"A joyful marriage is a bit of heaven on earth..."

"A joyful marriage is a bit of heaven on earth..."

The Mitchells

Welcome! We are so excited to begin blogging! We have family all over the place, and hope this will help keep everyone updated on our life, especially our new addition, Braelyn Elizabeth Mitchell!!!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Sweet Braelyn!


Sorry it has been a while since our last post! Let's just say life continues to be crazy...lol! Jamie, our wonderful sister-in-law, has come twice to take pictures of baby Braelyn. The first time was a week or so after Braelyn came home. One of my co-teachers at Ezell gave us a doll dress from Strasburg!! It is soooo precious! (pictures shown in this post) Then Jamie came and took her one month pictures!! (We will post these pictures soon!) She is AMAZING!!! If you ever need a photographer...she is your gal!

Had a doctor's appointment today! Braelyn is 6 lbs 13 ounces!!! WOOHOO!!! She gained a pound since our last doctor's appointment which was two Mondays ago. She is right on track and will hopefully be able to be out in three weeks after she has her shots! We are so excited!!

She has her days and nights a little backwards, but it is slowly getting better. I, Rachel, go back to work this coming Monday...woohoo! I do miss my kids and I am a little excited to get back into the swing of things, but I know I am going to miss Braelyn terribly!! Jamie is going to be keeping Braelyn for the rest of March and for April and a little of May during the day...have I mentioned she is wonderful!! We are so thankful that she will be able to keep her. It is so nice to know she will be well taken care of!! Love ya Jamie!!

Thanks for your love and support! We love you all SOO much!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Doctor Visit

Hello all! Braelyn had another doctor's appointment today and she is doing wonderful! She weighs 5 lbs. 8 oz.!! Woohoo!! Everything seems to be going well so far. God has truly blessed us with a precious healthy baby girl...

Love you all!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Braelyn is finally home!

Dear followers,

Just a quick note to tell all that we came home from the hospital today! She seems to be doing well and we just hope everything continues to improve as well as it has. Thanks for all of the prayers, we couldn't have done it without all the support!


Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Braelyn is continuing to do well. I, Rachel, just got home from visiting her and feeding her. She is eating REALLY well, which is great for her age. They did have to put her back on the jaundice light because her level went up a little bit, but they said that was pretty much expected. She will probably be on the light for another couple of days. They said once they get her jaundice under control, they will send her home as long as she continues to eat as well as she is.

We realize how much can change in a 24-hour period, but if everything goes well, she might be home at the end of this weekend or beginning of next week. Again, thank you all SO much for you prayers. We believe God is hearing every one of them and we are continuing to see him work in our lives.

Love you all...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

No light!

Hello everyone! Sorry we haven't been able to update in a few days. Braelyn is continuing to do well! Yay! I just called the NICU and they have taken her off of the jaundice light completely. They will re-check her jaundice level in the morning to see if it goes back up. They said she was a little sleepy at her last feeding and they had a hard time keeping her awake to eat, but they said it is completely normal for her to have "sleepy days."

I am about to drive out to the hospital for the first time on my own. Daniel made me drive to the hospital last night so he could observe my skills. No worries - apparently you don't forget how to drive after four or five months...lol! He said I passed...woohoo!

We are hoping that we may be able to bring Braelyn home this weekend or at the beginning of next week. They have not said anything definite...but things are going really well. We are trying not to get our hopes up...but it is difficult not to.

We greatly appreciate your love and prayers. God is wonderful!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Quick Praise!

Daniel just talked to the nurse in the NICU and Braelyn is completely off of oxygen support. She is breathing on her own very comfortably!! YAY!! The nurse said she was eating well and that things are going in the right direction. She said that she was in the process of making their plan for the day and told us that she would call us if anything big happened. We are heading over there this evening for her 9pm feeding and will learn more then.

God is wonderful!!


Here she is! Braelyn Elizabeth Mitchell! She was born on Tuesday, February 9, 2010 at 11:51 a.m.!!

She loves holding Daddy's hand! Watching her with Daniel is the most amazing feeling ever!
She continues to improve daily!! I, Rachel, was allowed to hold her for the first time since delivery last night. It was such an amazing feeling. As of last night, they were continuing to ween her off of her oxygen, and were hoping that by today she would be completely on her own. We will find out later today if she was able to do it...

