He Knows Our Frame
Pslam 103:14-16

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Just Pictures

These two are the babies of our family. They are so precious, scrumptious, adorable, spoiled, lovable, and so sweet!! I do wish I could freeze the time forever:) We have always said that we could keep a 2 year old and a baby in our home forever. It goes by way to fast for me.


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Journal Post of Day 2 in Uganda

Day 2, 7/31- Journal

  Wow! What a first day! We got in late last night and the ride from the airport was most adventurous. Driving in Uganda is a sport and is survival of the fittest. The view from the front of the bus at 12:30 a.m was an eye opener and a great start to "awakening" me to this place. We got in bed at about 2:00 in the morning, and Josh and I got up at 7:00 and walked to the store which was about a mile away.

Our Team
All eyes stopped and stared at the two "Mazungus" walking down the street; an unusual site.We walked with a young man named Happy James there who is a Rwandan who fled his country during the Hutu/Tutsi strife. He has a great smile and disposition, worthy of the "Happy" name. This was definitely a different paradigm, as most places along the road had food for sale, or many other things that you can only imagine.  There was a sheep grazing in an empty lot along the way; never seen that before beside a busy road.  There were small "lean to" hardware stores; seafood stores; seed; fruit, you name it and it was likely to be found there.  People called out left and right for us to buy from them.  It was almost like a scene from Pilgrims Progress when they were walking through Vanity Fair.  We purchased bananas, water and juice to last the team for the day and returned to our house.

Crazy Traffic
We all loaded up and left to go to  Loving Hearts Baby Home. We stopped at several shops along the way to get coffee and lunch.

When  finally got to the home, we met Miriam and the other workers and the orphans they attended to. The babies are three years old and under and were so very precious. There were some wonderful people that I met there that really made an impact on my heart. These people are brothers and sisters in Christ. There was Miriam the directer, Francis and Victor, who were very hard workers and the muscles of the team. There was also Margaret, a beautiful young lady who sang unto the Lord. Burla was another sister with a beautiful smile.

Director Miriam


Margaret with Mamma Cassy
 The ladies of the group went in and played with the babies most of the day, while we men got paint from a paint store and painted the outside of the building for most of the day.

Francis, Ernest, Bullen and Hunter
Hunter and Cason worked so hard and painted all the way around the house. They were both impressive in their diligence.

We painted most of the house and will return on Monday to paint the upstairs part. I did have some time to interact with the little ones and they stole my heart from the beginning.

One in particular was a little girl named Omega. She is a two year old little girl who is chunky, has a sweet smile, and loves dolls. She laughed especially when I would take her doll and kiss her face with it.

They were all precious children, many of which had been abandoned and rescued by a good Samaritan. I wonder why God allows such things to happen but I trust His sovereign plan for each and every human who walks the face of this earth.  He commands us as His children to attend to these orphans; to care for them.  After all, we are all spiritually orphaned and have been adopted into His kingdom to be co-heirs with His Son. 

Lake Victoria viewed from 2nd Floor

   After we left, we went to a food shop and had supper. I had a blessed opportunity to spend some time with a Sudanese brother named Bulan.

He lost his father and brothers during the Sudanese war that killed 2.5 million people. Bulan was very young when his grandmother came and got him for a visit. Not long after this, Muslim soldiers came in and gunned down many in the village and then burned it. Bulan's father and brothers died and his mother and sisters escaped. He fled Sudan for fifteen years and didn't see his family for all of that time. When a peace accord was signed in 2005, he returned to Sudan and found his mother. He has since been taking classes at Troy university in Birmingham, Alabama. He truly loves the Lord and I am humbled by his love for the gospel. Richard asked him if he hated those who acted out this violence and he said, " No, I pray for those who are in darkness and do not know what they are doing." Wow! Really puts suffering for Christ and loving your enemies into perspective. I pray God will give me and my family this love for other people.    

