Closing this chapter.

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Wow.  It happened.

So let me tell you all about the backstory a little bit.  Shane and I got married in 2010 (in the middle of nursing school) and we wanted to start a family a year after.  So from our first pregnancy with Lamar having full Trisomy 18 ( which is also called Edwards syndrome, is a chromosomal condition associated with abnormalities in many parts of the body. Individuals with trisomy 18 often have slow growth before birth (intrauterine growth retardation) and a low birth weight) and that pregnancy with him was terminated on July 14, 2012 due to us feeling SO pressured by the specialists telling us that he would either die during delivery, or die inside of me before.

Then a few months later we got pregnant with Brielle.  She was born completely healthy without any abnormalities and after all the genetic testing with Lamar, the doctors told us that it would be a 99.9% that it would EVER happen to Shane and I that we would have another child born with a genetic abnormality. Well, Brielle was born as healthy as could be, and when she was 8 months old Shane and I had been praying for a long time to God to just bless us with one more baby.

Then we got pregnant with Rochelle. Rochelle was then diagnosed early on with full Trisomy 13 (which is also called Patau syndrome, is a chromosomal condition associated with severe intellectual disability and physical abnormalities in many parts of the body. … Due to the presence of several life-threatening medical problems, many infants with trisomy 13 die within their first days or weeks of life) and the doctor sent me to the same exact specialist in San Antonio that wanted me to have ANOTHER abortion (they said they had NEVER seen this happen to a biracial couple in their mid-20’s with no genetic background).  Shane and I knew the answer was absolutely not, and we were prepared as much as we could with truly trying to understand why God would give us a baby girl, just to take her away.  But let me tell you, it was the best decision to continue her life and watch her grow in her own personality in those 2 months and 1 day that she lived with us.  She changed SO many peoples lives, and God truly picked the perfect parents for her, and for that, we will be forever blessed and thankful.

It wasn’t until we were truly in the trenches in our foster care journey a little over a year ago, that we knew that we wanted to try one more time to add on to our family biologically.  We had 5 foster children at the time, and 1 biological child( Brielle who was 3) when we decided to pray some hard prayers that asked God to bless us one (final) time.  We found out last May that we were expecting and we decided right away we didn’t want to find out the gender and I decided that I wanted to have one more all natural-no meds-delivery as well! So this past January we welcomed Malachi into this world (happy, healthy, and oh so fun)!

We had researched some methods of permanent birth control procedures (during my pregnancy ) and Shane was SO scared to go the route of having a vasectomy, so we both agreed on the non-invasive method, called the Essure procedure for me (which does not require cutting into the body or the use of electricity to burn the fallopian tubes. Instead, an Essure trained doctor inserts soft, flexible inserts through the body’s natural pathways (vagina, cervix, and uterus) and into your fallopian tubes).  I just went to my confirmation test yesterday (where they inserted dye into my cervix/fallopian tubes to see if it passes through on the x-ray and if it passed through then the Essure was ineffective and it would result in a pregnancy, and if it didn’t that means the method was indeed effective and we don’t have to worry about getting pregnant again).

Ours was indeed effective and worked perfectly, and after two x-rays they can officially say that we should not be getting pregnant again! I had conflicting emotions because I know this is something that Shane and I prayed on and knew was the right choice for our family, but at the same time it’s so permanent you know?  But I am so thankful that we shouldn’t have to worry anymore, and I decided early on in our marriage that I wanted to be done having babies by the time I turn 30 (and I am currently 29).

I feel like in this day and age people are definitely not open to sharing different experiences to completing their family, thinking they may face negative judgement from others! Just know that is not the case with me and if anyone has any questions, feel free to ask and I will definitely share our experience throughout all of this!

Image source: found here

Link to Trisomy 18 information: found here

Link to Trisomy 13 information: found here

Link to Essure procedure information: found here

©2018 Sheridan Johnson @Journey with the Johnsons. All Rights Reserved.

 

Tell the truth Thursday!

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Image credit: here

I am going to begin this by saying that it might not be every Thursday, but I definitely want to start an open space where I can just tell you all that everything I post on social media or even blog post is the whole story or even a fraction of what raising 5 kids (ages 7 and under) is truly like.  So I wanted to just have a little spot on here to basically tell it like it is (lol).

