Sunday, September 7, 2014

Kenya 2014

Browning here once again. Fortunately for you, this will be the last time I blog for a while. I wanted to take the time to share with friends and family some pictures and stories from my time in Kenya.

My girl and little man sending me off...

Myself and 2 other ER docs from my program (Scott and Chris) spent two weeks working at Tenwek Hospital in Bomet, Kenya. Tenwek is affiliated with Samaritan’s Purse. It is known as one the first missionary hospitals in Africa and has served as a model for many others like it. The motto on the entry sign and the hospital logo reads: “We Treat. Jesus Heals.” This sums up the attitude that is found at Tenwek, and the mission that drives the hospital and all of its employees. We came to serve in Jesus’ name…but I can assure you we were ministered to and encouraged by the local medical students and residents, the long-term missionaries, and even several patients. It is hard to put into words the joy that the Kenyan people exuded.

Tenwek is also an academic hospital- with medical students, residents, and long-term missionaries serving as faculty and administrators. It was absolutely refreshing to be around residents that showed up to work with a smile on their face, were excited and happy to be practicing medicine- knowing it was a privilege to care for patients. I never heard one resident complain. And it blew my mind to see how well the medicine and surgery teams worked together. If you needed a surgery consult, the surgeon would be at the bedside in 5 minutes with a smile. This was incredibly refreshing for me to be a part of.  The American culture of medicine is one that is absolutely saturated by complaining. Everyone complain about long hours, about patients, about their attendings (supervisors), about other specialties. That culture simply did not exist at Tenwek. All specialties worked as if they genuinely wanted what was best for the patient and were willing to do whatever it took to accomplish that. I cannot help but know that Jesus is the reason why. The one word that keeps coming to my mind when I think about those people is JOY. They inspired me to have such an attitude- to be the reason why my workplace feels different and to inspire other people to work with purpose. It reminded me that my job is not simply a source of income…but it is what God has led me to do and equipped me to do for His glory.

 market outside the hospital

hills surrounding the hospital

 hydro-plant: the power source of the hospital

 classic Kenyan meal

We worked in the Casualty (their Emergency Room), as well as took medicine call and covered inpatient wards and the ICU. We really enjoyed taking care of patients…but also teaching their residents. It was definitely a “learn and teach” experience. Their residents are much more comfortable with interesting tropical diseases that we rarely get to see in the states, so we had quite a bit to learn from them. On the other hand, Kenya (and the developing world in general) is developing more and more of a Western lifestyle…thank you McDonalds, Coca-Cola, and television. People eat worse, eat more, and are becoming less active…sound familiar? As a result, Western diseases are becoming more prevalent. We saw a ton of hypertension, diabetes, strokes, congestive heart failure, etc.. These diseases are our bread and butter in the US, so we were able to teach their residents and hopefully make a long-term impact on patient care at Tenwek.

The ER team: me, Aaron (the long-term ER doc), Scott, Chris

one of our favorite patients

teaching a resident how to do a bedside ultrasound

I won’t go into too much detail about medical cases, mostly because I don’t want to bore you to death, but I will just list a few really interesting ones that people with a medical background may appreciate.
-14 month old girl in status epilepticus
-Patient with severe epiglottitis who had a respiratory arrest- we coded, intubated, took care of in the ICU for a week, and discharged him home.
-Patient with stage 4 esophageal cancer causing airway obstruction- requiring intubation
-Echinococcus (hydatid cyst in lung)
-Extrapulmonary TB (tuberculosis)
-Hemorrhagic shock after table-saw injury to leg
-Organophosphate overdoses
-Rheumatic Heart Disease
-Tetrology of Fallot