Friday, August 17, 2012

Day 1 - Uganda Daily Journal

7/29/2012 21:00ET
Hunter and I left for Atlanta @ 5:15 this morning.  My heart was full of excitement and yet at the same time a sense of sadness because I was leaving 10 of the most precious things to me on this Earth.  God was a great help to us as we made extraordinary time by getting to Atlanta by 10:30.  We decided when we were about an hour out that we would try to make it to Passion City Church where Louie Giglio is pastor and Chris Tomlin leads worship on occasion.  We got in there at 11:10 for an 11:00 service because parking was CRAZY!   When we got in, we were immediately blown away because on the concourse monitors outside the sanctuary I saw that Matt Redman was leading worship.  He is one of my favorite music writers and sings incredible songs.  He even led 10,000 Reasons (one of my favorite songs right now from Psalm 103).  Bless the Lord Oh my soul and all that is within me, Bless His holy name! Bless the Lord o my soul and forget not all of His benefits.  Psalm 103:1-3.

God has done so many incredible things over the last few days as we got ready to leave that I am just in awe of His supreme worth and majesty.  He has shown us time and again His greatness and His love toward us.  The song and the Psalm both remind us that there are 10,000 reasons to praise our God, for now and forever more!

The message we heard was based on John 11 about the story of Jesus and Lazarus.  I was floored when he chose the text because it was the exact passage that I read to the family yesterday in our family devotions around the breakfast table.  He is constantly reminding me that He is with us and HE is sovereign!  John 11:25 says " I am the resurrection and the life.  Whoever believes in me, though he dies, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall live and never die."  HE is the resurrection; HE is the living water; He is the bread of life;  HE is the gate; HE is the door; HE is the only way!  So today, Louie reminded me yet again that He is with me!  That wherever we go and whatever we do, as a child of the most high, Christ is with us and in us!  Matthew 28:20 says "And behold I am with you always, to the end of the age."  He is with me, not just in 42 J (the plane seat beside me) but in MY seat, in ME!  So the challenge in his message was to live with eyes wide open.  JESUS, the Creator of the Universe is with me!  Right here! Right Now!  He knows my weaknesses and He knows my struggles and He is still with me.  So Louie boiled down his message in 6 points.


1.You walk in the presence of divine affirmation. ( you are loved by a wonderful Savior)
2. You have all you need (He supplies all of our NEEDS according to His riches in Glory)
3. The highs and the lows of life are tempered (He brings us a peace to walk on an even keel)
4. You will end up in the right place! (He will have you where he wants you)
5. You will never pass those people who are broken (Jesus came to seek and save that which was lost and when we walk with Him, our goals and purposes are His and He came for needy, broken people)
6. You know he will walk with you every step of the way until the last step on this Earth (see Matt 28:20)

These were all reminders of truths that are backed up time and time again that He will never leave us or forsake us.

Meeting the team in Atlanta 

So now we have made it to the plane and are in the air; Headed to UGANDA!  My first, and my son's first mission trip.  What a privilege it is to share this experience with him.  He is a special young man who I love dearly.  I pray as we start this journey, that God would use us to glorify His Name!  He is worthy of all glory and He will get a name for Himself.  I am thankful that He walks beside us and uses us as He does it.    ~end of writing

Here are some more pictures from our first day, which was the travel day to Uganda.  We left from Atlanta at 5:25pm and flew into Amsterdam at 6:30 their time.  We had a 2 hour layover there and flew out around 9am Amsterdam time.  We flew from there and landed in Entebbe Uganda at 10:30 at night their time.

Hunter had never flown so this was his window seat view

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Uganda Journals

Ok, I know we have been slack in blogging but I am going to attempt to start posting my journal writings from our time in Uganda.  We went to work for our Lord and I truly believe that the work that was done was in us.   He was gracious to show us our need for Him and Him alone and how much we rely on our own strength.   We worked and visited orphanages, did 3 days of VBS type work with a Street Children Ministry and evangelized one of the largest slums in Uganda.  It was truly a life changing time.  I journaled every day during the trip and I will be posting these along with pictures.  Can't wait to share our experience with you when jet lag subsides fully and a nasty cold that we are sharing departs.

Lord Bless,


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Uganda Trip

Hunter and I are going to Uganda this suumer with Lifeline Adoptions services mission arm, (un)adopted.  We will blog more about it as we get closer to the date and definitely as we return.  I am going to post the mission support letter that I have been sending out to family and friends so you can learn a little more about it.  Please keep our family in your prayers as we prepare for this mission trip to serve our Lord among the unadopted of Uganda.

