Sunday, February 19, 2012

Merrick Anthony D'Andrea & Taylor Bennett D'Andrea

"Now all Glory to God, who is able, though His mighty power at work
within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask."
Ephesians 3:20

 Well I had a whole long post detailing every event that occurred from December 13th-NOW.. and it occurred to me that it was wayyy too long and people probably didn't have the time to read the post in it's entirety.. SO I have decided to give a quick recap and move onto the important business.

The verse at the beginning of this post was given to me shortly after we found out that Baby A's, Merrick, water was broken. I was 26 weeks at the time.. which is too early for the boys to even think about coming. Almost instantly God used the situation for His glory. Here are a few things that were a result of His plan..

-- Our baby Merrick's "amniotic sac" healed itself over the next few weeks and although his amniotic fluid levels were very low, especially compared to his brother's, our baby was born perfectly healthy. This is something we do not take for granted. When a woman's water breaks it can cause all kinds of trouble for mom and baby. Thankfully, we were both spared of any type of infection. It also usually leads to labor and delivery within days. We were given 6 weeks!!!!! AND Merrick's sealed back up! This is not common people!

   --We were shown true "agape" love from the best friend's and family anyone could ever ask for. Because of them as well as God we were able to hold onto the boys in utero for 6 more weeks. I wish I could list everything done for us and the loved we were shown. Because of their actions our faith has grown stronger in God and we have learned the true meaning of love thy neighbor. From meals to laundry we were taken care of by so many.

      PRAYER,'s a powerful, powerful thing that I never truly understood until now. Honest. It wasn't, "Oh yah, I will pray for you.." and then forget about you.. it was fervent dedicated prayer.
Another big one was loving on our biggest boy, Jack. I am forever in debt to those that had playdates, babysat, chauffered around, took to dr. apts., fed, slumber parties..etc.. Being 2 1/2 and having your mom completely out of commission and gone for almost a month can be traumatic. Because of their love and warmth our sweet boy did an amazing job adjusting to the whole situation.

During my time in the hospital I was shown such amazing care and love from my nurses. A few of which I will never ever forget their love and dedication. They truly are amazing nurses and I am forever grateful to the type of care and sincerity they treated me with while I was there. Even after we left one of my night nurses baked us cookies. Now, when we are up at the NICU we always get hugs and inquiries to how the boys are doing.

This was hands down one of the hardest things Craig and I have gone through. In a situation that easily could have broken us we have grown stronger than ever. Craig is my best friend and hero. He showed me so much love and was so supportive. He didn' let any of the stress from the outside world affect his parenting with Jack. He was a complete CHAMP!

If you notice there is a theme to the lessons learned and the actions shown. Love. Which is ironic because God is love. Love. It is such a beautiful thing. Looking back if it weren't for His love or the love of others we wouldn't be here in the position we are. Even though it wouldn't have necessarily been the way I would have planned things to wasn't my choice because ultimately God had a plan. His plan was so much more elaborate and perfect than mine ever was. Merrick being born perfect, not to mention with A TONNNNNN of amniotic fluid was nothing more than God's miracle. I am able to say because of HIS plan that He is a Healer and it does happen. I lived it.

Now let's talk about the star's of the show!!

Merrick Anthony & Taylor Bennett were born Sunday, January 22 at 4:23pm & 4:25pm via c-section. I was 32 weeks and 4 days. Before they were born I worried how I could possibly love them as much as I loved Jack. The instant I heard both of their sweet cries my worries evaporated. You do. Your heart immediately expands and a void you didn't know was there is instantly filled. So many times since they were born I find myself in awe. I joke that if I hadn't just been cut open I truly would fall to the ground in awe of God and His love just praising Him for such goodness. I also am addicted. I am addicted to the love. What a great feeling to know that someone loves me/us like a kazillion times more than I can even fathom. However, as a parent and I am sure even in other ways we get a taste of what it must be like. I am speechless. Blown away.

Since being in the NICU my boys went from being on a ventilator to breathing room air with no assistance in 1 week!! This is huge, because in the preemie world there is a name for caucasian boys born early.. WIMPY WHITE BOYS.. well there is definitely nothing wimpy about these boys!!

Currently going on with the boys..