 The Casualty (Emergency Room)

inside the Casualty

men's inpatient ward

There is one patient in particular I would like to share a little more about…not because we did anything heroic, but because we got to witness God perform a miracle. It was our last day at Tenwek. Chris headed to the Casualty a few minutes ahead of Scott and me. When I walked into the room, Chris was doing a bedside ultrasound of a young woman, in her mid-20s. She had just been transferred from a wheelchair into the bed. She was pale, lethargic, and intermittently passing out while Chris was asking her questions. I put the blood pressure cuff on her and the monitor read 50/20 (normal is 120/80).  Her ultrasound showed a ton fluid in her abdomen that shouldn’t be there. Then we saw a fetus in her abdomen. As we looked further, we could see that the fetus was not in the uterus. This was clearly a ruptured ectopic pregnancy. The embryo had implanted in the wrong location making for an unviable pregnancy and a life-threatening condition.  She was rapidly bleeding out into her abdomen. We called for 2 units of code gray blood. We called OB Gyn, and they had her in the Operating Room within 5 minutes. They removed 3 liters of blood from her abdomen, while she received blood through her IV’s. Within a couple of hours, Chris and I were in the recovery room, watching as she lie in a bed with normal vital signs, having regained her color. God saved a life that day. But that’s not the end of the story…

Before that day, this woman and her husband were destined for eternal death. Through a Kipsigis translator, the good news of Jesus was proclaimed to them. Like all of us, they were born into sin. We all sin and fall short of the glory of God.  And the wages of this sin is death. BUT the free gift of God is eternal life. For all who call on the name of the Lord will be saved. On August 22, 2014, this young woman and her husband recognized that God loved them so much that He gave His son to die the death that they deserved.  And He rose, conquering sin and death and offering this same resurrection to anyone who would turn from their sin and turn to Jesus. How could they not accept this gift that God is offering- eternal life! Praise God for His sovereignty. Only He can take a dying woman, brought to a 7-bed casualty in rural Kenya, and change the course of eternity. We felt incredibly blessed to have witnessed this miracle. I look forward to sharing this story for many years to come.

During the long flight over the pond, I had plenty of time to reflect on our time in Kenya, the people we met and learned from, and the things God has taught me.  I thought a lot about the medical missionaries we served with, and how they are spending their lives. They have spent decades educating themselves and becoming specialized in a profession that people expect and anticipate generous monetary compensation for their years of “sacrifice and hard work.” Many of them left lucrative private practices to follow God where He was leading them.  I was reminded that success in a believer’s life is marked by obedience to Christ- not by how this world defines success.
            “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
-Matthew 6:19-21

Having a small window into the suffering that some of my patients experienced, amidst extreme poverty and disease, your heart breaks a little bit. And it makes you think about the bigger picture of the world that we live in right now- which is marked by pain and suffering. We are living in a day where the Ebola virus is spreading rampantly across West Africa, where planes are falling out of the sky or going missing, where terrorism threatens even young children, where death and disease are prevalent everywhere you go….where will we find our hope? Fortunately we have an answer.
            “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?...No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
-Romans 8:35-39

This is the hope that we cling to- the hope that gets us out of bed in the morning, while we live in a world that is filled with pain and suffering. This is the hope that we have to offer others. So to my patients that we could offer few resources, there is still great news. While the treatment of their condition is temporary, we can guarantee them the condition of their soul. And amidst your pain and suffering, there is great reason to have hope. There is a King who wants to welcome you into His family, and nothing can separate you from His love.

Didn't do a safari...but still had some fun the day we left Nairobi

Ethiopian food: should've prayed about this decision before the 24-hour travel home...

Thanks for reading! I appreciate your prayers and words of encouragement while I was away. I hope you have somehow been encouraged by my experience. Please continue to pray for Tenwek Hospital, the long-term missionaries who are faithfully spending their lives in Kenya for the sake of furthering God’s Kingdom, the medical students and residents who are training there, and the patients who are being ministered to. And above all, ask that God’s name would be exalted within the walls of Tenwek Hospital and around the world.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


Browning here.

This is officially my first blog post, so y'all buckle up and hold on. I used to think blogging was reserved for single, middle-aged men who still live with their parents....guess I'm starting to come around.

I want to share about my recent trip to Cambodia. This is not at all a story of the Americans flying in to save the day. This is the story of what God is doing through the local church in Cambodia.  I believe it deserves to be retold for God's glory and the encouragement of the church. I recognize that this story may not have as profound an impact on you as it did me, as we actually had front row seats and were eyewitnesses to the advancement of the church in Cambodia...but I will try my best to do the story justice.

