Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Last But Not Least :: Hollyn's Birth Story

Things went well after Hew's delivery. I was back on the mag. Still in trendelenburg. I received the second steroid shot on Saturday morning.

It was a normal morning. The dietary lady brought my tray in and left it on the counter. I couldn't get up to get it so I was stuck waiting until someone came in. Boo! A little bit of time passed and one of our favorite nurses came in to check on me. I mentioned a concern (y'all its seriously TMI otherwise I would share).  She checked me and went to call Dr. G. Turns out, at some point Hollyn's sac ruptured and I also was bleeding some. Soon after Dr. G was in my room. She checked me herself and things went crazy. You see, up until this point they never fully prepared for any of the births as far as the babies were concerned. They did this time. People were everywhere. It was chaos until we waited for my contractions. And waited. And waited. They finally upped the pitocin and we finally had ourselves a 3rd baby girl.

Hollyn was rushed to the table to be examined and intubated before heading off to the nicu. I got to see her briefly before they rushed her off. We didn't get to hold Hollyn or Hew for weeks. It was so hard. Our arms ached to hold our babies.

Hollyn was so strong compared to Hew. She was on CPAP her first day. She would be intubated again but she was worlds ahead of Hew already. It was amazing what a few extra days and a full dose of steroids could do.

She looked so much like Ava and Hazel. And she still does. It's crazy!

Hollyn is doing so well today. She is amazing us with everything she is already doing. She is so feisty.  We call her our little diva.  We are positive that God is going to use her in a mighty way!

Happy birthday Hollyn! We love you to pieces!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Our Hero :: Hew's Birth Story

To preface....Hew's sac ruptured a year ago yesterday. We had hope that he would hang on until 24 weeks. Again, God had other plans.

After Hew's sac had ruptured, things were still going fairly smoothly (as smoothly as they could go). But somewhere over the course of the evening those phantom contractions started again. And then I was in full blown back labor. I was given some pain medicine to help me rest through the night.  It didn't help very much.

When morning came, I was 23 weeks 5 days. 24 weeks was the magic number.  The contractions were still going strong. They administered the first steroid injection to help their lungs. My doctor came down and checked me. Hew was going to be born that day. We knew all the statistics. He wasn't considered "viable". He had a small percentage of "making it" and even then it wouldn't come without huge hurdles. This was to be a similar situation as Hazel's. We were prepared for that.  BUT!!! God had filled us with such a peace. I wasn't hysterical like I was with Hazel. There was such a peace in the room.  It was something I couldn't explain. 

Hew's labor was the worst of the 4 births. (Did I mention that all 3 babies were born sans pain meds?).  He wasn't in the correct position.  It was horrible.

Hew was born and was immediately examined by the neonatologist. He was bruised badly and so much was unknown because of his extreme prematurity.  Soon after, the doctor came over and said that he thought Hew might benefit from going to the NICU.  We were shocked!  God filled us with peace for this very reason.

Hew's NICU journey wasn't with out bumps but he's a fighter and God saw him through.  Today he is a growing, thriving little boy.  Always happy.  We always say he's just happy to be alive.  We are just in love with him.  God has big plans for his life and we know he will do big things one day.

Happy Birthday baby boy!  Mommy and Daddy love you so much!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Friday Randoms

We hope you've all had a great week!

We've been having a pretty low-key week since Hew's appointment on Monday. We did go get the babies their new carseats (birthday presents!).

Our early intervention gal came out yesterday for the babies monthly visit. Our OT is super sweet and helpful. And she has twins so she understand having multiples. They are doing so well. We are all so proud of them!

The home health nurse also came out yesterday to administer the babies their synagis injections. They both weighed about 18 and a half (give or take) pounds. They've done well so far.

And today we ventured out to be the first in line for our local Santa. We were first in line. There was no crowd (praise God for small blessings). But y'all!! I paid $28 for the most horrible picture ever (See below. It's a picture of the picture from my iPhone so excuse the poor quality.) They literally snapped 3 pics and called it done. Oh well. There's always next year. :)

I hope y'all have a blessed weekend!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Good Appointment...

First, thank you for all your love on my last post. We had a good day celebrating our sweet girl {complete with cupcakes}.