Dear Family and Friends,

We write to you with great joy and excitement over how God is working in our family and our daily lives.   Our children are growing up so fast and are showing more and more desire to serve our Savior.  We are at a stage in our lives where we have one child (Hunter) with his own car and another who is in diapers (Micah) with eight in between which definitely keeps us busy and in much prayer.   Joli and I have a great desire to see our children have a heart to “Go and make disciples” Matthew 28:19, and to go where “no one else has preached” Romans 15:20. 

 Hunter and I will have the first of many opportunities for the Hardwicks to take the gospel abroad as we will be traveling to Uganda east Africa with Lifeline Adoption Services mission arm, (Un)adopted.  We will be there for 9 days serving and ministering to the orphans and the homeless children of Kampala, Uganda.  It will not only give us an opportunity to be Christ’s hands and feet to this world’s forgotten children through service oriented projects but also to share the glorious gospel of a Savior and Father who will never leave nor forsake them.  We are excited to reflect the admonition  in James 1:27, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”

As we go, we ask above all else for your prayers and petitions on our behalf.  Please pray for open hearts to hear and receive the gospel, for safe and disease free travels, for strength and peace for our family while we are apart, and for the funds necessary to make this trip possible.  Please pray and consider supporting us in this mission as we will need to raise more than $5000 for the trip with the majority of that being plane tickets.  Any financial help that you can provide would be a great blessing as you partner with us in our mission to these orphans.   

In Christ,

Sean and Hunter Hardwick

P.S. If you would like to support us financially and partner with us in this trip, please email me at seanphardwick@gmail.com.  Thanks again.

Lifeline Children's Services



Tuesday, April 3, 2012


 I am back from a long break of blogging. Is it just me, or does time seem to be flying by way too fast? Micah is five months old already. I really had all intentions of writing all the time about this little man of mine but I have been one busy mama lately:) Micah is absolutely scrumptious! We all kiss him at least 20 times a day. Do the math, that's 11 x 20 = 220 times this baby boy probably gets kissed in one single day:) He is rotten and we all know it. Wouldn't have it any other way. I pray that his future wife's love language is physical touch though, or maybe not. Micah might not need any kisses by then.:)

 Micah wakes up every morning around 4:30 or 5:00 to nurse and snuggle with us. I love this time with him. I have sweet memories of all of my babies doing this. I wouldn't change it for anything. Around 6:00 the little girls join in too for snuggle time. Micah starts his day off with lots of kisses, hugs and doting from them and us:)

  We are so blessed to be Micah's mommy and daddy. I pray that God will save him one day and that Micah will love Jesus with all his heart! This is my desire for all of my children.


Micah's mommy

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Numbering our Days

Numbering our Days

Psalms 90:12  So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.

I am breaking my blog silence after a long, long time (almost 2 years).  While I have written on Joli’s blog here and there, I haven’t written on this one since Jan 2010.  There has been a burden growing in my heart and in my soul for a few days and I really need to let out a couple of years worth of writing J Just kidding, not that much writing.  But I do need to put down in words what has been on my heart and talk about things that I have been silent on since Jan of 2010. 

The verse above really says it all about what is swirling through my heart and in my head.  Death has been an ever present agent in our family over the last several years and our homes and our hearts will be permanently altered as a result.  Death had not really ever been something that I had had to face too often before a few years ago.  Sure I had a grandfather die in 1981 and 2001, and Joli’s grandfather died in 1995 so there had been slight and somewhat distant experiences with it.  But nothing as close as the last few years have been. 

In the spring of 2009, my dear Grandmother Mildred finally succumbed to cancer and died at the age of 77.  She was dear to me and I had had the opportunity to spend the weekend before with her.  She seemed tough and got out of bed and ate with me and drank coffee (one of her favorite things to do).  Just 2 days after I left, she died.  I was in Greensboro, NC at the time and couldn’t get back to be with her.  I was sad but at the same time, joyful, because she loved the Lord and was going to be at home with Him in a new body.  Death was not sorrowful in this instant, it was actually a welcome friend to send a sister in Christ and a suffering Grandma home.  Thus, there was no reflection in my life.  No moment of crises that should cause reflection. 
My uncle Win 2nd on the left and my Aunt Sara to his left.  My dad is 2nd from right

September 2009 came and another death occurred in our family as my dad’s brother Winford was suffering from several ailments, most notably, kidney failure and he passed away after several weeks of care in the hospital.  One of the great blessings in this instant was the fact that he prayed to receive Christ just the week before he died.  My grandmother was so happy that her son who had long rejected our Savior, embraced him before a final and sure judgment.   Again, this caused no real reflection in my life and frankly, life went on as usual.  