(Monk Sandwich: a rare species)

To give you a very brief background of Cambodia, this is a country that has been ravaged by poverty, disease, corruption, fear, and darkness. From 1975-1979, the Khmer Rouge (a communist party) dominated Cambodia. More than 2 million Cambodians were killed (25% of the country) in an attempt to bring Cambodia back to its agrarian roots and rid the country of all things western. Pretty much anyone who was educated (every doctor, lawyer, teacher, politician) or defied the Khmer Rouge was killed. Needless to say, the country has never really recovered and is now wrought with sex trafficking, illegal logging, poverty, and disease. The predominant belief system is Buddhism, and the government has built temples in most villages. The Cambodian people are referred to as the Khmer people, and the country is divided into provinces, districts, and villages.

And here is where our story begins....Our team was composed of 10 people- 5 ER docs, 2 awesome wives, 1 nurse practitioner, 1 ER nurse, 1 medical student. The trip was led through Mission to the World, which is a Presbyterian ministry which has long term missionaries stationed throughout the world. We flew into Cambodia and were greeted by our host, Dale, who is a Pediatrician and has served with his wife in Cambodia for several years. Upon arrival (Saturday May 3), we were taken to a back alley in Phnom Penh (Cambodia's capitol) where we found the local church that we would be serving with throughout the week- Khmer Christian Church (KCC).

(walking into KCC)

KCC is a church that was founded in 2011, and is pastored by a man named Pastor Samath (affectionately referred to as Pastor Sam). Pastor Sam introduced himself, shared his vision for Cambodia, and handed out detailed itineraries for the week that he had created himself. In short, we would be traveling to 3 remote villages and holding 5 days of clinic. There were very specific reasons why we were going to these 3 villages- Khtaes, Preymean, Preythom. I'll take a little detour here to give more background on why we're going here...

I had the privilege of sitting next to Pastor Sam during a few meals throughout the week and made sure I heard his complete story and vision for these 3 villages. Pastor Sam came to trust in Christ after a life of politics, money, and eventually bankruptcy. He went to work for Campus Crusade for 6 years in Cambodia, raising all of his financial support. He led the first Campus Crusade "Church Planting" team. Pastor Sam met his wife through Campus Crusade, married her, and knew God was pulling them in a new direction. So he resigned from Campus Crusade and began praying for God to show them His will. He said he just wants to serve God because he knows the extent of His grace and love. They felt led to start KCC in 2011 in Phnom Penh. But they didn't just want to start a church. They wanted to spread the good news of Jesus' saving grace to those who had never heard it before, and plant other churches.

(Pastor Sam)

So Pastor Sam started the Khmer Christian Church, and began praying for guidance in what village to go to. He felt God leading him to the Kampong Speu province, where a former staff at Campus Crusade introduced him to Pastor Leng, another man who had a heart for spreading the gospel to unreached villages. They immediately realized that God had given them the same heart- despite pastoring their own individual churches in different towns. Pastor Sam told Leng he wanted to go to the poorest people, and he wanted to go to people who had not heard the gospel. He knew people in the Aoral mountains were isolated and no one really had access to them...or cared about them. Leng knew of the Khtaes village (a tribal village in the Aoral mountains who worship spirits and ancestors), so they made plans to go. So in 2011, they loaded up in a car and set out to reach the Khtaes village....however there was no road. The rainy season combined with the lack of road made it impossible to get to the Khtaes village at this time. So they turned around and went home, and they continued to pray for the village.

In 2013, a dirt road was built. So Pastors Sam and Leng loaded up once again and drove to the Khtaes village. They met with the village leaders to get their blessing to return back to Khtaes. On the way, they discovered a new village- Preymean. They felt a burden for this village which had been previously unknown to them. So they stopped and shared the gospel with 2 people. A second successful trip was made to Khtaes. On this trip, they stumbled upon another new village- Preythom. They felt a burden for this village. So they pulled over on the side of the road, prayed for them, and then continued on their way to Khtaes. On the way home, they stopped in Preythom and shared the gospel. 15 people gave their lives to Christ and a house church was born.