Hew had a follow up with pulmonology yesterday. We once again got the ok to wean him off his oxygen. This time he is free of the longest cold ever so we all feel positive that he has a great shot to come off. We started his diuretic wean yesterday and will start his oxygen wean on Monday. Then, the week of the 17th our home health company will come out and bring a monitor for an over night sleep study. We are praying he does well with this wean. If all goes well he might be oxygen free for Christmas.

Thank you all for praying for us! It means so much.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

I’ve Held an Angel :: Hazel’s Birth Story

I apologize for the choppiness of this post.  It’s been hard to write much less edit.

Since I was admitted on Sunday I had been having ultrasounds each shift to keep a check on everyone.  I was hooked to a contraction monitor 24/7.  I was NOT being examined because they didn’t want to disturb my cervix and/or cause an infection.  

It was Thursday.  Day 4 of being on bedrest.  I would have laid there for 4 years if it meant saving my babies.  I was still super emotional (who wouldn’t be).   Kristen had brought Ava up to visit.  (I loved that everyone made sure Ava made it to the hospital every day to see me.  It did us both good.)  I was talking to Kristen about some cramping that I was having but there was nothing showing up on the monitor so we just chalked it up to the laxative :( they made me take the day before.  I mentioned it to the nurse a couple of times.  She would adjust the monitor but still nothing ever really would pick up.  By early afternoon the cramping was worse and I again mentioned it to the nurse. She called my doctor.  This is where my heart broke.  My doctor came in to check me.  I honestly don’t know how far I was dialated.  I just remember her asking the nurse to get Kristen (she stepped out with the girls and praise God there were some awesome nurses who stayed with the girls until other family members arrived). My heart sank.  Moments later she was telling me that Hazel was in the birth canal and would be born soon.  After that it was all a blur.  We got in touch with Matt.  I remember Dr. G trying to comfort me.  A family friend was on shift that day but wasn’t my nurse.  She came in and stayed with me.  (Sidenote:  this same nurse was there for Hazel and Hew’s birth and came to the hospital on her off day when Hollyn was born to be with me.)  We waited for Matt to arrive and there was commotion going on as they prepped everything for her entirely too early arrival.  I was in a fog.  One of the first words out of my mouth when Dr. G said she would be born soon was would she make it.  After I heard her answer I pretty much shut down.  I was shaking and crying and all I could do was pray.  For God to intervene.  For peace.  For our family.

Hazel was born a year ago today.  

I put my thumb intentionally next to her foot for sizing purposes.  She was so tiny.
After she was born, the NICU doctor examined her and confirmed that she was just too tiny to make it.  We had about 20 minutes with our sweet, precious second born daughter before God called her home. We held an angel that day.  She was perfect.  10 tiny fingers and 10 tiny toes.  I couldn’t get over how beautiful she was and how much like Ava she looked.  We spent some much needed time with her and then Matt went and got Ava from the waiting room.  Explaining to a 5 year old that Jesus was coming to get her sister was the hardest thing we’ve ever had to do.  She was in awe of her little sister.  She held her, hugged her, kissed her.  Seeing Ava love on her baby sister will forever be etched in my mind and on my heart.  Y’all, the faith of a 5 year old is amazing.  We were blessed to have so many of our family members there.   Once we spent some time together we invited everyone in.  They all got to love on our sweet girl.  The nurse came in and said that we could have as much time with her as we wanted but explained to us that whenever we were ready she would come back and take her.  THAT was the hardest thing we’ve ever done.  To decide when to give our daughter over to someone and know we would never see her again on this side of heaven.  We did our best to memorize everything about her.  Kristen was gracious enough to take pictures for us so that we could always have a physical reminder of her beauty.  I will forever be indebted to her for doing one of the hardest things she has had to do.

 Some of the pictures that Kristen took.

Losing Hazel was one of the hardest days of our lives.  I never could have made it through that day (and to today) without Matt and God’s loving hands holding us up.  We knew that God had a plan and that we had to trust that plan.  This was the hardest thing ever.  I had something so precious and dear ripped from me.  But I knew God would see me through.  