Donna, Lee, Dad and Me two months before Lee's death

Then it happened, a day that I will never forget and one that I have to stop for a minute to write about.  May 30, 2010, my dad called me.  I was in Pinehurst at my sister-in-law’s house getting ready for church.  I missed his call and so when he didn’t leave a message, I called him back knowing that it was very odd for him to call me on a Sunday morning.  He answered sobbing, uncontrollably, “ Lee is dead.  He has killed himself!  Lee’s dead.”  My brother, my only brother had in a moment of despair, taken his own life.  I called my mom right away, honestly not believing what I had heard from my dad, and I will never, ever forget the sound of her wailing in grief over my brother.  It was true, he was dead.   Why?  What could I have done? What could I have said? Could I have been a better brother?  All of these instant questions still ring in my head today for I loved him dearly and miss him greatly.  But upon reflection, I didn’t love him enough.  You see, I shared with him his need for Christ several times and the hope that could only be found in Him.  But I hadn’t done so in a long time; basically had given up.  He had gone to sit in the hospital with my Grandmother Ruby a few months before when she had been sick and she had shared with him then.   He joked to me about it that “Grandma tried to get me saved 3 times.”  I only said to him that he should have listened and then blew it off, not pressing the issue.  Oh how I wish that I could have 1 hour with him again, just one hour to tell him how much I love him and am sorry for so much of the way that I treated him growing up.  How I wish I could tell him of the hope that we have in Christ just once more and that life only begins when we are found in Him.  My brother was extremely handsome, made a tremendous amount of money yet was empty on the inside and full of despair.  How many believers crossed his path everyday and actually shared with him Christ’s love and hope?  We often take for granted the fact that someone’s outward circumstances do not reflect their inward reality.  My brother was one of those people.  Needless to say this caused enormous reflection and heartache in my life and in my heart, as it still does to this day .  

My brother with my sweet niece.  Oh how I miss him

Jonathon Edwards wrote in one of his 70 Resolutions,

17.Resolved, that I will live so as I shall wish I had done when I come to die.

In other words, let me live my life every day in a way that when I come to die, I can look back on my life and have no regrets.  There will be much regret over many things in my life when I come to die, especially regarding my brother and it makes the psalmists words even more prescient in my life when he says

Psalms 90:12  So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.

Grandma Ruby at her 90th Birthday Party

Barely six months after my brother died, my dear Grandmother Ruby died.  She was 93 years old and really was in good health when she suddenly got weak and started having esophagus problems and couldn’t keep things from coming back into her lungs.  She was in the hospital for a while and then she died on November 23,2010,  just a few days before Thanksgiving.  She had seen a lot of death in her life.  She had lost two sons, two grandchildren, a husband of almost 65 years and many siblings.  She always had her hope and faith in Christ and even through all of the death and turmoil she had a strong faith.  

James 1:2-4 says “Count it all joy my brothers when you meet trials of various kinds for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.  And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

She met many trials and was steadfast in her faith.  Now she is perfect and complete with our Savior.

Finally, as far as death goes, my Aunt Sara Jordan, my dad’s sister is clinging to life as I write.  I spoke with her on the phone the Monday night after Christmas for about 10 minutes and she was in good spirits and sounded fine.  One hour later, she was rushed to the hospital where her heart stopped for almost 6 minutes.  After continuous CPR for that time, her heart began to beat again, but the lack of oxygen to her brain may have taken too much of a toll for a 72 year old to bear.  She has been in a coma since 9:30 that Monday night and the longer she stays unconscious, the less likely that she will awaken.  Has this yet awakened me?  One minute fine, the next possibly death.  We know that this is the reality of our lives but we live as if we are superhuman and ignore that the wages of sin is DEATH (Romans 6:23).  It is coming to all of us, whether it be slow or sudden it is as sure to come as the sun is to rise in the morning and set in the evening.  