She is eating approximately 15ml every few hours at this point and tolerating it very well. They are slowly increasing the amount she eats at each feeding. Once she is tolerating around 40ml at each feeding, they will begin to feed her by bottle. For her to go home, she must be able to breathe without oxygen tube, eat by bottle, go to the bathroom, and regulate her body temperature with clothes on. We are hoping that she will only have a few weeks in the NICU, but it is very touch and go at this point. It is all up to her. Let's continue to pray that Braelyn will continue to be strong and will achieve all of these milestones soon...

Thank you all for your prayers. Again, we will keep you posted as soon as we know anything new!! God is amazing!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Hospital Update

Hello everyone! First of all, thank you SO much for your prayers. God is truly amazing and is carrying us through this. I, Rachel, am doing well. My blood pressure seems to have taken care of itself for the most part - so no stinky medicine was needed. I am pretty sure that they will send me home today, but haven't had the official word yet. As you already know, Braelyn will have to stay in the NICU for a while, but we are hopeful that it will not be a terribly long stay. They have given us NO time frame so please know that we will let you know once we know something...

Braelyn is doing FABULOUS! We are hoping to go visit her at 8 o'clock when they open the NICU up again. As of last night, she was continuing to do well off of the C-pap machine and was resting very comfortably. The nurse said she has a very sweet disposition and that they are very happy she is able to rest. That is a really good sign! Her blood work has been coming back completely normal and they are doing an x-ray today to get an updated look at her lungs. Once she is able to eat enough to maintain her weight, they will remove the IV from her belly button and we will be able to hold her! (Again, not sure when that will be - it is completely up to Braelyn at this point, so rest assured she is getting lots of advice from mommy and daddy when we see her....HAHA!)

Please send some special prayers our way today as we will more than likely be leaving our baby girl and returning home. I am confident that today will be one of the hardest days of my life...but I am also confident that God will give us the strength to know that it is what is best. Love you all and I PROMISE we will post pictures once we get home...cross my heart!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Braelyn and Rachel

Dear Followers,

Brealyn is in the NICU while they make sure that everything is ok and that she if functioning properly. I went twice last night to visit her and she seemed to be doing good. They said she has done 1 of 2 things needed (#1) and she seemed to be doing well. Her breathing has calmed down to more of a routine rather than short burst of quick breathing. Last night Rachel and I were told that we could go and see her pretty much whenever we feel like it however,

Rachel's blood pressure is still a little high. We went last night and Rachel had a hard time seeing her hooked up with tubes and moniters. Rachel has been such a trooper through all of this and has been amazing! It looks like they might hook Rachel up with some medicine to help her blood pressure through an IV that even doctors say will make her feel "pretty crappy". Rachel is taking a shower while she can, just in case of the IV being needed.

I love that they have wireless at the hospital and will put it to good use. Until next time!


Thursday, January 28, 2010

I'm Free!

I'm free! Well, not sure for how long...but so glad to be home for now. As Daniel already posted, I was instructed to up my medication Tuesday which made me feel pretty crappy. Then towards the evening on Tuesday night I started feeling full out contractions - so we were told to go to the hospital. By the time I got there, the contractions were getting worse pretty fast and had gotten to two minutes apart...so they immediately gave me a shot which worked to stop the contractions, but made me VERY shaky and made my heart race. Thirty minutes later they gave me another one because the contractions started again...so I got even more shaky, etc. At one point my heart rate was 140 beats per minute!! They did not like that - and I didn't either!

So I just continued to feel worse...until about 4 o'clock yesterday afternoon. I saw the high-risk OB who talked to us for a long time about how they weren't worried about Braelyn...cause she seems great...but they were worried about my heart rate. They kept me overnight again and lowered my medicine dose which helped slow my heart rate...and I started feeling better. This morning the high-risk OB came in and was very pleased that my heart was beating in the normal range...and happy that Braelyn's heart rate had lowered to normal as well. I am dilated to 1 to 2 cm...but not in active labor, so they sent us HOME!! I have not wanted to be home so bad this whole pregnancy! LOL!

I just woke up from the best two hour nap of my life! Daniel has been busy washing clothes from our hospital bags and re-packing...he is such a wonderful husband! He was such an amazing partner to have at the hospital. I am so thankful that he was able to be there for me...I love you Daniel!!

Thanks to everyone for your continued prayers. We really need to stay stable for at least two more weeks...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Update on Rachel

Dear Followers,

Last night, Rachel was told to up her medication from 1 pill to 2. She was told if she felt anything wierd to call and probably go to the hosiptal. Well, needless to say, we went to the hospital last night. She was hooked up for monitering and was having contractions about every 2 minutes for a while. They gave her some shots which stopped the contractions and then put her on a new pill every 4 hours. I fell asleep somewhere between 12 and 1 when everything calmed down. I woke back up just before 7 and Rachel's heart was beating at 130 beats per minute. She is now on an IV and feeling kinda sick. We will stay there the rest of the day and we don't know much more. Jamie is out there with her right now and I have come home to get a few things, feed the dog and fish, and shower. I will let everyone know more when I can get back online. Thanks for the prayers!