Hazel changed me. And God changed my heart through her.   I strive to be a better Mommy because of her.  A better person because of her.  I've learned to praise God in the good times and the bad times.  We aren’t promised tomorrow and I don’t want to take anything for granted.  I praise God for the time I did have with her.  For allowing me to be the Mommy and Matt the Daddy of a little girl who changed so many hearts and lives.  

We had a beautiful Celebration of Life ceremony for her after the holidays.  Planning this service was so hard for us.  We wanted it to be perfect.  It was.  Matt said a few words about her and her short life.  They were beautiful words and I love him so much for speaking during such a difficult time.  Our pastor spoke briefly and a very talented lady from our church sang Steven Curtis Chapman’s With Hope.  (This is where the blog name comes from.) At the end every one sang Jesus Loves Me.  It was a beautiful service full of love. 
Now, here I am a year later and I can talk about Hazel with ease (and I love to talk about her, to share her story and the impact she had on us).  Some days are hard.  Certain situations make my heart ache.  Words hurt sometimes.  But I know that Hazel is in Heaven.  Healed and whole.  My momma heart is eased knowing that she didn’t know pain.  Physical pain.  Emotional pain.  None of it.  I miss her every day but I know she is thriving in heaven with her Maker.   I wonder what she would be like today.  What her personality would be like.  What she would look like.  I will see her again one day.  Until then, I will forever talk of the day I held an angel.

 We can cry with hope
We can say goodbye with hope
'Cause we know our goodbye is not the end, oh no
And we can grieve with hope
'Cause we believe with hope
(There's a place by God's grace)
There's a place where we'll see your face again
We'll see your face again

-excerpt from With Hope

Happy birthday sweet girl!  We love you to the moon and back!

Notice this story doesn’t involve Hew and Hollyn.  Dr. G was giving them the best chance at survival and did everything in her power to prevent their delivery.  I was started on magnesium sulfate and the waiting game started all over again…this time with a piece of my heart missing. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

One Year Ago Today...

...our world was rocked.

We envisioned a relatively smooth pregnancy. Things were looking great with our three little bundles of joy. But our plan was not God's plan.

My water broke one year ago today. I was just shy of 22 weeks along. Words can't describe the way I felt that day. This is my best attempt.

We take a yearly vacation to Gatlinburg at thanksgiving. Last year was set to be a normal vacation for Matt and Ava. I knew I couldn't go because my OB wanted me to stay close by since I was carrying triplets. I was weepy all day thanksgiving.  I couldn't figure it out. At the last minute (literally) Matt stayed with me and we sent Ava on with his parents.  (I know now that God had his hand all over us that day...He knew I would need Matt with me.)  That was the last time I could hold and love on Ava for nearly 3 weeks. Once my water broke I was placed on strict bedrest. We didn't know what the coming days held but we did know that God already knew the outcome and that no matter what He would see us through. And He has.

I just knew everything would be fine from day one. When this happened, of course, I think I ran through every emotion possible. I was heartbroken. Scared. Angry. Unsure of what was to come. I cried {a lot}. I couldn't control it most of the time. And inexplicably I was filled with an unknown peace. I trusted God. I knew He was in control and I prayed with very breath that he would save my babies. That He would put His hand around us all and protect us.*

This is just the beginning of our journey. Our story, if you will. In the coming days I will be posting about the babies' birth stories. I haven't decided yet if my heart is ready to share pictures from those days. There was so much trauma and they were so tiny. Will you pray for me as I write those posts and for us as a family as we navigate these days celebrating 3 of our blessings?

*(Please don't read that as I wasn't concerned. We very much were. And I had tons of moments where I just wanted to scream "why me?" and "what did I do to deserve this?". I think it's a pretty normal emotion for that kind of circumstance. I know I was filled with peace.)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

I hope you all had a great thanksgiving! We sure did. We have so much to be thankful for. God has blessed us so much over the last year.

We ate 2 thanksgiving lunches before heading out on our annual voyage to Gatlinburg, TN. We had so much fun! The babies did so good. We are bound to make them good travelers. :)

Here are a few pictures from our weekend!

(They are iPhone pictures so please forgive me.)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Norm

We have had such an uneventful few days. We had out of town company on Sunday and Monday (Hi Brenda & Jummy!). And pretty much every other day has been full of the norm. Diaper changes, bottles and food, school lessons, nasal irrigation (yes we still have the snots), etc, etc. Rinse and repeat. RSV season causes us to stay in a lot and I get cabin fever sometimes but I love every minute of it because I'm with my kids.