So why is it that we would not dare allow a house to burn with people inside without trying to help them out, but we don’t have an urgency to share with our neighbors, coworkers, loved ones, of the wrath to come and the fires and wrath of hell?  We (I) live like practical atheists.  We are effectual hearers but cowardly doers.  We have digested the lie that we are to effect people by our lives, hoping that our good actions and deeds will persuade them to look at our church or even our God.  We fail to note two things; first, there are many good and moral atheists who do many good things in the mindset of helping humanity and the environment.  Secondly, the bible does not agree with this watch only life style as it says clearly in Romans 10:13-15, “ For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.  How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?  And how are they to hear without someone preaching?  And how are they to preach unless they are sent?”   It clearly does not exhort us to “live” only, but to preach the good news of Christ.  It is the hearing of the word that changes lives and hearts in conjunction with His Spirit. 

Why is it then that we(I) Christians, can so easily talk football, news, politics, etc. so passionately with ANYONE, but we do not DARE give them the BEST news of Christ Jesus?  Normally, these other things, called idols, are the true gods in our lives.  This is what tears at me the most.  I can easily carry on a conversation about many things with most people but it is rarely ever about Christ.  WHY?  Because the Lamb who was slain is not loved by me with all of my heart.  Tim Tebow recently said that he talked about Jesus all the time for the same reason that a new groom talks about his bride because of the immense love that he has for her.  Ouch!  We should have that same love for Him who died to take away our sins.   We need to tell others that the despair that many of them feel, or the emptiness, or the loneliness, or the absolute blackness of a life filled with sin can be exchanged for a freedom that is miraculous, freeing and eternal.  This change comes when lives are surrender to a Savior who paid that penalty for the wages of sin.  You see, while we were yet in our sin Christ died for US!  That is GREAT News!  Well worth sharing. 

Charles Spurgeon, the great English Baptist preacher of the 19th century said,
“If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our dead bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms wrapped about their knees, imploring them to stay. If Hell must be filled, let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go unwarned and unprayed for.” 


Yes!  That is it!  That is what has been such a burden to me in my life.  I think of my brother and how little I shared Christ with him or so many others in my life every day.  We MUST  wrap our arms about their knees and share with them the “Life, Life, Eternal Life” that is found in Christ. 

Christian:  Our mandate from Christ himself was to go and make disciples!  That was a mandate and not a suggestion. 

Pastors:  It was said that the greatness of Spurgeon was found that in whatever his topic was that he preached on, that he always pointed his message back to the gospel and the necessity of the hearers to fall upon Christ.  How much of that preaching is done today in our pulpit?  Preach the gospel!  Please preach the gospel!  You never know when someone in the church may die any day.

Finally, I don’t know who if anyone will actually slog through this whole post but if you do and you know that you are not a follower of Christ then please finish reading.  We all have sin in our lives, everyone, there is no one perfect.  God does not judge on a curve and hell is not reserved for bad people, besides, most people think they are good.  The bible says we are not to have other gods before Jehovah, but are there things in your life that are much more important than him.  We are told not to lie; how many have you told in all of your life?  We are told not to steal and yet have you ever stolen the smallest thing, maybe even copied a CD from someone else that you didn’t pay for.  The music industry and the law considers that stealing.  Have you ever committed adultery?  Jesus said that if you look at someone and lust after them that you have committed adultery in you heart.  All of these things point to a sin filled life and even breaking one of these makes you guilty of the whole law.  So the punishment or the payment for that is death.  Not just physical death but a spiritual death and judgment for eternity in the lake of fire, hell.  The good news comes in here, God sent his Son, down here to live as a man on this earth.  He was born, he lived a sinless life, and he was tortured on a Roman cross to pay for our sins.  It says in Hebrews that without the shedding of blood there can be no cancellation of sins.  Well, God sent his Son and bruised Him and Crushed Him so that through faith in Him we could be reconciled back to God himself.  That’s right, it pleased God to crush him to pay for that lie, that adulterous look that should send us to hell.  This is GREAT News that needs to be shared!  So what if it doesn’t win any popularity contests with the world, we are not standing next to them in front of God one day, we will give an answer to all that we did here on earth alone.  He doesn’t care what anyone else says, he has given us what he thinks in his word.  We change our opinions but Isaiah 40 says that His word stands forever.  It is unchangeable! 

Please, if you don’t know Christ, call out to Him and ask him to change your heart and your life!  Believe in his ability and willingness to do that!  And Christian, “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?--unless indeed you fail to meet the test!”  2 Cor 13:5. 

