When you think of a doula, you probably think of the role as a woman who massages a mom's back during labor. They are so much more for women, but most couples don't think about how doulas are also there for the father.
Elizabeth Ferrera was a Godsend, showing up at exactly the right moment, praying in the Spirit, and comforting me during the most traumatic hours of my life.
As my family's life hung in the balance, this woman coached me, offered advice and helped me navigate action steps for the complications that occurred. She even selflessly gave of herself as the first to ever feed #JamesJustice when nursing was not an option due to my wife's surgery.
Tears fill my eyes as I think about how alone I would have felt in those hours in the delivery room without her.
Men of expecting mothers take note; get a doula. She will be exactly what you need as you add to your family and will help you in ways you don't even know you needed.
#doula #daddysfordoulas #teamlyons #doulasfordads
Team Lyons has all returned home. We are now resting and growing together as a family of four. We are getting cuddles from our two littles as they cuddle with each other too. Betsy is slowly feeling better as well.
Betsy will check in with her midwife and doula next week. James will get a checkup on Wednesday as well.
Thank you friends and fmily for all your prayers. Continue to check up on us in the weeks to come. Thanks for your part in making Team Lyons roar.
After 12hrs under the blue lights, James' bilirubin went down from 19 to 11. We are now clear to discharge from Williamson.
It's hard to get a baby to sleep when you can't hold them and you can't swaddle them. Thankful for the many nurses that helped and for the breast milk from a repeat donor after confusing details about what his diet should be.
Grace came to the hospital this morning to see Baby James and to play with daddy. Mommy is resting in the hospital bed James' room.
We don't like you, Mr. Billy Rueben.
This morning, after testing James' bilirubin, his doctor decided to admit him to Williamson Medical to undergo treatment. He will be here the next 24 hours at minimum.
Betsy will be at home resting and loving on Grace as her mom continues to care for the both of them James and I will be buddies as we continue the middle Tennessee hospital tour, brought to you by the word "bilirubin".
Thank you for your continued prayers.
James today went for a follow up appointment with our pediatrician. His bilirubin levels are still high. If they don't come down soon, he will have photo therapy to get his levels down. We will know more tomorrow. Thanks for your prayers.
This was the exact moment that #JamesJustice was born, yet I had no way of knowing that when the photo was taken.
The interwebs say that it's the "most demonic time of day", spelling "hell" when read upside down on a digital clock. It was for sure at this moment that my family was under attack.
I sat in limbo not knowing if I had a new child or wife alive and if I would become a single dad to my daughter.
I sat praying in the spirit with our doula as we anxiously awaited word on what was going on.
My wife was in more pain than I could ever imagine and my son was not breathing.
The entire labor and delivery floor was a ghost town, emptying to rush as everyone worked on my family; as empty as this hallway.
My world expanded and my life changed forever giving me a son that I will never leave or forsake, just like Father has done for me.
Not this time, Satan. Not this time.
"Quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies."
A blog post on the interwebs can't describe how much you all have been a part of Team Lyons the past four days. We are humbled and honored to be so blessed by you.
To be honest, while we are back at home, the journey to complete wholeness is still ongoing, so I'm including some ways you can help us in the days ahead:
- Pray for complete healing for Baby James. His head is still pretty red, boggy and swollen. He still winces when we hold him. Pray all the swelling and hematomas get absorbed into his body as part of the normal healing process.
- Pray for complete healing and restoration of Betsy. She's still recovering and doing better, but the damage that was done was pretty intense.
- Pray for Grace. She wants to help so much but with an injured mother and baby brother who is still healing, she's dealing with a lot for a two year old to handle. Pray we can be gracious to her, give her opportunities to help with James, be held by mommy, and that the trama that has occurred in her life the past few weeks will not be permanent. We love her so much and don't want her to feel left out or that she is an annoyance.
- Pray for Betsy's family. They have helped in so many ways. Pray for them as they sacrificed many hours to help us. Pray the Lord would bless them.
- Pray for me. Honestly, the gravity of the situation did not fully hit me until today. The reality that I could have been a single father instantly. The questions about what I could have done differently. The concerns over each cry. The confusion over what exactly happened. I'm a mess and been pretty okay, but I really just want to cry for an hour, place blame, and have a redo.