(the road leading to Khtaes village)

Hopefully this sets the stage for our week. On Sunday May 4, we had the privilege of attending church at Khmer Christian Church. It was a powerful experience to worship with this congregation of 35 Khmer, most of whom are very poor by our standards  Although I didn't understand a word of Khmer, I could hear the passion, joy, and conviction in  Pastor Sam's voice. Pastor Sam spoke about Jesus feeding the 5,000 and God providing manna for the Israelites in the wilderness. Somehow, I knew that this message resonated with these people, as they literally rely on God for their daily bread. It was a joy to see many impoverished Khmer putting their money into the "missions offering basket," which is going towards building a church in Preythom. I got chills when I heard the Khmer recite the Great Commission in their own language:

And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."
Matthew 28:18-20

(church at KCC)

Our first two days were spent in Khtaes village. The village leaders were extremely excited to have us, and even gave up their homes for us to sleep in. In clinic, we saw 160 people. None of my patients had ever seen a doctor before. 160 people heard the gospel for the first time. We all attempted to communicate to our patients that God sent us here to help heal their bodies, but also to tell them about Jesus. We use medicine to help heal the body. However, all of our bodies will eventually die. We all need healing of our souls- which lasts forever. Only Jesus can heal our souls. We asked for permission to pray for our patients (which almost all agreed to), and then we told them that if they would like to know more about Jesus, we'd love for them to talk with our Khmer brothers who were manning the "evangelism tent." Most, if not all patients, found there way to Pastor Sam and our other evangelists.

(clinic at Khtaes village)

(sweet Khmer lady)

(Thavareak: my all-star translator)

In all, 11 people said they prayed to receive Jesus as their Savior. And there were many more people who were interested and wanted to know more. Pastor Sam plans to return to continue sharing the good news in the village, with plans to start a church. The village leader has already promised Pastor Sam land to build a church. When asked about follow-up of those who became Christians or those who expressed interest, Pastor Sam's response was simple. "I'll come back and go to every person's house and talk to them. I have their names." Well, that works! He also plans to find a Christian Khmer family to move into the village to make disciples, help establish the church, and raise leaders in the village. It was at this point that I realized this was not a mission trip that ends on May 10. This is part of an ongoing day-to-day ministry that began with prayer in 2011. Our team felt very humbled and honored that we get to help pave the way for the local church. This is the whole purpose of short-term missions! To support the local church in furthering the Kingdom in a way that is real, authentic, and sustainable. As medical providers, it was a blessing to use medicine to serve the gospel- as this was a big part of the ministry of Jesus.

 (our evangelism team at work)

(village boys playing with our dinner)

(we're not in Alabama anymore...)

One patient in particular stands out in my mind during our time in Khtaes. He was a man in his mid-60's who presented with fever, confusion, and vomiting for 10 days. He had a fever of 102 degrees, had a heart rate of 110, and he was altered (did not know his name). For those readers who speak the dialect known as medical jargon, he was septic and delirious with an unknown source of infection. (Given his history of having a black eschar on his chest that fell off, may have been typhus.) It did not look promising for this man. What he needed was an ICU. What we had to offer was antibiotics, water, tylenol, and prayer. So we gave him an antibiotic injection (IM Rocephin), tylenol, nausea medicine (Granisetron), had him pound water bottles, and started him on 2 oral antibiotics (Doxycycline and Augmentin). We were rather honest in telling the patient's sons he may not get better. We gathered around him as a team and prayed for him. We had Pastor Sam pray for him as well. We sent him home, with somewhat heavy hearts, unsure of what would come of him.

The next morning, I made my first house call. A group of us went to check on him at his house. He was lying on a table in the shade. He had normal vital signs, and appeared somewhat better. However, he was still confused. We prayed for him again, and instructed family to continue giving him antibiotics and have him drink plenty of water. On our way out of town that evening, we stopped by one more time to check on him. He was no longer confused and after speaking with Pharoum (a Khmer physician who worked with us), he said he wanted to pray to God and ask Christ to be his Savior! If this was the only good that came of this week, the trip across the globe was well worth it! Had we arrived a few days later, this man probably would have died without ever hearing the gospel. But God, in His Sovereignty, gave him a moment of clarity, revealed Himself to him, and welcomed him into His family for eternity. I don't know what has become of this man in the days to follow, but I know I will see him again one day....

