A day in the life…

I have people all the time ask about our schedule and “how we do it.” First of all, everyone and every baby is different. So what works for us, may not work for you. My babies were born at 32+5, each weighing very close to 4pounds. They were in the NICU for 5 weeks. I pumped breastmilk while they were in the NICU but stopped and switched to only formula (similac sensitive) when they came home. This is what worked for US but again, please don’t read this as me saying that our way is better. I know that our situation is unique. Dealing with preemies and triplets is obviously different then a singleton, BUT we have had 3 babies sleeping through the night since they were 3 months old and would love to share our schedule in case it is helpful for others. If you are trying to get your baby to sleep through the night and it isn’t going well, I always encourage people to stick to a schedule! We do follow Baby Wise/Mom’s on Call – eat, play, sleep method, but adjusted it to what worked for us. As a statistics teacher with 3 babies, I am loving all of the experiments and problem solving that I have gotten to do. I am big on isolating variables and only changing one thing at a time so that I don’t have as many confounding variables. haha You laugh, but it’s true.

Since our babies were in the NICU, the hospital already had the babies on a 3 hour schedule but they were all slightly different so we adjusted to the middle schedule and got all 3 aligned pretty quickly when they came home. Originally all 3 slept in rock n plays in our room and had to be woken every 3 hours to feed even in the night.

Here is our schedule for months 1-5:

8am – wake, diaper, bottle, “play”, sleep

11am –  wake, diaper, bottle, “play”, sleep

2pm, 5pm, 8pm,11pm, 2am, 5am,…repeat

Throughout these first 5 months, we were slowly able to drop the nighttime feeds. After 2-3 months, we were able to let them have one 4 hour stretch at night, then a 5 hour, etc. (we followed the pediatrician to know when this was allowed). Around 3 – 4 months we had dropped all but 1 nighttime feed (around 4am) and the babies were sleeping from 8pm-4am. We would diaper and feed at 4am and straight back to bed till 8am.

We would wake up the babies if it was feeding time and they were still asleep. This seems crazy to some people, but it really helped them and eventually they would wake up right on the hour and still do to this day. Before we fed, we changed all 3 diapers, then fed each a bottle, then “played” as long as possible and back to sleep. Repeat.

If and when they wake up before the next feed, we would rock, hold, use a pacifier to get them to wait. This is sometimes hard but once they get used to the schedule it is so great. At night, after we fed them, they would immediately go back to sleep in the rock n play. Sometimes we would go 2.5 hours at night if they were losing their minds and we were tired. Haha

Play time during these months included tummy time, laying on their back on a baby play mat, or just holding them and talking to them.

Nap time took place in the living room in these little fisher price infant to toddler rocking chairs that I love. I would wrap them in a swaddle blanket with their arms swaddled up. We used different swaddles for nap and nighttime. At night we used the velcro, straight jacket ones! The light in the living room from the windows and the different swaddle helped them start to differentiate between naps and nighttime sleep. We did not use a sound machine or stay silent during nap time either. They got used to napping with noise and each other’s cries and still do really well with that. Because of this, they can now nap around noises and they are not woken up by each other. Even while I write this, Oliver is in the nursery “talking” very loudly while the other 2 are sound asleep.

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Feeding was either done by multiple people all at one time or I would prop them around 3 months. Then I eventually fed the boys at the same time and then Lucy right afterward once Lucy stopped being a fan of propping.

Again if they wake up before the next feeding time, we just let them rest, put in a pacifier, rock them, but it is clearly NOT play time and we do not feed them early.

At 5 months we moved the rock n plays downstairs, moved their bedtimes to 7pm, and dropped the 4am feed. We did these changes one at a time and waited a few days to make sure each change didn’t mess them up before changing something else. Again, I have to isolate the variables 🙂 At 5.5 months we moved them to cribs. We also started having them nap in cribs at this point.

Here is our 3 hour schedule for months 5-7:

7am – diaper change, bottle, play

8am –  oatmeal cereal+veggie/fruit, play

8:30/9 – when they start getting fussy, I put them in a zippadee zip and lay them down in their crib for a nap. If they wake up early, I lay them with a pacifier in their rocker in the living room without talking to them or interacting. They just lay and relax or fuss a little until the next feed.