 Sitting happily now just over 6lbs and eating like champs. I am very lucky because they latched onto me fast! We had a bit of struggle with bottle feeds but, Praise God, they have started finishing their feedings and hopefully soon we can be up from 4 oral feeds to all 8! You have to be at 8 to go home! I can barely contain myself with the joy I imagine once we get to come home.

They have passed their eye exams & hearing tests!!

Merrick tends to have more problems with reflux then Taylor.

They are easy going, like to sleep, like to smile (even though it's probably gas..) love to snuggle!! 

We are beyond blessed by the NICU and the nurses. What talented loving people. It is not easy to leave your babies daily. However, knowing they are in the best care possible with loving people, definitely helps!!

Enjoy the pics!!

Taylor Bennett--BABY B
4lbs.12 ounces
18 inches

Merrick & Taylor

Merrick Anthony- BABY A
4 lbs. 13 ounces
17 1/2 inches
4:23 pm.

Merrick and Taylor Snoozing

Merrick and Taylor Snoozing with Daddy

Merrick on his birthday!

Taylor on his birthday!

My first time to hold the boys!!! :)
Kangaroo Care!
Thank you for taking time to check up on us. Again we are forever in your debt for praying for our growing family. Merrick and Taylor-you are our heros. In such a short time you both have shown so much strength and taught us so much. We love you soooo much!

Much love,


Saturday, August 14, 2010

Ok, so we have been worse than bad about posting pics of our boy. But hopefully this will be a nice summary of what has happened over the last 4 or 5 months.

Here's Jack saving the day!

Jack loving March Madness!
 Easter is Fun!

Jack taking Grandpa's ride for spin on his first date

Jack's 11 month birthday
My little Italiano boy! Get in my belly!

Loving the new do

Kirby being Kirby

Just hangin out as a fam

Jack at 1 year! Crazy how time flies!

13 Months
Destin trip

Jack's first hair cut from Aunt Doy

Jack and his pals

Family pic again and Kat and I's 5th wedding anniversary
Bath time!

5th Anniversary in Cali. Again that time flying thing.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

10 months--Sorry not a flashy title.. and no the blog still isn't up to my cute standards. OWELL!

                                                                        MONTH 1
                                                                      MONTH 2

                                                                       MONTH 4
                                                                     MONTH 5
                                                                    MONTH 6 - HAHA
                                                                    MONTH 7
                                                                    MONTH 8
                                                                MONTH 9
                                                               MONTH 10

   The funny thing about MONTH 10 is all of the shots I had to take of him that catch him being halfway still. HAHA.
    He is the absolute JOY of my life and there are so many times ever single day where I really almost lose my breath because I love him so much. I feel so privileged to have this gift of being a parent. No words truly could have prepared me for this type of love. Jack- you are so loving, fun, busy, and cuddly. I cherish our mornings when I get you out of bed and bring you in with me for a 20 minute or so cuddle session where we smile and nuzzle before the day begins. You have been such an amazing baby and I love every minute of our time together...yes, every single minute..even now/lately when you and I have been trading illnesses back and forth.. I can't believe we have 2 months until your big 1 year birthday!!
  Next up for us this week: Easter and Carter Bear's 1st birthday. We love you Carter and are so happy to be apart of your life and watch you grow! I am so thankful that you and Jack get to grow up together!
                                                           Jack and Carter's first photo session
1st Pumpkin Patch

                                                                      Little Reindeer
                              TROUBLE-As they get older, it is much harder to get them to pose..oh who am I kidding
                              we can't get them to sit still to save our lives!!

                                                Happy ALMOST BIRTHDAY Carter!!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Out with the OLD and In with the New

If you can't tell I am not good with blogs. I had a hard time with Wordpress so I have converted to Blogspot. I will no longer be using the old web address so please add this to your favorites! :)

I am on a journey to make this blog pretty however with lack of time and attention span it will be a journey. Hopefully, with a faithful friend's help.. I may be in luck. Although she is a little busy getting prepared for twins, teaching, 2 dogs, a husband, and a photography business. We shall see. :)

I have also decided that I would like to mainly just use this site to post pics. I must say I am a terrible blog reader but, I LOVE to look at pictures. Soo thank you for being patient and enjoy the pics!