Monday, January 25, 2010

Baby Update #5

Had our weekly ultrasound today. Everything looked exactly the same as last week, so they let me go home rather than making a stop at the hospital. Yay! Braelyn looks like she has a head full of hair! It looked like little feathers on the ultrasound. It was sooo cool!

We go back on Wednesday for a doctor's appointment, and return next Wednesday for our weekly ultrasound. The doctor told us today that they breathe easier at 34 weeks, which is only one week and 5 days away! (If I counted correctly...) She also said that girls seem to do better than boys if born early...so yay for Braelyn! She is a girl!

We weren't able to get any good pictures today because her head was really far down as always...and her face was towards my back. I think she is ready to meet everyone! Haha!

Thanks for the continued thoughts and prayers. We are definitely more anxious with each day, but the good kind of anxious. We are very excited that we will soon meet our baby girl!!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

My Wife

Dear followers,

This is my (Daniel's) first ever post! I have enjoyed watching Rachel post things and reading all of the responses. We are very excited as Rachel will be off bedrest only 3 weeks from now after what has already been 14 weeks on bedrest (since 10-19). She has been amazing through all of this and really has tried to keep a positive attitude through all of this. It has been really trying on her and I am really proud of how she has responded. I love her and know all of you do.

On another note about how wonderful she is, she also allowed me to look into and purchase a fish tank! We had one before (10 gallons) and could never sustain it for a long time. Now we have a slightly bigger one (only 55 gallons, but it was the same price as a 29 gallon) and have had it set up for 6 days now thanks to her brother Jason. We will keep you posted on how long we can keep this one sustained.

Til next time!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Baby Update #4

Well, we had our weekly doctor's appointment and ultrasound today. Good news is that Braelyn continues to look healthy and happy! Not so good news - the situation with my cervix continues to get worse. They sent us to the hospital for observation again...and sent us home 2 1/2 hours later. Thankful that we are at home...just need to make it 3 1/2 more weeks!!

Thanks everyone for your prayers and support! We appreciate you all so much!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Cookie Attempt - It's the thought that counts...right?

Need a laugh? I'm pretty sure this might give you a few. So - I, Rachel, was attempting to be a sweet wife today by making some of Daniel's favorite cookies. Yes - I know it is completely bending the rules of bed rest (so no comments about it please), but I wanted to brighten his day and cheer him up a little bit. He deserves it!! So, I laid out all of the ingredients and went back to the couch for a while. Then I got up to just melt some of the ingredients and stir in the oats...and returned to the couch for a while. (Notice how careful I am about not being up long...) Then, I got up and formed them into cookies. Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies....yum!!

Everything was great! I wasn't in any more pain than normal...and really excited that I had succeeded...until...

I went to put them in the fridge to cool and harden, and I somehow knocked over a bottle of coffee creamer in the back of the fridge. It took me a few minutes to realize what had happened. All I knew was that I heard something that sounded like water pouring into a cup...and then I noticed that one of the trays of cookies had white liquid filling it up!!! Oh yes!! DISASTER!!! If that wasn't bad enough, I started hurting a little more than I have been and had to go back to the couch...

So now my wonderful husband, who has been so amazing throughout this pregnancy and is the best husband in the world, is going to come home to ruined cookies and a disgusting spill in the fridge to clean up. Some wife I am - huh?? HAHA! I am pretty sure I am never going to live this down...Love ya Daniel!!!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Little One

With a few suggestions from Daniel, I wrote this poem for Baby Braelyn. I have never done anything like this before...and was pretty nervous to post it for everyone to see. Daniel, however, encouraged me to put it on our blog...so here it goes. Hope you enjoy!

"Little One"
Little one, little one
Do not be afraid
You are safe where you are
For you are God-made
Little one, little one
I can't wait to meet
Each moment that passes
Brings hope so sweet
Little one, little one
Moving so free
I sit ever so still
Just waiting for thee
Little one, little one
My heart skips a beat
Each moment I feel
The gentle kick of your feet
Little one, little one
Hands so small
Little do you know, that in them you hold
The hearts of us all!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Baby Update #3

Hello all! Not much new to say today, which is great!! : )

Had an ultrasound this morning as usual and everything looks the same as last week - Good news! Bad news - it's not better...lol! Overall we are very pleased that it is still the same. The doctors have said that they have done everything they can at this point with medicine and such, and that it is just a waiting game now.