10am – diaper, bottle, play

11:30/12 – nap

1pm – diaper, bottle, play

2:30/3 – nap

4pm -diaper, bottle, play

5pm – feed oatmeal cereal+fruit/veggie, play

NO NAP

Bath

7pm – diaper, zippadee zip, bottle, straight down to sleep in cribs

IMG_2556This is a picture of their zippadee zips.

If they cried in the night, we would try to let them self soothe, but would often need to soothe by picking them up, bouncing a couple times, and put them back down with a pacifier. Derek and I worked out a system since he had trouble going back to sleep after waking up in the middle of the night. I would usually go down if a baby cried between 9pm- 3am and Derek would go if it was from 7pm-9pm or 3am-7am. No nighttime feeds anymore though! Also, sweet Derek has always brought the monitor downstairs for at least an hour in the mornings so that I can completely zone out. haha

They started oatmeal cereal around month 4. Then, we did veggie/fruit puree around month 5. In these months, the puree and oatmeal feeds were not for nutrition but just teaching them how to eat. We didn’t worry about how much they got but just had fun trying different flavors (one at a time of course…keep those confounding variables to a minimum. haha) We first put purees before the bottle but then they wanted less of their bottle. Our pediatrician reminded us that until 12 months, the bottle is their main source of nutrition, so we switched and put the bottle an hour before purees and that was a great order for us. By month 7 they were baby food eating pros and able to stay awake for longer periods of time. Around month 7 we decided to drop a nap and switch to a 4 hour schedule.

Here is our 4 hour schedule for months 7-12:

7am – wake up, diaper, bottle, play

8am – breakfast (from 7m- 10m we still did purees but slowly weaned them into finger foods until they wanted less and less purees).  After bottle and after feeding we play.

9:30am – nap – Each baby gets wrapped in a zippadee zip. Each baby sleeps in a separate room for naps. It is mostly easier on me so that when one wakes up, I can go get that one without waking up the others.

11am – diaper, bottle, play

12pm – lunch (puree or finger food or both)

1:30pm – nap

3pm – diaper, bottle, play

4:30pm – dinner (puree or finger food or both)

6/6:30 – bath

7pm – bed – For a while we had to put them to sleep at 6:30pm because they just couldn’t make it to 7pm. They were still in their zippadee zips until about 10m when the boys really wanted to be able to pick up their pacifiers better. Starting around month 7, we only go into their room at night if they are sick, teething, or hysterical. We RARELY pick them up though. We pat them or make sure they have a pacifier, but picking up is a last ditch effort and very rarely done. This was our own version of Cry It Out. We let them cry for 5-10 minutes on their own without going in to pat them. Usually in those 5-10minutes they figure it out. If the pat did not help then we give them about 15 minutes before going in again to pat.

We are now debating dropping our morning nap and that will of course change the schedule again. I think the teacher in me loves the “lesson planning.” It does sometimes feel like as soon as we get completely used to a schedule, it’s time to switch it up and do something new, but at least that keeps us from getting bored. Also, I really do try to rest when they rest. I’m not a big napper, but am a big fan of rest (see my last post). Sometimes that means that the clothes stay unfolded or the kitchen stays dirty, but a healthy mom is always better than a clean kitchen. My prayer for those of you knee deep in middle of the night feeds, no sleep, endless diaper changes, spit up everywhere, and not knowing which way is up: May the God of peace make your eyes to see the sweet baby smiles and not just the mess around you. May He fill you with strength when you can barely open your eyes so that you are able to be fully present in this moment. May He remind you that those little fingers that grab a hold of your finger will soon grow and that spit up does wash out. May He fill you with wisdom to know when to take a break and let friends and family help. May He surround you with a community that loves you as you love your little one(s). And may you find rest, sweet rest in the midst of the beautiful chaos.

