the Lord. I was never left comfortless. I was never left alone. The walls of our home were a literal sanctuary from the world, a Temple. 
      I didn't sleep much but I stayed up and read and prayed and talked to Trevor. Trevor had a habit of rubbing my belly and the first time he did that we both cried. For a moment we had forgotten.Our first outing to the store was torture. There were too many people. It was too loud. I had  hard time being anywhere but home for weeks. The weeks turned to months and we met with a specialist who was amazing and very optimistic. We were told we could have another baby right away, but we were not ready. We knew such a decision had to be made on our knees. Several months later during another Conference the same soft voice whispered "It is time." I was scared and still grieving but I had faith in the Lord and in His will. 
      Once again we were pregnant right away and with more doctor appointments then I care to count I carried Eleanor to term. I will never forget the first time I heard her and saw her and held her. I spoke to her and she quieted. My joy was ten times what my grief had been. My hospital room was once again a place of peace and love and a place close to God. I knew that despite my troubles I would do it all again. I knew that when the Lord said "It is time" that I would be ready and willing. That little voice came again a few years later and after a long but not long enough pregnancy and some time in the hospital we were blessed with Iris.
      We are meant to feel sorrow so that we can feel joy. We are meant to feel heartache so we can feel love. We meant to feel pain so that we can be thankful when we are whole and without pain. We are meant to live our lives together and to share so that we can lift others and succor them the way the Savior succors us. 
      It is my hope and my prayer that by sharing my experience and my testimony that I can help others to find Christ and the healing balm of His love. That though we grieve we need not grieve alone. Eden would be 8 this year. Trevor realized yesterday that he would be baptizing her this month. We still miss her. I mourn her having gone home to our Father in Heaven so soon. In the quiet moments I can feel her love and hear her voice. I look forward with hope to when I can see her again. 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

My Trevor

Its Valentines Day this week and eight years ago today Trevor asked me to marry him. Trevor is an exceptional man in many ways and often times feels naught of it. Our relationship has not been easy and we have suffered and cried together along with the smiles and kisses. I have issues with trusting men. Imprinted upon me by my father but Trevor, he is my rock. If a list of his qualities could suffice I would list them and show them to the world but it is not enough. He is my Husband and our daughters Father and the worthy priesthood holder and patriarch of our home. Which means more then just those simple words can express. Growing up my home didn't always have that and my gratitude at the man that he has become overflows me. We are not those same people who laid in the grass eight years ago pledging their love. We have changed and I love him more, if possible, then I did then. He takes care of me when I need taking care of. I can sometimes be an emotional wreck and he is always there. Holding me and loving me and sympathizing with me. Never judging me or belittling my pain. He finds me desirable though I am not exactly the women he married almost eight years ago. We are forever. I know that Valentines is not a "real" holiday and that it has become commercialized but I am thankful for it. I am thankful for this time of year when I can think about our relationship and friendship and feel overwhelmed my our love and our joy. I remember watching him hold our first daughter and see the love compassion and loss in face and I am in awe of such a strong and willing man of God. I wish I could find words to describe that moment but I am at a loss. This Valentines and everyday I express my complete love devotion and respect for my Trevor.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