Thanks for listening!

Psalms 90:12  So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

My Excellent Wife

Proverbs 31:10 "An excellent wife who can find?  She is far more precious than jewels."

I wanted to write about the love of my life, Joli.  She recently made me the father of my tenth child and she has to be the most incredible wife and mom alive!  I am here day after day and have seen the trials and the sickness that she goes through to have children and to think that she has done it 10 times now is phenomenal!  She started to get Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy (ICP)  at 31 weeks of pregnancy.  What is ICP?  It is a condition where the bile in her body starts to back into the blood stream as opposed to being handled and discarded by the liver.  The bile builds and starts to cause intense itching, first on the hands and feet and then just about everywhere the further it goes.  After a while, it starts to make you feel as though you have the flu.  Basically, for the last 2 weeks of her pregnancy, Joli slept maybe an hour or two every night.  She was miserable.   Our poor dogs have suffered from fleas terribly this year and she cried out at around 3 in the morning a few weeks ago and said, "When this is all over I am taking our poor dogs to the vet to get rid of those fleas!"  She definitely could relate. 

So after 4 weeks of itching, Micah came and thankfully the ICP has started to go away as giving birth resolves the sickness.  Now she is staying up at night for a different, much better reason.  She is so amazing!  She gets probably 3 broken up hours of sleep a night in between nursing and changing diapers, but she does not complain.  I'm not saying that she can't get a little grumpy because of lack of sleep but who doesn't.  She presses on and loves every minute of it.  She tells me frequently that she absolutely loves this age, the smell, the cuddly little baby. 

I am staying home from work for two weeks to take over school and manage the home while she nurtures the baby and heals herself.  One thing that I can declare is that I have the easier job.  Hers is unpaid, at least monetarily, but what she does, day in and day out, is priceless and could not be afforded by the wealthiest of individuals.  I get to come home from work every day and leave it where it is while Joli stays where she "works" 24-7.  Thankfully, she has never considered it a job, but a calling and one in which she is very good at it. 

I am so very thankful for you Joli.  God has blessed me with a jewel and a crown on my head.  You are the love of my life and an inspiration to me!  You're my "sweet pea." 


Monday, October 17, 2011

Micah's Birth Story

 I want to remember this day forever. When I am a grandma to his little ones. I want to retell the story to them so they can imagine their daddy being born on October 12, 2011. This day has changed our world forever because God has been merciful to us and blessed us with another healthy, beautiful blessing.
  His name Micah means "who is like God'. His middle name Shepherd is a family name from Sean's side but we also want him to know that Jesus is his true shepherd in whom he can always trust. We are so in love with this little guy already.
  Wednesday the 12th, I had a doctor's appointment. I was hooked up to the NST machine to monitor the baby, to check for movement and contractions.  When the contractions started showing up regularly on the machine, along with a very crampy feeling, I knew labor was beginning.  My doctor checked me and at that point I was 3cm.  She was reluctant to send me home but Anna Grace was with me and Sean was at home with the kids, so I really couldn't go straight to the hospital (not to mention that our older kids were in the weekly classes that day).  She made me promise to return by 4 that afternoon to be checked again.  I picked Hunter and Peyton up on the way home while having contractions about every 5 minutes.  Hunter offered to drive me home at which I had to laugh that my oldest son was going to drive me home while I'm in labor with our youngest son. 
Sean and I got the kids squared away and I headed back to the doctor with my contractions now running about every 3 minutes.   She checked me and I was at 4cm and the baby's head had dropped some since that morning.  SO, off to the hospital we went.  Yay, I made it to 36 weeks and 3 days, an almost record and miracle since my last two were born at 35 weeks.
We made it to the hospital and checked into Room 5 by 5:45 pm.  We had the sweetest nurse, Becky, who actually helped me in the hospital with Eden 19 months ago.  She again was a great help which is always good when a woman is in labor.  Dr. Devine was the doctor on call in the practice I go to and she was super sweet as well.
She broke my water around 6:30 and then it was on!  I got a few meds and started to relax for a little bit  (really the first time in a few weeks).  I had cholestasis of pregnancy again which had kept me up itching for the last four weeks with little relief.  I entered this labor completely worn out already, so the Nubain that they gave me helped me rest for a little while and my body relax.  When that wore off, the Doctor wanted to start a tiny bit of Pitocin, at which point I started to panic and for the first birth since my first son, I got an epidural.  Yay for an epidural during labor, but as for after labor it stinks.  It wasn't 45 minutes after I had the epidural that I started feeling the pressure of his coming down the birth canal.  I had never really felt this because with natural labor, you feel so much of the pain that you don't really feel the head moving down.  So that part of the epidural was really a blessing that I was able to feel him come out and enjoy the moment.  Just before he was born, Sean called home and put the phone by the bed so that Hunter and Peyton could hear the birth of their baby brother.  Afterward, Peyton was surprised that I made very little noise during labor, to which she said that "Mom makes more noise when she stubbs her toe."