Feeding Triplets and Finding Rest

A lot of people ask me about breastfeeding and feeding in general with triplets. I’m sure you have noticed, but Derek and I are super open about our experience so those questions really don’t bother me. While I was pregnant I knew all along that the possibility of me breastfeeding very long was slim. I wanted to try, but bottom line was that I wanted to do what was best for the babies and was open to whatever feeding method that may be. Since they were born almost 8 weeks early, they did not know how to suck. I started pumping immediately after they were born. Pumping around the clock with your babies in intensive care far away from you is miserable, but it also gave me purpose and made me feel close to my babies at the same time. I tried breastfeeding during the first week and kept trying each time I was allowed to see the babies (once or twice a day) but it was really hard for them. Latching was just not a skill that they were capable of as preemies. Some moms of preemies are lucky and their babies figure out latching quickly but that wasn’t the case for me. I still kept pumping and my babies had my breastmilk the entire 5 weeks that they were in the NICU. Also, it took a few weeks for SLO to even learn how to take a bottle. I had always thought that to leave the NICU a baby had to be 5 pounds. Turns out that graduating from the NICU has nothing to do with size. The 4 things that a baby has to accomplish before leaving the hospital is breathing on their own without their heart rate dropping for 5 days straight, maintaining temperature, maintaining and consistently gaining weight, AND they had to be able to drink 16 bottles in a row (only bottles for 2 straight days). At the beginning, this seemed impossible. We would celebrate when one of them would drink 10ml out of  a bottle (30ml is 1oz). Since our goal was for them to be able to drink a bottle, it felt weird to encourage them to do anything but that.

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The biggest hurdle in breastfeeding though was this terrible thing called mastitis. I had to go through a lot of physical pain in carrying and birthing triplets, but seriously nothing compares to the pain of mastitis. It destroyed me. Because I was only pumping and making enough milk for 3 babies, my body just could not handle it. Mastitis is a really painful infection that causes shakes and fevers and aches. After week 3 of mastitis, I decided that my body was trying to tell me it had had enough. So, I started weaning myself off of pumping. It was the same time that the babies were coming home. Less time pumping, meant more time holding and snuggling babies. I have so much respect for mom’s of multiples that breastfeed, pump, or both!! Seriously, you guys are CHAMPS!! For me, the best decision was moving to formula. Each mom and family has to figure out what is best for them, and I seriously understand and respect moms that sacrifice their bodies and free time to breastfeed and the moms like me that decide to formula feed. Mom shaming and mom guilt is so real, but really we are all just doing our best to take care of our babies and ourselves and just keep doing you!

Derek and I loved getting to tag team with bottles. It was so much fun getting to fully share the feeding task. We had our system in the middle of the night where he would go make bottles and I would change diapers and we would each feed one of the boys and whoever finished first got Lucy. It was always a race. I also love that we got to invite family and friends to join in too. Our parents got to be feeding experts, and I got to watch all kinds of friends that I love feed my tiny babies. There was (and is) always a baby to share.

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It was a sad and wonderful day at the same time when the babies learned how to hold their own bottles. I genuinely loved feeding three babies. When I was on my own, I would feed both boys at the same time while calm Lucy played at my feet. Then I would feed Lucy while the boys rested. Feeding time was really calming and created sweet bonding time for me. Even the middle of the night feeds bring such sweet memories. I loved sitting with Derek (or my mom) in the dark holding babies. We had dreamed of that exact thing for so long, and I love that bottle feeding really allowed Derek and I to be equal partners. We had to be a true team. And together, we learned how to rest with our babies in the midst of the crazy. We would go from all 3 crying and the mad rush of changing 3 diapers and making bottles (side note: the Baby Breeza is the best invention maybe ever, yes ever) to silence while the babies ate. It was so peaceful. We still feed them a bottle before bed and hold all three in the dark to bottle feed. It is often the most peaceful time of my day. I love sitting there with all 5 of us quietly just resting.