(Khtaes village, in the Aoral Mountains)

The next day was spent at Preymean, where we saw approximately 120 people. The gospel was shared with everyone, and 40 people said they prayed to receive Christ as their Savior and many more were interested. Once again, we felt blessed to communicate to these people that while their physical needs brought them to our clinic, what they need more than medicine is spiritual healing.

(clinic at Preymean)

(evangelism tent at Preymean)

The last two days were spent at Preythom. Preythom is an interesting village, because it was only established in 2011. It is essentially the Cambodian projects, composed of 400 families. The government provided this land, and asked all the province leaders throughout Cambodia to select their poorest families to send here. These people are poor, marginalized, uneducated, and no one else really cares about them. These were obviously the poorest and sickest people that we saw. We saw many malnourished children, which was heartbreaking.

(kids at Preythom)

The clinic was held in the house church, so it was a beautiful thing to have the village drawn to this building. On day 1, we saw 160 adults and many children. The good news of Jesus was shared with all, and 66 become believers with many more interested. Praise God! Looks like the house church of 15 members is going to need a new place to meet!

(clinic/house church at Preythom)

(party of 5)

(obligatory baby pic)

The second day, we lost track of how many patients we saw and decisions made, but we probably saw at least 140 patients and the house church leaders reported much interest in the gospel. Preythom was a particularly cool experience because the house church leaders got to play an active role in evangelizing and sharing their vision for the church.

(the pastor/owner of Preythom house church)

KCC is currently raising money to purchase land and build a church, as well as a pastor's training center to equip pastors from surrounding villages. Pastor Sam has recognized the importance of providing sound biblical teaching as the churches that do exist in Cambodia are very shallow, and he has a passion to not only plant new churches but to strengthen the ones that exist.

This was truly an incredible week. Pastor Sam said that in addition to receiving good medical care, he could tell that the Khmer people were being loved by us. That was ultimately our goal- to love them, provide excellent medical care, and help the local church form relationships with them. Let me be very clear here. Our team did not come to Cambodia as a bunch of heroes. This is the story of a local church who is obeying the Great Commission, as they form relationships with the villages and spread the gospel to the ends of the earth.  We were extremely humbled to be able to participate in their ministry and have an eye witness account of what God is doing through them.

Personally, I felt a renewed sense of calling that this is perhaps the greatest reason that I have been called to practice medicine- to serve the local church as they proclaim the good news of Jesus among the unreached people groups of this world.

If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, "Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame." For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent?"
Romans 10:9-15

I'd like to thank all of you for your prayers. Every request was definitely answered. We had extremely smooth and safe travel, good health, and excellent team unity. I ask that you continue to lift up the following requests:
-Praise God for the mighty works he is doing through KCC and Pastor Samath.
-Ask Him to continue to do great things through this church and its leadership.
-Ask for continued growth of the house church at Preythom.
-Ask for the establishment of churches in Khtaes and Preymean.
-Ask that the Holy Spirit would continue to work in the hearts of those who received medical care and heard the good news of Jesus' saving grace.

(the best part about coming home...)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

October 26, 2013

We were told this would be the day we would meet our son. This was going to be his birthday! Our son was breech and we had known this for some time. We knew he had time to move when we saw him breech at 32 weeks, but when we met with my doctor at 37 weeks he was still breech. We knew a cesarian section was most likely the way our son would enter the world. We had become okay with this reality and that far along in the pregnancy, I was ready to do it and meet him! At 38 weeks our c-section was scheduled. We called our parents and they made plans immediately.

We couldn't believe we knew when we were going to meet him. At that point we were 1 week out from that day. We spent the week cleaning, finishing up the nursery, packing and of course doing some more cleaning. Isn't that what nesting is all about? Over cleaning? I'm pretty sure this is the cleanest our 60 year old house has been. We spent the week talking about all of our "lasts" before we have a baby and more importantly talking about how excited we were to finally meet our son. 9 months is a long time to anticipate something so miraculous! We thought we were as prepared as we could ever be! Once he got here, we quickly realized we were far from prepared! Babies love to surprise you and make you guess!