My little Eleanor

Eleanor is amazing. I know I am biased cause I am her mom but shes just awesome! She is beautiful but I try to let her know that she is much much more then that. She is super smart. I am not going to be surprised if she is in the advanced classes when she is older. She is creative and imaginative in the most surprising ways. She is gentle and loving. Always loving. She will frequently just stop put her arms around me kiss me and say "Mommy I love you so much!" She loves to cuddle. She loves to paint and color and makes me amazing pictures. I just want to keep all of them. She can be oh so sassy too, but what girl isn't right? She loves to shop with me and tells me what is "soo cute." She has always thrived on structure as well. When she was a baby she was on a feeding/nap schedule which if deviated from our little baby who never really cried and was sweet all the time turned into our little screacher creature. Even though she is now three almost four she still does much better and is much happier with some kind of schedule. As she has gotten older we have always transitioned into a new schedule with little trouble and made the necessary changes that made all our lives more pleasant. Well it has not been so this time around. Sleep times have been off for months and Eleanors moods and sass has been our reward. Half of the time she took her daily afternoon naps and went to bed on time resulting in a happy girl all day long. Other times she would just play in her room at nap time and be fine. Or she would play in her room and be a monster and then crash at five pm cause she needed her nap but didn't get one. Other times she would take her nap and then stay up until ten or eleven at night. All of which were not good for her and would eventually affect her health. I decided to take away her naps and get her to bed a little earlier. Just doing that alone didn't work. She needed more routine then that. Then I thought well maybe she isn't getting to bed on time even without naps because we are not getting out enough during the day (Winter in Utah equals stuck inside especially if my kids are sick and I don't want to infect others.). I also thought that she would behave better if we limited her TV time. I wanted to make changes during the day as well as what we did at night. Everyday is different and some days are just lazy but most days I try to invigorate her mind and creative skills and get her some play time with someone other then mommy and sister. Then I thought she is sleeping in too late in the morning and this could also cause her to stay up late so I need to change that too. Waking up early is not my strong point but now I wake up and make sure my girls don't sleep in either. "Early to bed early to rise" as the saying goes. So after tweaking our daily activities I came up with a bed time routine that has worked for us. Granted it has only been three night of our new process but two out of those three nights resulted in amazing outcomes and a much happier girl. Now we turn the TV off and learn, create something, get out of the house, and play with friends. Then after dinner no more TV. Its clean up time then bath time with a little lavender oil and then its lotion time and pajama time. Next we read some books till its time for bed. Off we go to find Daddy for prayers. Then I take both girls into their room where we turn off the lights and sing two songs. I take turns cuddling both girls individually and leave them to their dreams. I remind Eleanor before I leave that if she sleeps good she can put a sticker on her bed time chart (after so many stickers she gets to pick a prize from our stash of 99 cent toys and candy) and a happy Popsicle stick (I have jars on the counter one happy and one sad full of bonuses or chores depending). She gets a kick out of picking sticks. Now if after all this she chooses to get up it results in all the toys she has gotten out confiscated which she has to earn back. She gets up again she doesn't get a sticker. She gets up again she doesn't get a happy Popsicle stick and has to pick a sad one instead. And if all else fails she gets an old fashioned spank on the bum. Its a lot of hard work but as I said Eleanor is amazing and deserves the time and energy it takes to make a schedule that she can thrive on. Not everyday will be perfect I am no super mom but I am hoping to make positive changes. Being a stay at home mom is much more then just wiping bums and faces it is all day long putting others needs before my own and getting off the couch and putting my book down so that my girls are not being baby sat but raised and reared to know and understand how amazing they are. To help them become more and more amazing everyday. So now on days when I just need a more me time I will go back and read this and remember again why its not about me and that I can have some me time after they are asleep. Cause if I can get them to bed on time without fighting me I can have hours of time to myself before bed and that's enough.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Adventures in the NICU


 As promised though a bit late I share our adventures in the NICU. Time was not marked by minutes, hours, days, or even months, but milestones. Milestones that most babies reach before birth like: breathing, eating, maintaining her body temperature, and monitoring her heart rate. While Iris had to work a little harder and struggle a little longer she still met her milestones and came home. Iris was in the hospital for 7 weeks. Being 10 weeks early Trevor and I  were told it would be 8 to 10 weeks. Bringing her home early was just one of the many blessings bestowed to our family during this tough time. Eleanor handled it all so well. She went to a friends houses or grandmas house while I went the the hospital every day.



We did not worry ... much. We had great faith in her Doctors, Nurses, and in God. We knew that she needed to grow and develop just as if she were still where she should have been, in her womb. The NICU was her womb. I went in every morning to hold her skin to skin and to feed her. She was fed though a feeding tube in her nose. The first time I fed her it was just 0.3 ml pushed though with a syringe. The amount gradually increased as she put on weight and tolerated her feedings. I was left to pump, and pump I did. I had to pump every 3 hours to keep my milk supply in. Soon I didn't have to worry too much about milk. I was making enough for 2 1/2 babies. We stored the milk and Iris never needed formula which was a great blessing. Three weeks later while holding Iris skin to skin she started to root (nuzzle and look for the breast). I asked if I could let her try to nurse and try she did. She had a great latch and sucking muscles but she lacked the basic neurological suck swallow breathe pattern most babies are born with. She choked, a lot. She needed time for her brain to develop this neurological skill. It also didn't help that I had a heavy let down. I didn't think I was going to be able to nurse and was grateful to even try. It was a challenge for both of us as we learned to work together to get her her nourishment. Ever so slowly her feedings increased from just once a day to twice then three and finally four. She would try with me and then get her feeding though her tube. I was on a three strikes rule. If she choked 3 times she was done. It was scary when she choked because she would not only stop breathing but she would stop pumping her heart too. This was called a bradycardia and yes it really is as scary as it sounds.