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Every year I have a theme verse or verses that cover something that I want to embody or learn that year. This year, my verse is Exodus 33:14: “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” I like to get the full context so I have started in Exodus 1 and have been re-reading about Moses and the journey of the Israelites out of slavery and into the wilderness. This is a weird time for the Israelites. They have been slaves for centuries and are now trying to figure out their new identity in freedom. They have not entered the Promised Land and aren’t technically even wandering aimlessly through the wilderness yet. They are just trying to heal and catch their breath after the plagues and the Red Sea. In that time of waiting, God begins to teach and shape the Israelites. He gives them the 10 commandments and really lays out laws and rules of living in harmony with one another. He teaches them about how to communicate with Him and how to obey and respect Him. He teaches them how to remember and celebrate, to dance and to mourn. He teaches them about art and how to build the Ark of the Covenant, the Table, the Lampstand, and the Tabernacle. He teaches some of them how to be priests and how to properly be in the presence of God. He teaches them about sacrifices and incense and altars and so much more. BUT as I have been reading, I am amazed that one of the very first things that God teaches the Israelites as they leave slavery in Egypt and begin a new life is to REST. First God provides water, manna, and quail. He takes care of their physical needs, and then He commands them to take a day off. Not just one time, but one day a week, every week! Exodus 16:23, “ This is what the Lord has said: ‘Tomorrow is a day of complete rest, a holy Sabbath to the Lord.’” This is where the Sabbath begins. In order for them to truly love God and others, they need to learn how to take a break and just dwell with the Lord and one another.  If you find yourself in a season of wandering or waiting, let God teach you how to rest. Infertility did that for Derek and I. I wasn’t allowed to work out as much, and just really had to be still a lot. So I rested. Now, life with triplets is insane but for us, it is a Promised Land. It is a place that we had longed for and journeyed long and far and we arrived at the most beautiful promise fulfilled. But when we forget that essential piece of rest, we forget that this is the Promised Land. We forget that God is with us and that His presence will be with us through all of the new challenges. In the verses after Exodus 33:14, Moses asks God to let him see His Glory. God responds to Moses, “Stand on the rock, and when my glory passes by, I will put you in the crevice of the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by.” As we begin year 2 with SLO, my prayer is that God’s presence will go with us and that he will again give us rest. I pray that He covers us with His hand and that we learn more and more about the ever present glory of the Lord.

The NICU life

After that first week, progress kind of slowed down for a little while. The first week was very encouraging but by week 2, we started to really feel the roller coaster of the NICU. Having one baby or child in the hospital for an extended period of time is hard, but having three, at the same time, it’s hard to explain. In the same day, one baby gets good news and another gets really hard news. I couldn’t just sit in one room watching them sleep because they were all in different rooms. You have to wash up and go through this whole process each time you change rooms so that you don’t pass infections, and I could only see them every 3 hours because of the schedule the NICU had them on. It is extremely draining to say the least. Plus, I was also still in a lot of pain from the c-section. They essentially sliced my entire abdomen open, and then I needed to be able to walk from the car to the NICU, walk from room to room, and stand at the babies’ isolettes for a few hours each day. I quickly realized that in order to heal, I could not be at the hospital all day, even though I wanted to. Derek also realized that his paternity leave would be better spent when they came home so we got into a routine of him going down early in the morning before school and me going down for about 3-5 hours each day. Again remember in that 3 hours, I only got to see each baby one time for about 5-10 minutes each since they need to spend most of the day sleeping and growing. We got so tired of people telling us how nice it must be to be getting so much sleep while they were in the hospital. First of all, what we wanted more than anything was to be up all night with our babies because that would mean they were healthy and at home with us. Secondly, I had to pump every 3 hours even all through the night, so I was still waking up, but instead of getting sweet baby snuggles, I had to sit in an empty nursery listening to a machine each night. It was terrible. Pumping gave me something to do though in the hours I spent away from our babies. I got to feel like I was doing something to help them, since I couldn’t really do much. It’s hard knowing that these nurses and doctors are taking care of your babies instead of you. But again, we had prepared ourselves for this happening the whole pregnancy, its just hard to really know what it looks like until you are there.

So, Derek went back to school, and my mom thankfully stayed in Atlanta to drive me to and from the hospital each day to see the babies and get our report. Lucy quickly became the rock star and was breathing like a champ and got her pic line out in the 2nd week. A pic line is a permanent IV because the babies needed so much extra fluid and the babies try to pull out the temporary ones. The pic line goes in their foot so they can’t reach their little hands down there. Fun fact: preemies often have a foot phobia later in life because they have so many IV’s and needle pricks and tests done on their feet. To prevent this phobia, we had to give them little foot massages each day!

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Oliver had a lot of trouble breathing in week 2 and had many scares where he would just stop breathing. Their lungs just weren’t developed, and it took time for them to figure out how to breathe. Their little bodies would just forget that it was supposed to be breathing. It was a regular occurrence to either be holding one of the boys or to watch them in their isolette or to get a phone call at home that one of the babies had stopped breathing (usually one of the boys). Derek and I both had one of them turn blue in our hands and listened to all of the alarms and stats plummet. We quickly had to learn to not panic but to do special holds and pats to try and get them to remember to breathe again. Each time that alarm started beeping telling us that the breathing was too low, my heart would drop.

