Friday, July 30, 2021

Madeline & All of Us || Update #6

(opening some fun gifts together for baby Madeline)

This update is labeled “Madeline and all of us” because many of you are wondering how the rest of us are doing and what our life looks like now. This post is a bit of an update on that. The pictures and "update" hardly scratch the surface, but I've been trying to write this post for over a week now, and tonight I decided to just go with what I have and post it.

Three weeks ago today our world was turned upside down and we were given the amazing blessing of our tiny daughter! These past twenty-one days have been filled with many emotions, tears, and unknowns as we navigate this new journey of NICU life. The first week especially was filled with some of the hardest and most stressful moments of our lives, as we tried to make sense of everything and struggled through the scary moments of little Madeline’s efforts to stay alive. Statistically we knew that she would likely pull through, but the level of potential complications at this tender age is huge. Plus John had the memories of losing his first niece, which added a whole new level of seriousness to the situation. 

I was officially released from the hospital on Sunday July 11th, and then we boarded here at the hospital until the 14th. During that time my sisters in law and inlaws took care of our boys, and we can never thank them enough. The boys ADORE their aunties and grandparents, and being there with them is the highlight of their little lives. So in spite of obviously missing us, they did so well there and I was so grateful to know they were in such good hands while we were going through some very tough days here! 

On Wednesday, July 14th, we were able to find, rent,  and move into a fully furnished apartment within walking distance of the hospital NICU. We are now all settled in and it is such a blessing to be here. Driving the almost hour one way distance everyday would be worth it and we would totally be doing it if we didn’t have another option, but being able to be within minutes of Madeline AND be under the same roof with our boys has been truly amazing. We are so grateful for the blessing! Our families, churches (my former church in Iowa and our current church here) and local friends have all been incredibly supportive and jumped in to help in more ways than we can count. Meals, cleaning, outings with the boys, gift cards for food, financial gifts, visits, care packages…I can never count all the ways that we are continually supported and blessed here. 

We have been completely blown away by the love and support of our church, family, friends, blog readers, online friends, and people around the world that we haven’t even met! The prayer network for Madeline has been unreal. Thankyou so much for all of you who have commented/emailed/written and told us that you are praying. Not only have you prayed, but you have shared with your friends and families and churches. From just the messages I have received alone, I believe there have been literally thousands and thousands of people interceding for the life of our tiny daughter, and that thought moves me to tears! Truly the family of God is an incredible thing!!

The NICU team has been amazing. Such a blessing in so many ways. The doctors, nurses, and nurse practitioners are competent and caring and we feel very thankful to have our little girl in such good hands. I was really worried about this element of NICU life, to be honest. It wasn’t that I thought the care wouldn’t be good, but, really, what mother in her right mind is excited about leaving her newborn in the care of total strangers? Not this one for sure! And yet seeing the compassion and care of this team has given my heart such peace. I am so grateful for each of them.

Many of you have also asked how we are doing-John, the boys, and I. I will be truthful and say that it hasn’t been easy. It is a GIFT to be able to be with the boys and close to the NICU, but it has also been a ton of change in our regular work, social life, the boys’ routine, etc. My rest time is completely different (almost non existent?) this third time postpartum, than it was with my boys. By the time I pump (8x a day) grab some food, attempt to get a decent nights sleep, spend around 5-6 hours in the NICU, and try to love a little on my husband and boys, the days are gone. Emotionally and physically the past three weeks have been completely draining. Praise the Lord, the one very positive thing is that birthing a 3 pounder is totally different than an 8 pounder, so my physical healing initially has been worlds faster and easier. This also means though that it is super hard to remember to try to take care of myself, since it doesn’t feel like I just had a baby. 

John has been incredible-he also spends hours everyday in the NICU with Madeline and she has her daddy wrapped around her itty bitty fingers. =) He has cared for me and the boys so well and does amazing at knowing all the terms and details of Madeline’s care and exactly what is going on with her at all times. I literally would not be able to do this without him!

Our boys have had their little world dumped upside down too but overall they are doing well. Elliot is teething super hard so we've had some rough days for him. Axton is very in tune with what is going on and the only thing he seemed to not understand at first, is why “baby Madeline and Sue” as he calls her, isn’t at “new house” with us. However, after the first few days he quit asking and now he knows every morning that mommy is leaving for “the NICU” to go be with baby Madeline. His level of understanding and trusting, for a two year old, has seriously surprised me!

