In Paradise with Eden

Thursday, May 19, 2016


Eden 2

Eden dear
As I started packing away your preemie outfits today, no longer able to snap closed the buttons over your growing torso, a tinge of sadness hit me……you are no longer a “newborn”.  The sink that Ive bathed you in comfortably until now is not sufficient to hold both water and you anymore.  You just don’t fit.  

You’re growing.  



Today you turn two months old.  Why has it taken me this long to introduce you to the “blogosphere”?…..I have not a single regret.  Its the same reason that I haven’t finished writing thank-you notes for the gifts and meals that came in when you were born.  Its the same reason that the laundry room may be in a bit of disarray and the refrigerator is not well stocked.  Its because I have savored every, single, solitary second of your delicious newness!  When you’re awake, I hold you and gaze into those big, blue, beautiful eyes.  And when you’re sleeping, you mould so perfectly to my shoulder, that I don’t want to put you down.  And that is why daddy somedays comes home from work to find me in the same spot he left me that morning…lounging on the couch holding my baby and feeling like it was a beautifully fulfilling day doing absolutely nothing but loving on you!  Unproductive maybe, but so fulfilling drinking in that new smell and basking in the baby-moon.



Lest the details ever get blurry, lets go back to your birthday…

No, lets go back further. 
Lets go back to crazy, hormonal mommy who sat on the floor of the shower crying after my first bout of morning sickness and vomiting many months ago.  That day had been hot and muggy in typical Thai style and the smells were revolting.  An exhausting bedtime routine had just finished and the dinner I had worked to prepare and forced myself to eat, had revolted in my stomach.  I sat sobbing with scalding water pouring down my back.  I was crying because of the ugliness that I saw in my own heart.  I was crying because I didnt want to be pregnant.  The shame at what I felt drowned me in bitter tears.  What a terrible response to what I knew in my heart was a gift from God, but what i felt was more than I could handle! 

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God did a lot of work on my heart in the months that you began to grow and form and move inside me. Daddy reminded me often as he held me in some teary moments, that I had told him before we got married that 7 children sounded like a perfect number!  I was at a place of peace and acceptance, but it would be a stretch to say excitement by the time your due date rolled around.  I had fears for possibly the first time about having a baby.  I felt too old to be starting over again lacking the energy I once had as a 21 year old with the twins.  I suddenly felt like a “newbie” at this and didnt know if I possessed the patience for a lifestyle change.  I didnt know where a baby would fit in what already felt like a very full plate with 6 kids, 2 jobs and ministry overseas.  Being told repeatedly by doctors that my heart condition made it too risky to have a natural birth and that I had to have a C-section only made me feel like more of an unfit mother. 

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The morning of your birth, daddy and I got up at dark-thirty and big sister Abi got to come too.  Her enthusiasm bubbling over in the wee hours of the morning was just the support I needed.  She was so excited to get to be the first to meet you and to be mommy’s “doula” and photographer!  

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You arrived at 9:03 on March 17th with a healthy, lusty cry.  The times since then that we’ve heard a proper wail from you I can count on one hand.  You are the most easy going, passive, pleasant baby ever!  We were grateful to have the kindest anesthesiologist who adhered to all of our special requests and even turned the air-conditioner off in operating theatre so that it wouldn’t be such a shocking cold for you when you were born and so that you could have a few minutes with mommy.  As soon as they placed you cheek to cheek with me, I had a reaction to the medication and got sick.  The nurse kindly waited for me to gather myself and give me a few moments kissing your forehead before they whisked you off to the nursery to monitor some respiratory issues.


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I was wheeled into recovery 1/2 an hour later with confidence that daddy knew exactly what to do.  Your daddy, my hero, insisted you get to go to mommy in recovery, a bit out of the “norm” or procedure.  That daddy of yours is a force to be reckoned with and no little Thai nurse wanted to cross him!   The nursery nurse who brought you to me was clearly a bit miffed to have diverted from policy….she pulled back the curtain in my recovery cubical, walked in and all but dropped you on my belly and walked out.
There I was, alone, numb from the waist down, flat on my back and shaky from surgery with two wide eyes looking at me.  And in that moment, I became mommy again and instantaneously my fears dissolved as I took you to breast and peeled off blankets to count fingers and toes.  

Just the two of us.

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Time stood still and the chaos of a busy hospital and beeping monitors behind sheer drapes was drowned out by the sweet sounds of your firsts breaths and little gasps and coos and sucks.  My heart, once again, grew to love another with such a fierceness that I was brought to tears.  I couldn’t have imagined the bond that would form in the course of seconds as I fell all over again, deeply, helplessly in love with this baby of mine!  Thank you God that you know better than I what I need and that you give good gifts….undeserved, blessed, beautiful good gifts!!


God knew exactly what He was doing when he gave us you Eden.  Your name means “Pleasant, delight, perfection” and that is what you are!  We have marveled at your pleasant demeanor and contented personality.  Granted, you are never put down and are held and rocked incessantly.  A great-aunt expressed her concern that maybe you aren’t getting to stretch those legs out since there is scarcely a moment a day that you aren’t swaddled in someones arms.  Mommy feels like after 3:00pm, she hardly gets so see you since the girls burst in the door from school and fight over who gets the first shower so they can come take turns and hold you.  Tristan couldn’t be prouder.  He’s waited a long time for a little brother and keeps saying how he cant wait to teach you things!!  Never has there been a baby so loved!!  

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meetng eden

meeting eden

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first dreamy days

dreamy first days

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Sunday afternoon rugby watching with daddy.

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lil’ man-cub


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little momma Abi


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he’s waited a long time for a brother!

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our souvenir from last summers trip

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Eden my love, Im so thankful that God who is rich in mercy, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, rich in love and the giver of good gifts, has seen fit to bless our family with YOU!  Welcome to the world little man!



  • Pat Hatch says:

    Beautiful, so very beautiful! God certainly knew what he was doing—A wonderful family—love to you all. Mandy—I know you never met your grandparents–but I know they are watching from above so very, very proud. I love following your blog–Much love, Pat

  • Brittany says:

    Aw Mandy… This is so beautiful. You are so beautiful and this new little guy is so very handsome and sweet.
    This brings out that side of me.. though very tiny now .. of wanting that newborn -sweet soft snuggly- experience again:)
    It will have to wait for grandmommy days right?!
    …and holding others sweet babies like Taylor’s coming soon!!
    I hope our families can meet again soon dear sister and friend… and I can hold that Eden .. who may not be so little then:(
    You are an amazing mother and women my dear.. You inspire so many!!!
    All my love❤️
    We miss you all!!

  • Annette Mills Lindsey says:

    Love, Love, Love~~~!!!!!!!

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