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The two things I remember most about the NICU was that I had to ask to hold and or touch my babies each time, and the alarms. The alarms never stop. I would hear them in my sleep. They make my blood pressure rise just thinking about them. I seriously just got anxious typing this. They were constantly going off. Each baby had a wire measuring temperature, a wire measuring blood pressure, a wire measuring breathes per minute, a wire measuring heartrate, and a wire measuring their oxygen level. There was a range that each of these had to stay in and anytime a baby dropped below or went above this range, the monitor would beep. It was a loud constant beep. I learned after a couple weeks that some of the alarms were not a big deal, but others were very serious, so as soon as one goes off, you rush to spot which baby it is and which alarm and if it is a serious one. So for a while, I was constantly panicking.

We got to bring our own clothes and blankets for the babies which made us feel a little more a part of taking care of them. It may sound weird, but they let us do their laundry, and I loved getting to bring it home with me each day. We even let Turbo (our dog) sniff the clothes each time we brought it home so that she could get used to their scent. It made us all feel like a part of them was at home with us.

Now almost a year later, it’s easy to forget the time that we spent in the NICU. It feels like so long ago. One of my themes for the year is going to be remembering and celebrating all that the Lord has carried us through. I’ll write more later about my theme verse, but for now as we are heading into SLO’s birthday week, I am celebrating all that we have overcome this year. We not only survived, but we really have enjoyed and been grateful for each day with these 3. The challenges are changing and are harder in some ways, but I have been reminded this week that God has more than proven that He will be with us in whatever may come next.

NICU week 1

The month of September was NICU awareness month. Seeing so many brave people share their NICU stories is what spurred me to start writing down our story and sharing our unique journey. Our babies spent 5 weeks in the Northside Hospital NICU (Lucy 34 days, Shepherd 35 days, and Oliver 36 days).  This is a significantly shorter time than many of my triplet mom friends, but even so it was crazy hard. Having 3 babies in the intensive care at the same time is exhausting. It is a roller coaster of emotion. The babies always took a couple steps forward and one step back. Even though Lucy started out on room air, she (along with both boys) were on a bubble CPAP breathing machine when they went into the NICU. Lungs are the last to develop so most preemies have trouble breathing. The first night in the hospital for me was spent resting and healing enough to be able to go see the babies. The first morning, they wheeled me up there, and I was so excited to finally get to see them. They let us go up their fairly early, but I was only able to hold Lucy and Oliver that day and only for a short period of time (less than 5 minutes). Derek was not able to hold any of them on the first day. They were all stable and doing well, but preemies need to spend most of the day growing and sleeping which means that we had to just let them stay in their isolettes and listen to what seemed like the hundreds of alarms beeping on their monitors. Since the babies were technically supposed to still be in the womb, the goal is for them to be in a womblike atmosphere – little holding and lots of growing.

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As hard as it was, we knew that we had it far better than many triplet parents and better than a lot of other preemie families. Our babies were little miracles and doing fantastic, so we were filled with peace knowing that they were safe. Every 3 hours we could go up and help with their diaper change and watch the feed take place and maybe give a hand hug (literally a hug with just your hand), but I mostly had to spend time during the day learning how to pump, taking my meds, and healing so that I could take care of these babies when they needed me. We didn’t get to hold our sweet Shepherd on the first day because the other babies in his room (all 3 started out in different NICU pods) were in very bad shape and the doctors were focused on them. We decided to rejoice in knowing that he was healthy, and we got to speak words of love over him. The next morning, we finally got to hold Shepherd, and Derek got a turn with Lucy and Oliver.

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Holding them entails a short 5-10 minute skin to skin kangaroo hold. It’s always an ordeal to hold them because there are seriously so many cords attached to them. Their little nervous systems hadn’t fully developed so you can’t stroke them at all. You can just gently hold them against you or hold your hand on their body (hand hugs). It’s a very surreal feeling to know that these tiny humans are yours, but you barely get to see them or hold them. Again though we knew that the best thing for them was for the doctors and nurses to take care of them while we got a few short moments each day. In between those quick 5-10 minute interactions, we would rest. All 3 babies switched to smaller CPAP tubing on day 2 which was a good sign. By day 3, we understood a little more of what was going on. We knew that our babies were healthy, but also needed time to grow. We knew that their lungs needed to grow, and their bodies needed to grow. This process is not easy and can often be very complicated. We knew that we would be going home without them. We knew that we needed to wrap our minds around this hospital being our second home for a while. We knew that the doctors and nurses were extremely capable and that we had to trust them. We knew that each moment we spent with these little ones was precious and that we couldn’t take them for granted. We knew that this would be a season and that it would pass, but at the same time it would seem like forever. Looking around in the NICU, we really did feel grateful that our babies were overall healthy. Again, this is often not the case with triplets (or preemies in general). On day 4, all 3 switched to a high flow nasal cannula for breathing which was fantastic. Our respiratory therapist was so special to us and made us feel so encouraged.

