Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Alexis Grace McManus is here

(Written by Adam)

Alexis Grace was born yesterday (June 9th) a little after 11:30 a.m. She came about 3 weeks early, so she's a tiny, little girl at 18.25 inches long and weighing 5 pounds 9 ounces.

The whole adventure started late Monday night. Jen was experiencing some fairly significant pain in her back, to the point where she was too uncomfortable to sleep. She decided to go to the hospital for a quick check-up with the expectation of being given some pain medication. After the nurses took a look, they let Jen know she was in labor and wouldn't be going back home without a baby. Needless to say, that wasn't exactly our plan, and we weren't really completely prepared. We have great friends and family though who made the rest of the night worry free. Justin Sadler was a trooper and came to our house after 1 a.m. and watched the boys while I joined Jen at the hospital. Justin's wife, Amanda, took over for him the next morning to watch Connor and Bryce. We're extremely grateful to the Sadlers; they did an awesome job, and it's cool to see brothers and sisters in Christ serve so selflessly. My mom was able to come in later that morning, and she's been doing an amazing job with the boys. They love their "granny," and it helps keep Jen and I from worrying about how the boys are doing. We've also gotten lots of great tweets, facebook messages, emails, texts, and phone calls from so many people. The congratulations, support, and prayers of everyone are overwhelming. Thanks again for living out Christ's command to love others like you love yourself; it means more to us than words can fully express.

Jen was in labor longer than with either of our other two, but when it came time to push she was awesome. It was just a matter of seconds, and little Alexis joined us. Jen is doing great, and the nurses are continually asking if she really just had a baby because she looks so good. It's really simple, my wife rocks!

On to Alexis. Here are some pictures.

The obligatory "why did you people do this to me?" picture.

All three of our children have been delivered by Dr. Gagnon. Jen was adamant he pose for a picture.

Yes. Her foot is glowing red. No, it doesn't mean she's a Cylon. At least, I don't think so. That's the thing about Cylons; they look just like us...

Here's a close-up.

Alexis' big brothers at the hospital.

You may have noticed in a couple of the pictures that Alexis is receiving a little extra oxygen. Let me first say that she's breathing completely on her own and has been from the beginning. With that said, she's been staying in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for observation since she's a little over three weeks early. She just needs a little time to absorb some excess fluid and get used to breathing all by herself. Her breathing has been steadily improving and her doctors say this is fairly normal for early babies. Alexis will stay in the NICU for observation purposes until her breathing makes the doctors happy, but she's doing great. Thanks for all the encouragement and prayers you've sent our way!

Jen and I get to visit whenever we want, and we're both able to hold her during "touch time." She's quite a bit smaller than either Connor or Bryce, but she's absolutely adorable. As a dad, I'm already dreading the power that little face is going to have over me.

Connor also got to visit his little sister, and he didn't stop smiling or talking the entire time. He explained to all the nurses how he will "play with Alexis Grace McManus when she gets bigger" and "Alexis Grace McManus is my little sister." It was really cool seeing how excited he is about finally meeting her after all these months.

My mom also got to visit Alexis in the NICU. That was a nice break for her from the chaos of a 3.5 year old and 2 year old, and it's a cool moment to experience with my mom and my newborn daughter.

Jen will be adding her thoughts sometime later this evening, but I do want to take a minute or three more to share a few things. It's been a crazy couple of days, with virtually everything completely unexpected and not according to our plan. It would be really easy to become overwhelmed, upset, frazzled, annoyed, frustrated, and confused. That simply hasn't been the case, and it's for one simple reason. God is in control.

I firmly believe that, and it changes how life's curveballs affect you. In my human nature, it was easy to question why Jen would go into labor so far ahead of schedule. In my human nature, it was easy to question why Alexis has to work through respiratory problems. In my human nature, it was easy to wonder why my little girl has to have monitors hooked up to her instead of being held by her parents. All of those questions are perfectly reasonable, and there's nothing wrong with asking those questions. The key is in how we respond. On our own, the expected response would be anger, fear, and frustration. Instead, I've been able to remain confident, satisfied, and excited about this beautiful little girl. In Psalm 139:13, we have the reminder: "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb." Alexis was molded and shaped by the Creator of the universe. I can be completely assured she is perfect. In fact, I can be confident that every second of this crazy experience is perfect because it's God's will and plan.

One of my favorite passages in the Bible is Job 38 through 41. In it, God shows up. It's a mind-boggling reminder of the immensity of God. Whether He's reminding Job that He splits the stars and the sky, directs the wind and rain, teaches the birds to fly, and even controls the awesome behemoth and leviathan; God makes it abundantly clear that He is sovereign over it all. By the end, Job has no response other than: "I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted." That's my belief, plain and simple. Our beautiful little girl was formed by that awesome God. She was formed with a purpose, and I can rest completely in that knowledge. I can know everything is happening according to God's plan, and that His plan is more awesome than anything I can ever dream.

Ok, assuming you've hung around this long, here's your reward.

Alexis Grace McManus from Adam McManus on Vimeo.


Sandi said...

I love the write-up and the video. You done good!! So beautiful! :)

etherbrian said...

She's a sweetie!

Anonymous said...

Papa cried like a baby, watching just touched my heart on how blessed we all are, thank you God for this gift..and thank you for my family..
boo hoo hooo !

love you all

Anonymous said...

She is perfect in each and every way and our family is truly blessed. We love you all, Jen, Adam, Connor, Bryce, and baby Alexis. We are so proud of you !! Love Nana

Anonymous said...

Granddaddy followed in Don's (Papa's) footsteps doing the tears thing also. I've got a feeling this young lady is going to have us all wrapped around her little finger! Congrats AJC&B,looking forward to seeing all - may get out of here tomorrow but certainly by the weekend to help Granny a little and play with the boys. Thank you Lord for this tremendous blessing and good job A&J!

Momma Sadler said...

what is this salty discharge? tears? what? good heavens, man. thank you for giving the glory back to the One who gives and takes away, the One who is perfect, who's plans are perfect, and who's children are made perfect thru Him. Jen, I think you have some "blogging" competition. Can't wait to meet the newest addition to your already beautiful family.

The Lows said...

Congratulations!!! She's the way she was born on my birthday :)

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