I hope y'all are good. What have y'all done fun? I'm going to live vicariously trough y'all til May. :-)

This is Ava, Amelia (my niece), Hollyn and Hew

Thursday, November 8, 2012

It's Party Time!

We had Ava's birthday party this past Saturday at our local Children's Park. It was such a nice, stress-free way to have a party.  We had pizza and cupcakes and of course we had a blast!  

Ava is in love with Hello Kitty so she wanted a Hello Kitty party.  Easy enough!  

 I happened upon this shirt at T@rget on clearance.  She LOVED it!

We went to dinner that evening to our local hibachi grill and celebrated with some out of town friends.  She was so excited that they sang to her...even though she wasn't sure it was "Happy Birthday".

We had such a great time!  We are blessed with some great family and friends!  Thanks for helping make her day special you guys!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Halloween 2012

I'm still playing catch up. This year for Halloween we went simple. Ava was a "Fairy Ballerina Princess". She put the entire costume together with dress up toys and old dance costumes. I loved how excited she was to wear what she had put together.

Hew and Hollyn were peanut butter and jelly. I had no intentions of dressing them up since its RSV season and we weren't taking them trick or treating. But the more I thought about it the more I thought they needed to be something for their very first Halloween regardless of whether they trick or treated. Some clothes we already had and 2 logos printed off the Internet and viola! Peanut butter and jelly.

Half a Dozen for Ava

I was unable to post this on Ava's actual birthday due to time and internet issues.  

November 1st, 2012


Today you turned 6 years old.  I can't believe it's been 6 years since you made me a Mommy.  Time has flown by and I so badly want to put a brick on your head to make you stop growing.  You've grown in to such a lovely little girl and I am so proud of you.  My heart nearly explodes when I think about all the love Daddy and I have for you.  You keep us laughing (and on our toes).  You're smart, beautiful (outside and most importantly inside), funny and sneaky...all of which make us love you that much more. 

You've endured a lot this last year and I am so proud of the graceful way that you've handled each and every situation.  You've showed me time and time again how a Christian attitude should be...and you're 6! I strive to teach you every day and you end up teaching me something.  I thank God for these little lessons.  And I thank God for you!

Here is a little bit about what you are up to now:
* You started Kindergarten this year.  We decided to homeschool because it works best for us.  I absolutely love watching you learn.
* You still love taking Dance.  You dance constantly and love for us to watch your shows.
* You've grown so much since last year that none of your clothes or shoes fit.  :)
* You are still absolutely smitten with your brother and sister.
* You have such a tender and compassionate heart.  I pray that you always stay this way.

I love you so much baby girl! Keep growing and changing.  You're gonna do big things one day!


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Home again, home again!

My baby man was able to come home Thursday. He was one sick little dude. Praise the good Lord that we overcame another hospital stay and that Hew is feeling much, much better. It is so good to all be under one roof again. Thank you for praying for him (and us).

Sunday, October 21, 2012


We are in the hospital again with Hew-man. He came down with a nasty stomach bug and we took him to the ER for fear of dehydration. Some out of whack labs bought us a one way ticket up to one of the floors and here we sit. He has IV fluids going. Bless his baby heart he has been stuck so much. Please keep him in your prayers.

This is Hew at the doctor Thursday before the bug hit that night. :(

Monday, October 15, 2012

Pregnancy & Infant Loss

Today is pregnancy and infant loss day. It breaks my heart that such a day has to exist but what a joy that we are all taking a step towards making miscarriage and loss a little less taboo.

On December 1st, 2011 we said hello and goodbye to our beautiful 1lb 2oz Hazel. Born at 22 weeks 4 days she was just too early to survive. We were able to hold and love on her for the few minutes that she lived on this earth. And while we have hard days, we find peace in knowing that she isn't struggling or hurting. That makes my momma heart a little happy to know that one of my babies will never know suffering, pain or heartache.