                      All along the way she was growing strong and learning fast. I slowly got to hold her more and more. Two weeks and I could hold her twice a day and then another two weeks and I could hold her three times a day. She came off oxygen after the first day but she was working too hard to breathe and had to be placed back onto room flow oxygen. She was on room flow oxygen for 5 weeks. When they took her off it became apparent that she still needed some help when she ate. She had what was called "Blow By" when she ate. We ended up bringing her home with some oxygen so she could have it while she ate and while she was in her car seat. She couldn't sit the the propped position long with out it. She just couldn't get enough oxygen like that. It made it hard to go anywhere or even find a swing that she could sit in. It was another 4 weeks before we could feed her or put her in the car seat without it. We had to work up her feedings the last 3 weeks she was in the NICU was kind of crazy. I was going in 3 times a day and then the last 3 days I almost lived at the hospital. I actually kind of did. They had rooms for our use. We had to have a room in trial for one night before we could go home. Eleanor stayed with grandma while Trevor and I stayed at the hospital with Iris. She lost weight the last two days and we almost didn't get to take her home but the Doctors had faith in us a parents and let us take her home. We got the hang of things and at her next Doctors appointment she had gained some weight back.


While in the NICU she was given caffeine. Being as early as she was she often "forgot" she was born and had to do things on her own. She forgot to breathe and forgot to keep her heart going. The caffeine helped to remind her that she was indeed in the world and she needed to work. She had to be slowly weaned off it as she didn't need it. She was attached to monitors all the time except when she got her bathe every other day. They sounded whenever her heart rate dropped too low or her oxygen levels were low. She had the worlds smallest blood pressure cuff on her leg it was just too cute! She was sent home with an apnea monitor because even though after she could breathe on her own when in deep sleep she would once again forget to breathe. Her monitor would sound. It was like a fire alarm that sent us running. We would gently shake her and she would wake up a bit and start breathing again. The first day we brought her home it happened 3 times. She was on the monitor for about 3 months after we brought her home. The last few weeks were not fun. Iris was more active and it would get disconnected and sound at the most inopportune times. Like during church, at the library or out at dinner.

            Every Saturday and Sunday was family day. Eleanor was allowed to visit once a day only on those days. We were sad to discover the hospital policy that if under the age of 18 only immediate family could visit. This put both Janelle and Emmett in the waiting room. Somehow on Iris's first day Janelle got in.  One of the other nurses snuck her in on one other occasion too. Lucky girl! Every Saturday Eleanor would visit her elusive baby sister till she got too loud and we had to take her out. She usually lasted about 5 min. After 4 weeks Eleanor got to hold her for the first time. It was the sweetest thing. Eleanor was so soft. After bringing her home I was worried she would want to hold her too much but Eleanor was busy playing her own games and asked only once about every other day.

              Iris was born June 12, 2012 ten weeks early she came home 7 weeks later. After another 3 months she was finally cordless and off oxygen. She was still monitored closely. We had to take her in to see her Doctor every week for the first two months. Though all of this work to get Iris home and healthy we had so much love a support it was amazing. Thanks so much to everyone who helped out. We felt an outpouring of the Lords Spirit and love. It all went by in blur but I never felt too overwhelmed or too sad. It was a special time for our family. We all did what we needed to do and grew together.