We are all packed and ready to jump in the car at any moment - and with our luck...that means Braelyn will stay put until 40 weeks...haha! The pain is really getting annoying, but not forming a pattern or getting worse at a rapid rate as of yet. I totally don't remember what it feels like to not hurt - AH!!

Overall, I feel like I am doing really well with all of the emotions and fears that are associated with this situation. God is truly using this situation to form me into a better person and I can't wait to be able to use what God has taught me! Obviously there is no way for me to not have moments of fear and frustration, but God is using those moments to make me stronger and to make our marriage stronger. I am LOVING growing closer to God and Daniel!

Until next time...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Baby Update #2

Hey everyone! Just wanted to let you know that we are going to have to pull the "No Visitors" card for a while. I am in quite a bit of pain and am needing to rest as much as possible. Due to my restrictions, I am unable to answer the door and be much company...

We appreciate all of your thoughts and prayers during this time. Cards, emails and calls are greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Baby Update!

Well, today was a super eventful day! We had our normal ultrasound appointment at 3:15 and a doctor's appointment following that. Then we found ourselves in a hospital room at Williamson Medical Center on the OB floor!! Atleast we can say that we had a mini-hospital tour...emergency room...elevator...hallway after elevator...and room 222....lol! They monitored me for a little over an hour, and gave me the first of two steroid shots to help Braelyn's lungs develop faster. We go back tomorrow night for the second of the shots. (hopefully that is all we have to do...). We are praying to make it atleast five more weeks or so. I was very pleased with the staff at the hospital and feel very good about delivering there in a few weeks. I have an ultrasound appointment next Monday as usual.

We really don't have any news other than that. Braelyn looks great - which is worth all of this!! I am so glad that I was able to come home for atleast a little while longer. I think I better go ahead and pack a hospital bag...cause Daniel and I were super bored tonight...lol! Checklist for hospital bag has begun. Item #1 - UNO; Item #2 - Phase 10 Dice....lol!

Till next time...

What I Have Learned...

Wow! The past three months have been the hardest and most rewarding months of our life...

I, Rachel, have learned so much about myself that I probably would have never realized until much later in life. What have I learned? Well, I almost don't know where to begin. Before we learned of Braelyn's coming, I was a very reserved person. I probably doubted myself 90% of the time and beat myself up constantly. I tried so hard to make everyone happy - that I completely forgot about myself. I was literally hiding from ME - and I had gotten pretty good at it! I hid from Daniel, my family, my friends, and myself.

Now that I have been forced to be with ME all day - every day - for three whole months...I have begun to discover who God made me to be. I am slowly shedding the fear and doubt that Satan did so well to place in my heart. God has given me a love for him and for myself - and I think it shows.

Trust me when I say that I can't take credit for any of this! I have had some amazing people in my life who have been the hands and feet of Jesus. Thanks to some wonderful godly women, I took the time to truly look at who I am and who I am able to be. Thank you Kristi, Cindy, Pam, and Mindy for helping me find my true self! If it were not for you guys and book club, I know that I would not have the strength that I do now.

I have already mentioned in previous posts how wonderful my husband, Daniel, has been through everything...but I had to get it in here as well - because he is THAT amazing!! I truly can't express how much I love him and will always appreciate his thoughtfulness and support!! Thanks Dan!

Of course, my family has played an equally significant role in all of this. Thanks mom and dad for always being there for us in all the ways that you have. For visiting and acting like everything is normal...for fixing us meals...for helping us financially when we didn't know how we would make it...and for always having smiles on your faces. Thanks Jana, Jason and Jamie for always stopping by and just chillin with me. It has been great to just have company. And Jason, you know how much we love our lights!!! Haha!

And of course all of the people from church and school that would be pretty impossible to list out here - but they know who they are. Thanks for all of the meals and visits over the past three months! We appreciate everything that God has done for us through you!

Well, I know this was long - and technically we still could have almost three months to go...but I had to get all of this out. I am just so appreciative-I can't hold it in any more! God is wonderful and has been wonderful to us throughout our lives! He gives us just what we need, and doesn't give us more than we can handle. (Even though at times - I'll be honest - I feel like I can't do this anymore...) God has used this situation to form Daniel and I into better spouses and better parents...and we can't wait to continue this amazing journey!

We love you all!