I plan to write more about her on her birthday but wanted to acknowledge a day that will forever serve as a reminder to pray for all those who have and will suffer pregnancy and infant loss. I wonder often what she would be like. What she would be doing. Would she look like Ava and Hollyn or would she look like Hew? My heart longs to know these things. It's something we will deal with from now on. It's our new normal.

My family and I are praying for those that already share our same heartache and for those whose hearts will be affected. Will you join me in praying?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Bad Blogger and Appointments

Yeah, so I dropped the blogging ball.  I’m sorry.  Life has been happening and I’ve been making sure I’m present to soak it all up.  These moments won’t last forever and I want to be in the moment and not just hearing about them.

We’ve has several appointments for the babies.  The main one being Hew’s pulmonology appointment a few weeks back.  They placed the pulse oximeter on him while he was on and off oxygen (he’s only on one quarter liter).  He was able to maintain his sats in the high 90’s with and without oxygen.  We got the go ahead to wean his diuretic and then his oxygen.  When the time came to start with the oxygen wean he was still dealing with his congestion (we’ve been dealing with buckets of snotty here).  We called Dr. L and he gave the go ahead to wait until the cold passes to begin the wean.  He has still been holding his sats good but we don’t want anything to wear his little body out so waiting is best. 

And then, yesterday Hollyn had a follow up liver ultrasound from when she was discharged from the NICU.  We got the dreaded “can you wait and let me see if the Dr. thinks I have everything he needs”, which translates to I saw something fishy so let me go get the doctor.  The doctor came in and asked a bunch of questions and did his own ultrasound.  He didn’t give much insight but finally said everything looked ok and we were free to go.  I’m trusting the good Lord that this is the case and I am prayerful that we will get the same response from our Pediatrician.  Pray with us will you?
And I'm praising God for this healthy blessing.  She is such a big help with the babies and she adores them (and they LOVE her).

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Sick Days

I really didn't intend to take a break so soon but we've all had this nasty viral cold. Hew-man has been to the doctor twice and it's still viral. That's a good thing but with his little immature lungs we aren't taking ANY chances. We are finally on the upswing and hopefully we will all be 100% soon.

I'll have some fun posts this week! I promise!

Enjoy this picture of my Bama babies!

Friday, August 31, 2012


Life raising three little ones is...chaotic, stressful, loud, overwhelming and sometimes so incredibly hard. is so rewarding to watch them learn and grow. I am so blessed to be called their mother. All 4 of my children are blessings and I am eternally grateful to live in this chaos and raise these 3 miracles. God is so good!

A snapshot of today's chaos. Yes, this is my living room.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

In the Works

Be sure and check out my very first post.

I'm so excited to be starting back up a blog.  I've been trying so hard to chronicle this fast-paced time in our lives. I apologize in advance if some of my posts are "boring".  Their my memories that I will print out one day.

I have several posts in the works  so today I give you a photo dump.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Welcome to With Hope, The Hadley’s!

I’m glad you’ve come by to visit.  I hope you’ll stick around and tag along as I blog about our day to day life, homeschooling, raising micropreemies and all the other randomness I may throw out here. 

I'm Karmen.  I'm married to my sweetheart.  I'm a mother to a 4.  3 here on Earth and 1 waiting for me in Heaven.  I had triplets all on different days.  {That time was (and honestly it still is) one of the hardest times in my life.  I hope to write about it one day, in due time.}  I'm addicted to Army Wives and I love Mt. Dew.  I am a follower of Christ, a homeschooling Momma, lover of all things crafty, Pinterest junkie and a little bit OCD.  I'm sure we could all find something in common. 

There are a few reasons I decided to rejoin the blog world.  (Yes, I’ve done this before; and honestly I wasn’t very good at it.)  I want an easy way to document this time in our lives.  I don't have time to sit down and scrapbook anymore.  These times are precious to me and I want to always remember them.  Also, I want to connect with other moms.  I’ve found myself staying home a lot more these days because packing up 3 kiddos (2 of which are preemies {if you can still call them that at 8 months}) isn’t actually very easy.  I, like I’m sure a lot of you, need adult interaction throughout the day.  (I’m on Twitter and @karmenhadley on Instagram.)  And my main reason…I have a story to tell.  (We all do.)  I want to share our story to encourage someone or give someone walking the same road I did some hope.  So add me to your feed and tag along as I tell my story.