Sunday, January 6, 2013


I just wanted to share something I learned at church today. We had a wonderful lesson by Felice Clements about Forget-Me-Nots. We talked about Gods love and how we are never forgotten by the One who created us. That at times we may feel forgotten or lonely but He never abandons us. All I could think of was when I had come to one of many cross roads in my life. When I had the opportunity to be angry with the Lord and my life but I didn't. I remember holding our first little girl Eden in my arms and only feeling an out pouring of love and peace. Love for me and my husband and a very special love for our little Eden. I remembered the words of the priesthood blessing the I received. The Lord loved me and my family very much and that he was proud of me. I remember the feelings of hope when I was reminded that my family was sealed in the Temple of the Lord for time and all eternity and that our family would be blessed. Its easy to forget the grace and love of our Heavenly Father in times of loss and sorrow and well everyday life. We get caught up in the day to day and we get ungrateful. We ask why me or why do they get "it" and I don't. Its not about the why its about the who. He loves us and wants us to be happy. If we put our faith in the Lord he will bless us and though we may have trials he never forgets us. Sometimes being a stay at home mom and getting suck inside all day gets to me and I feel a little forgotten but I was reminded today that I am not forgotten that I am loved. Thank you Felice for such a special lesson. I know most of my posts are about my children. About the losses and the joys but sometimes things in life change you and I can't help but reflect on the most powerful experiences of my life to draw out meaning. Sorry if its getting old or if your like get over it already. Its part of who I am and I am grateful to have been so richly blessed in the love of the Lord.

Thursday, September 6, 2012


 As I was holding little Iris this morning I realized something huge. Since having Iris I decided that I didn't want to have more babies. It was too hard in many ways and too expensive for me and all my complications. Most people I have told this to and shared my story with understand. I remember when we had our first baby Eden I said " I don't know how many times I can do this. Maybe having babies isn't for me." but that all changed. I felt the healing balm of the Spirit and felt the tender mercies of the Lord and I knew that I would do whatever the Lord asked of me and Trust in his divine plan for my family. At the end of my pregnancy with Eleanor I said the same basic thing. "My pregnancies are too hard I don't think I can do this again." but the moment I saw Eleanor for the very first time I knew that I would do it all over again for her and for my babies waiting in the spirit world. I trust in the Lord. I trust in the Lord and that hasn't changed since having Iris. Yes it was very hard having her 10 weeks early and having to have her in the NICU for 7 weeks and then to bring her home and have to deal with oxygen and monitors and everything else but it is also a time of amazing peace, love, and understanding for our family. I realized this morning that I will do whatever the Lord will ask or require of me to do. I will have as many babies as he will send to our family and I will do it joyfully. I will suffer and sacrifice for my babies because that is what Mothers do. This realization surprised me completely but I don't think it will surprise my husband or family.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Iris Deborah Chamberlain

The Birth of Iris began on Saturday June 8, 2012 early in the morning. I woke up to get ready to go to the Balloon festival for Art City Days and I was bleeding a little so instead we went to the hospital. I was dilated to a 3 but everything looked normal and I wasn't having contractions. I was going to go home Sunday morning. Well that didn't happen. I had contractions that night and every night till she was born on Tuesday morning. Everyday the Doctor would check on me and everyday they would say you can go home tomorrow morning on bed rest if everything goes well. Monday night the contractions got really painful and close together. The morphine they gave wasn't working for the pain. It was odd though I would have about 5 contractions 5 min apart for a while and then nothing for another 15 min. I told Trevor I was pretty sure we were going to have our baby soon. We did. The nurse checked me and I was dilated to a 7 the nurse said "You are having your baby now."

 They got everything ready just in time. I was in a lot of pain and having a hard time breathing so they got me an epidural. I love epidurals!! We were wheeled over to the delivery room. There was  a little room off to the side where they were getting everything ready for Iris. She was going to be 10 weeks early and needed medical attention immediately after birth. The Doctor told Trevor "Look you can see her head. Oh and shes coming now! Is everyone ready over there?! Are they ready?!" She was coming out without pushing that little stinker. I did one little push and out she came. She made the sweetest little bird sound and the rushed her out.

Trevor went with her. They have the dads go because the babies can hear their voices and it comforts them. Trevor came back and they took us to our room. I wasn't going to be able to see her for another 6 hours so we took the time to sleep. When I woke up Grandma Chris was there and we all went to see Iris. Trevor found her by the dimple on her chin. She was tiny weighing only 3 lbs 2 oz and measuring 16 in long. I got to hold her for just a bit and it was amazing! I didn't know if I would get to hold her or not.

 She needed oxygen so she had to be our baby elephant for a little while. But it didn't last long. Shes our little fighter and came off the oxygen quickly. They did have to put her back on with a nasal one on just room air later. And so began Iris's struggle to live in the NICU. I will post another post about her time and my travels to the NICU.