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On day 5, Lucy jumped straight to room air and the boys to level 2 high flow nasal cannulas. Lucy and Shepherd both got jaundice and had to be under the bilirubin lights which meant we got even less time to hold them, but Oliver pulled out his nasal cannula and we got to see his face for the first time and that was amazing. The oxygen tubes and cords had covered the majority of all of their faces which made it hard to really see what they looked like, which is very weird in itself to not know what your babies’ faces look like after almost a week of life.

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Going home without our babies was incredibly hard. I felt empty. After carrying them for 7 months and then having a scary birth, we had to be separated from them. We had tried to prepare ourselves for this moment and had known that it would most likely happen for most of our pregnancy, but it was still very hard. Our sweet friends had printed out pictures of the kids that are still sitting on our kitchen table today. We got to come home to beautiful pictures of our babies since the car seats were empty. It’s hard to explain the range of emotions in that one short week. I went from terrified about them being born too early, filled with joy knowing that they were ok, anxious to see them and hold them, questions upon questions about all the wires and lung development and possibilities of things that could go wrong, encouraging news, lonely nights without them, and then sadness about coming home even though we knew they were being well taken care of. Waking up the first morning at home without them was very strange, but I was thankful that it was a Saturday and that Derek could come with me to the hospital that day. When we got there, Lucy and Shepherd were off the jaundice lights which was exciting. Oliver was able to move to room air and Shepherd wouldn’t be too far behind. We got to change diapers and spend a couple minutes with each one. In 3 hours, we got to spend about 5 minutes holding each child. We stayed for a few minutes longer, but by then I was exhausted and needed to rest. Going home was always hard, but at the same time, I knew that it was what they needed and that this wasn’t about what I wanted or what I needed but about what was best for them.

Just as being a parent is not about me, I’m still slowly processing what a selfless prayer life looks like. Sometimes the best thing for my kids is for me to take care of myself. In prayer, I think that means that even though prayer isn’t about me, it’s ok to tell God about my problems and want him to be a part of them. The selfless part comes into play though when I stay in that place of only wanting what’s best for me. It’s good for me to to take care of myself and do things that bring me life. It’s good to talk to God about the things that break and burden my heart and the things that bring me joy. BUT if that is my focus in motherhood or my focus in my prayer life then neither will be very fulfilling or very fun honestly. As a recovering people pleaser and perfectionist, life is all about balance. Finding the right balance is often really really hard! The first step in both of these is changing my language and focus. After praying with prayer beads for a while, I have been reminded that the beginning and end of prayer is thankfulness and praise. As I lay in bed at night or just as I’m praying in my head throughout the day, I am intentional with the things that I am grateful for. This is especially important on the hard days. Lately I have been mindful as I read Facebook posts of the language that is used when people (sometimes including myself) want to convey that God is doing great things in their lives. The most common is “God answered my prayers” or “I am blessed.” These are both true statements, so it’s not a bad thing to say BUT we rarely use them in hard times. What is subtly implied as one writes about God answering a prayer when a healing or positive change takes place, is that if those things hadn’t taken place then God didn’t answer the prayer. Or that I am not blessed if God doesn’t respond with that YES I mentioned in my post a few weeks ago. Some new language that both Derek and I try to focus on in prayer and just in life is that we are grateful in the good and the bad. And instead of saying that God answered our prayer, we just simply say that God is good. All the time. God is good. It is true that we are very blessed, but even if we didn’t feel blessed, we will always be able to say that we are grateful and that God is good. Finding language that fits the good and the bad has really helped my prayer life. I got so tired during infertility of not being able to say, “God answered my prayer” that I just stopped praying. If today you are in that place of longing and waiting, know that even now, God is good. There is hope and life in Jesus in that balance of taking care of self and taking care of others.