So Micah Shepherd Hardwick made his official entrance into this world at:
                10:12 pm on 10/12/2011.

Wild that he is the 10th child born to our 12 member family.  He is one of our smallest babies at 6lbs 8 oz and 18 inches long.  He is red with smut black hair, and he is absolutely scrumptious.  Oh how I LOVE a newborn.  I feel like I have to fight with our children because I don't want to give him up for a minute, even in the middle of the night.   He is our first child without jaundice, who is nursing well and is already ROTTEN! :)
He is only four days old and I want time to slow down so I can cherish this new gift from God.  He is a treasure, a blessing and I look forward to seeing what God does with this new life.  May he love Jesus with all of his heart, soul, mind and strength!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Baby's Room

Here I am sitting in my bed early Thursday morning alone. Sean had to leave at like 4 am to get to work. They are having their biggest tournament of the year today, tomorrow and Saturday. Surprisingly all the kids are still asleep. Rare moments like these allow me to jot my thoughts down for keeps. So much has been going on with my pregnancy and with our baby. We found out a few weeks ago that he has a small spleen cyst. They told us it was really nothing to worry about that it would probably resolve before birth or within his first year. Yesterday we had an ultrasound to recheck it at 34 weeks. It is the same but looks fine because it is fluid filled and not blood. We are praising God for this news.
As for me, I have cholestasis of pregnancy. Basically what that means is my bile salts are backing up into my liver and gallbladder and then spilling into my blood. This is poison for me and my baby. It makes me itch like crazy and feel sick. The normal plan is to deliver by 37 weeks if all is going well for mom and baby. The last two pregnancies I have had to deliver at 35 because mine was so severe and my platelet levels were dropping. Looks like we are doing the same thing now. Sean just walked in the room with a coffee and a "grawnola" bar (love these) for me. He has headed back out. I love him!! So, it looks like we will be holding our precious baby boy next week. I am excited but a little nervous at the same time. I know God has a plan in all of this and I pray that I can find peace in it. I have learned that not everything happens exactly like we would like for it to. I have definitely had my moments of breaking and just crying out loud. This has led me to Him and for that I am content with what I have gone through with this difficult pregnancy and will be going through in the next few days as it gets worse.
 My mom and sister came to stay last weekend with us to help me finish our nursery. This meant so much to me as I am in serious nesting this time around. I guess, for me, the more children I have, the more the need to organize EVERYTHING! I needed a place for all of his little things, so they would not be lost:) I am so in love with his little room, which is a reading area in our room. It works perfect for a nursery.
  It is actually Tuesday afternoon now, almost a week later. Wow, am I going to be be busy when this little guy joins our family. It has been a crazy few days of doctors appointments and shopping for the kids fall clothes. Sean and I did have a date night with some dear friends and a few quiet times together after doctor visits. I cherish  those times with him.  Even after almost 10 kids, he is my favorite person to be with. Sorry kids if you are reading this:) I took some pictures of the baby's little space today. Almost every picture looks crooked for some reason. I can promise you though that everything hanging on the wall is straight, even measured out perfectly by Sean:) I love his sign Sean made for me. I put the words on but he did the big job of making it from scratch. Hunter made the book self for me out of an old pallet from Sean's golf course. Isaac helped me white wash it and the little kids helped find some books to put in it:) Sean Peyton made the cross stitch of the sheep hanging by the M. Can't tell you what that stands for yet:) I love his simple crib. Clean and cozy looking.  I got our changing table  at a thrift store for a great price. So here is my little guy's space of his own. Hopefully we will be introducing him soon !