We would appreciate prayer as we work to be intentional with loving on and spending time with the boys, spending hours everyday in the NICU with Madeline, and also keeping our marriage and communication strong as a couple. 

One of my sisters in law took this picture the Sunday morning after Madeline was born, and it has been the picture I've been showing the doctors and nurses when they ask about our other kids. When I look at this picture I realize that we truly do have three babies now! With Madeline's early arrival, she and Elliot are just a few weeks away from being Irish twins!

It was so good to be back with my other babies, when we got to bring them down to the "new house" as Axton calls it.

We have been so blessed by the abundance of care packages we have received from friends, family, and strangers alike! The boys loved this little pack of safari animals and they have been hugely entertained by playing with them!
Axton and Elliot were thrilled to go on a special outing with Grandpa and Grandma Maxwell!
Now that we have our own little place near the hospital, we have been able to have company. It looks quite different from our hosting days at our LV house; we let our guests bring the food and watch the boys and help in many different ways as we are coming and going from the NICU. But it has been a joy to have the social interaction and be able to still see friends and family. Meeting cousin Malachi was a huge highlight for the boys and it was personally very healing for me to have a real baby in the house, since my baby can't be here yet.
My favorite guys, on an afternoon back to our "old house".
We have been back to our Leavenworth house a few different times to get things from the house and run errands, and the boys have been thrilled those times to play in the sun in their beloved backyard.
Our first date out after Madeline was born.
Errands for John and Elliot while Axton was at the zoo with Nana and I was in the NICU with Madeline.
The boys adored having Nana come visit for a few days.
Beautiful flowers from my former home church back in Iowa.
John's grandma gifted us with a season pass to the zoo and it has been the perfect place to take the boys (or let friends take them) to let them burn off energy and enjoy the great outdoors.
The boys opening their own little packages from friends.
The boys are always thrilled when any family/friends come to help out and spend time with them! Elliot loves his Auntie Sarah!

And that’s a little current update and recap of some of what has happened these past three weeks. If you aren’t subscribed already and you wish to receive these updates to your inbox, simply “subscribe” to the blog with your email address over on the left hand side. (Or. If viewing on your phone, you can find the subscribe box by clicking “view as web size”) When you subscribe, each update post will be emailed to you.
I'll end with a picture of Little Miss---fast asleep after her snuggles with me the other day!

Thankyou each again for your prayers, love, and support. We appreciate it so much!


  1. Thanks for sharing the pictures Chelsy. Glad to hear you are all managing and everyone is looking after you so well!

  2. Chelsy! Thank you SO much for taking the time to update us on everything. Little Madeline and your family have been on my mind so much and I just love these updates! Seeing her in her little outfits makes my heart smile! I will keep praying for y'all!

  3. Chelsy Thank you for the update on all of you. Your boys are adorable. Such nice personalities; they are always smiling. Happy that Madeline Sue is doing good. It is nice that you all are in the same house. Prayers continue to have Madeline Sue home with you,your husband and and her brothers
    God Bless all
    Joan,Marilyn and Marion

  4. Love this update! I’ve been reading along for years and love your positive attitude and love for the Lord. And I want to let you know that even tho I’m a “few” years older than you at 57, I still use the makeup you recommended in “What’s in My Makeup Bag?” and it has all stood the test of time. So, thank you! You’re all in my prayers, and love to Allison, who will remember me from my brief foray into Young Living, and all your family on both sides, whose writings I always enjoy!

  5. Thank you for the taking the time to share with us a little piece of your last few weeks. Your precious boys are growing up so fast and I loved the picture of beautiful “Madeline and Sue 🥰”. I will continue to pray for your sweet little girl. I’m praying that she would be able to come home soon!

  6. I'm so glad you have had so much support and that Madeleine is doing well. Praying.

  7. Thank you for sharing. We know you didn't have to, but it's nice to see how God is working "behind the scenes." Love hearing that Madeline and Sue is doing so well! ☺️

  8. Thank you for the update. Love and prayers❤️

  9. Thanks so much for the updates!! Im praying that your family can get back to normal life again soon. Madeline is precious and a gift from God!! I am so glad thatshe is doing so well! Blessings and Love you!! Sher

  10. Even though you don't feel like you just had a baby, please please please do rest as much as you can!


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