  • I will start it off by actually saying that I am actually writing this with my 4 month old on my lap due to him being very needy lately (thank you, teething) and always wanting to be with me everywhere! lol!
  • I think my family gets viewed of having to be perfect since we are believers in Christ, but let me tell you.. we are far from it.  While of course we strive to teach the children about the Lord, and listen to a lot of gospel music, let me just tell you that some of the most requested songs around here are not gospel music.  Brielle and the boys most requested songs are “sorry, not sorry” and “juju on that beat”! haha Definitely NOT gospel music!
  • Our two year old Gracelynn (a.k.a) Gracie loves to run around at night after she has taken off all her clothes and say “booty bath” before going to get her towel and hopping in the bath! haha while it’s SO cute and innocent at her age… we REALLY hope she doesn’t do it while we are out in public! haha
  • So after Shane and I decided NO.MORE.ANIMALS and was content with just raising our 1 lab that is already getting up in age.. a black lab showed up, and hasn’t left.  While I did try to search on social media, and called around all the shelters to see if someone was missing a black lab, and did the best I could do to try to find it’s owners, I had no such luck and we have now named him max and he has become a part of the Johnson clan. Shane claims that we just ADOPT everyone (animals included) haha!
  • While I try my best to practice patience with my kids, I do fall short and end up yelling at them at times! I try my best to practice grace with all of my kids, but that doesn’t always happen!
  • If I am ever wearing make-up or half awake out in public.. it’s because my kids were being nice and patient with each other for about 15-30 minutes for me to be able to do so.. MOST of the time I am in sweat pants/no make-up, and a t-shirt!
  • My boys (my adopted sons that are ages 4&7) STILL have accidents in their beds at night every now and again and talk about washing SO.MUCH.LAUNDRY on top of my every day tasks gets to be a handful at times but y’all.. TRAUMA is SO real! So we have really begun to sleep-train, practice water intake, and really work on methods for the boys as of this past month and I can already see such a huge difference!
  • You know those kids that you apologize to the teachers in future advance just because you know the true colors or your kids? Ya.. that would be my two year old little girl! We enrolled her in Mother’s Day Out for the fall, and I have already warned her teacher..haha she is definitely NOT the easiest child of the bunch.. by far! She is so so so fun though so I know she will have a blast in school!
  • I am kind of DREADING summer starting and being with all 5 of my kids 24/7 but I am trying to put into a different perspective and going to cherish so much one on one time that I am able to develop with each of them that I don’t necessarily have now with them in school.

That’s all for today, hope you all know that we are definitely normal over here, and hope I gave y’all a laugh or two if you are having some similarities as us as well! haha!

Have a great Thursday everyone!!

©2018 Sheridan Johnson @Journey with the Johnsons. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

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Our foster to forever girl turns TWO!

So tomorrow is a day definitely to be celebrated because it’s Gracelynn’s first birthday as a JOHNSON! From the moment I laid my eyes on her, I knew that God has amazing things in store for her precious life.  He chose to give her life when it could easily had been taking from her with the use of some really harsh drugs while her biological mom was pregnant with her.  It’s God’s grace that saved her life, knowing how much of a profound impact she is going to make (and has already made) on so many lives.  Being born at 24 weeks gestation, at only 1lb and 8 oz.,she started out with this life as a fighter.  She fought to live, she surpassed ALL odds, she had amazing NICU nurses who loved her and treated her as if they were her own.

I am amazed at how everything worked out for the first four months of her life that we missed.  When we got the phone call from CPS stating that “there is a medically fragile newborn ready for discharge in the hospital in San Antonio, Tx” we immediately said yes.  THEN we got the phone call that stated that they chose US for this baby girl, and we got in the car right away to go meet her precious self! She was SO little for being 4 months old, and we had to gown/glove up from head to toe when meeting her because her high risk of spreading an infection/getting an infection.

Let’s just say two years have flown by, and we could have never imagined what a wild ride we would have been on with her case in foster care, and then finally closing that chapter of her life with her adoption.    Shane and I are both amazed by how much our baby girl has grown, how funny she is, and how incredibly hyper she is!

I wanted to leave you all with some sweet pictures of our baby girl from the moment we met, until now! Hope you all enjoy them (as much as we did/do)♥♥!!

Gracelynn- you were everything our family needed and we are so blessed and thankful that God picked us to be your forever parents and family!!

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©2018 Sheridan Johnson @Journey with the Johnsons. All Rights Reserved.

The FULL birth story–details and all

Ok so it started out being my 37 week check-up on January 9th, 2018 and I for sure was hoping that I had dilated more to a 5 by this point since I had been dilated to a 3-4 the past few weeks and I was DETERMINED that this was the THE birth day of my child!