Our life group has stated a meal train for us. If you'd be interested in participating sign up here:
Some notes if you do visit us to drop of a meal:
- Due to the trama that Betsy and James have occurred, they need a lot of rest. Therefore, they may not be available to visit when you come.
- Due to James' condition, we are currently not having people hold him. We are not wanting to play "pass the baby."
- If she is awake, acknowledge Grace and ask her how she is doing. She loves people, the Lion King, Minnie Mouse and Daniel Tiger and would love to tell you all about it. :-) Let her be a social two-year old amidst the chaos of the past few days and weeks.
- Pray with us. We need that so much.
We love you all. I love you all. Thanks for being a part of Team Lyons.
After 66 hours apart, the four member #TeamLyons officially met for the first time. Betsy and James were discharged within two hours of each other. Grace loves "Baby James" and we are thankful that mommy and baby can finally work on nursing.
Thank you for your continued prayers for our family.
James is checking out of the hospital.
James has graduated the NICU. He has passed all his screenings, has good, consistent blood count, and acceptable bilirubin levels. His hematoma still exists, but has improved significantly. He has been a trooper and I am a huge fan of care he received from the Vanderbilt staff.
Next stop, seeing Mommy at Maury Hospital for bonding and feeding.
Thank you from Team Lyons
The past two weeks have been filled with some difficult events for Team Lyons, but we have also been humbled to the core and filled with overwhelming joy. In waiting for #LyonCub2’s arrival, the preparation brought reminders of all who generously showered us with love before Grace was born 26 months ago. We unpacked and cleaned all things baby, feeling loved all over again by those who handmade items, purchased registry items, met practical needs, dropped off meals, offered encouragement, walked alongside at all hours of the day and night. Dear family and friends from Hubble Middle School, River City Church, Wheaton Bible Church, Calvary Church, Reflections neighborhood, and the list goes on, spoiled us with all LyonCub needed and more and we are so grateful and feel so loved as we reuse those items with James!
We have also been completely humbled and overwhelmed at the rally of our new family in Tennessee, both being closer to blood family, meeting generous, amazing neighbors that are like family, and experiencing family within our life group. We have had family and friends meet monetary needs, drive us far away places, stay up late to support Daddy with babe in NICU over an hour away, donate breast milk, pick up/drop off pumped milk, take out our garbage, mow our lawn, love on Grace, bring us flowers, drop off treats, offer a listening ear, send texts of encouragement, and lift us up in prayer. We have truly been carried by our community, and for that, we thank each of you. You have shown us the love of our Faithful Father who has sustained us.
This mama was reminded again that I am not in control. But I know the One who is. And He is trustworthy. He meets each of our needs if we will only relinquish them to Him. Thank you for being generous of your time, your skills, your possessions. Thank you for choosing to pray for us. Thank you for taking the time to encourage us. Thank you for reflecting His love in our lives.
James and Betsy are recovering
Today was a better day than yesterday.
James slowly improved. Though originally thought to be a fractured skull, further review of the x-ray stated that there was no fracture. The CT scan concluded the bleeding and swelling in his head has greatly reduced.
He drank breast milk I fed him. He got held by me He got changed by me. Today I felt like a dad and not a bystander.
Betsy is feeling better and better. Grace got to visit mommy today. Faye and Bekah are being a big help.
Thank you for your prayers for baby James and Betsy.
I'm James Justice
James arrived at Vanderbilt and is doing well considering.
His blood count looks good so far. He had a bath and ate well. I got to hold him for a few minutes today as well.
Betsy is still recovering at Maury with hopes of transferring here today. Her mom, an RN, is taking good care of her.
Auntie Bekah is taking care of Grace at home.
Thank you for your consistent prayers for our family.
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God,which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." - Philippians 4:6-9
LyonCub2 is a boy!
9lbs, 7oz. | 21.5 inches
James was born at Maury Regional this morning via c-section.
Betsy was a champ through the labor process, but experienced a significant amount of trauma.
James sustained trauma as well. He currently has subgaleal hematoma and a possible fractured skull.
He is being transferred to Vanderbilt for further evaluation.
Please be praying for Betsy, James, Grace myself and the rest of our family during this time.