My doctor examined me and said that once he stripped my membranes it would dilate me even more (and I would be around 5cm dilated) and that I could be sent to labor and delivery at Detar North Hopsital in Victoria, Tx.  With my bags all packed in my car, and my mom with me, we grabbed a bite to eat (which I couldn’t eat much at this point because I was so nervous/anxious that today would be the day that I would get to meet this precious miracle of mine) and headed to the hospital.  Of course they had to examine me once I was admitted (I was just about 5cm dilated), and ask 1,000 questions (or at least it felt like it) that I have already answered when I was in pre-term labor 3 weeks prior, but I did not mind and was ready to get hooked up to pitocin and get this labor started!

It was near 1:15pm or so that I was initially hooked up to pitocin and I estimated that I would have the baby around 5pm (which I was way off) lol but I asked my doctor and the nurses this time if I could go at a slower pace on the pitocin so that I could labor all naturally again and be able to enjoy walking around and talking/playing with my kiddos (and they said yes).  During this time I had my step-dad bring up 2 of the kiddos to the hospital and Shane brought the other 2 when he get off work.

Every 2 hours just about I dilated 1 more cm and during this time, the day nurse that was taking care of me was SO sweet and made sure that I had enough ice chips and the super amazing thing she did was find me a wireless monitor so that I could be on the labor ball, and walk around with my kids in the room, etc and just have freedom from the uncomfortable bed.  I LOVED this and I will remember that forever!

During the transitional part of labor (about 7cm-10cm) I was doing fine with my breathing techniques and having Shane hold my hand and rub my back throughout the entire labor until this point (and then she broke my water).  I had asked to be checked and I was 8cm dilated and 100% effaced and I had nicely (because with Rochelle I was screaming and yelling the entire end of my natural-no pain medication labor) asked the nurse if she had anything that could lessen the pain ( I do this every time I am about to push lol) and she said “sweetie I am so sorry at this point if I give you anything, it could slow the rest of the labor down and you are about to start pushing so right now I don’t think that would be the best option” and I took a deep breath and said “ok thank you, could you please call my doctor right now I feel like I need to push”.

Well, she had come back a minute later and brought all the delivery supplies into the room–at this point my mom had taken Brielle downstairs around 8:45-9pm (She was the only child that stayed because she just HAD to see if I was having a boy or a girl since we had waited to find out until birth and they don’t allow visitors past 9pm in the delivery room) and I knew I was about to have our baby.

I had been in the bed towards the end of the labor because it hurt too much to get up and I REALLY needed to focus on my breathing and working through the intense pain I was feeling. I knew I was going to transition from 8cm to 10cm pretty quickly and was really trying to prepare myself mentally for the actual delivery.  Of course (yet again) my doctor did not make it in time because just after all the nurses turned on the warmer for the baby, and got everything ready with my bed (taking it all apart, make sure all the sterilization procedures where in place and put on gloves) and I felt a HUGE sensation to push! All three of the nurses in the room told me “hold the baby in by crossing your legs” so I did just that two times and on the third time I told the nurse that was right in front me ” I NEED TO PUSH RIGHT NOW! I am sorry but I cannot hold this baby in anymore, get ready to catch”!!

Well, let’s just say one push later at 9:22pm weighing in at  7 lb 15 oz and 19 1/4 inch tall baby BOY Malachi Andreas Johnson was born and THEN my doctor arrived (about 3-5 minutes after I delivered) to get out my placenta and to see if I needed any stitching (I think he may have done one stitch to prevent excessive bleeding but no tearing thank goodness).

I was so excited to meet my son right away, and put him directly on my chest and start breast feeding right away (and he latched SO good I didn’t need any help from the lactation consultant this time– even though help was definitely provided).  Shane was an AWESOME labor coach the entire time and went over and beyond to make sure I was ok, make sure kids were taken care of ( and tried to help my parents as much as possible with this aspect as well)  and I am SO very thankful and amazed at the goodness of God at how everything turned out!

We had to stay in the hospital for a day and a half because they don’t discharge at night so because of his birth time, we left about 39 hours after his was born, and we (Shane and I) were SO ready to head  home and see all of the kiddos and be a family of 7!

I will leave you with some pictures of the journey to bring Malachi into this world, and I thank you all for the MANY prayers, support, encouragement, and love that you all have provided us during his pregnancy!

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©2018 Sheridan Johnson @Journey with the Johnsons. All Rights Reserved.