Friday, October 25, we spent the day with our families who flew in / drove to meet their grandson. What a joy that they were able to plan this, seeing that we live in different states! We went to some of our favorite places in town to eat and talked about how we all couldn't believe our son was going to arrive the next day. Not only  was everyone excited to meet him but to also find out his name. Not one person other than Browning and I knew what it was. We were so excited to finally reveal his name! 

 Browning and me with our parents! 

Our last Steel City Pop without a baby in tow!

Speaking of lasts.... This in fact was the last night of our lives without children! What a bizarre reality that one day you don't have a child to care for and the next you do. You spend 9 months growing a baby and preparing for them.  Then in the blink of an eye, you hear them take their first breath. Pregnancy is such a clear picture of God's majesty! To my surprise I slept great! Of course our 5:00 am alarm came too soon, but I wasn't sure how well I would sleep knowing what was to come in the morning. 

Saturday, October 26, we woke up in sheer excitement! I of course had a bit of nerves mixed in with all the joy as I anticipated my c-section... The first thing I wanted to do when I woke up was to chug some water and eat some food. But of course I wasn't able to, so I decided to pace the house and make sure we had everything ready to go! We loaded the car, said a prayer and headed to the hospital. We arrived at 7:00 and I couldn't believe this was happening. I felt fine (relatively since I was nearly 9 months pregnant), I had no signs of labor and could hardly believe my abdomen was going to be cut open in a matter of hours. Having a scheduled c-section has got to be a completely different experience from those mamas who experience contractions and all that labor entails! We checked in, I got my IV for fluids and some labs drawn, and we waited. We were greeted by several nurses and doctors who were all going to be assisting in my c-section. Side note, I have got to say we had THE BEST staff throughout our entire hospitalization.

Waiting to go back into the OR!

About to make the walk back!

8:45...8:50...9:00 approached and it was time to head to the OR. Unfortunately, Browning was not allowed to enter the OR until I had my spinal block and my abdomen was prepared for the cut. THIS moment was what I was dreading the most. Being separated from him. Thankfully, I had an incredible nurse and a handful of physicians who walked me though the whole procedure, supported me and distracted me! Who knew being a child life specialist that I would need one for myself!?! I was so grateful. The Lord answered prayers as he calmed my heart and gave me so much peace. The spinal block was a piece of cake. I couldn't even believe how quickly the drugs started to work. Within seconds I couldn't feel a thing from the waist down. It was such a bizarre feeling! I could not even lay myself down but fortunately the staff got me settled and waited for the block to make its way up to my chest. After several checks to see where the numbness was, we were ready. The staff did their last 'time out' to ensure that I was indeed Taylor Wayman before they cut open my abdomen....and then it was time. I laid there numb, shaking because of the drugs, anxious, excited and a bit scared, and then they brought Browning back. I am pretty sure I shed some tears of joy to see him! Browning was incredible! He sat right by me, stroking my hair, encouraging me and giving me kisses. It was exactly what I needed. All of a sudden, within minutes we heard our son. 9:17 am, Boone Bryant Wayman entered the world. He was a sturdy 8lbs 0.6oz and 19.25in long! He was perfect!

Boone pre bath!

Boone post bath!

First family pic! Clearly Boone missed the memo to smile...
He was really excited about taking this picture...

We waited until Boone was born to announce his name. I could not wait to share with everyone.  The name Boone has been on my list since high school. When Browning and I found out we were pregnant with a boy, we knew with confidence his name would be Boone. The word boon means blessing and we knew what a blessing from God our son was going to be to us.  What a boon he has been to our lives already.

After weighing him, checking his APGARs and cleaning him off a bit, they brought him to me. It was a moment I will never forget. There lay Boone on my chest and Browning to my left. We were suddenly a family of three. We could not stop starring at him. He was perfect. I couldn't help but see God's glory in that moment. We fell in love immediately. He was snuggly, had a head full of hair, bright blue eyes, his daddy's dimples, his mama's lips and facial expressions. He was ours! We feel so blessed that God has entrusted us to be his parents. Not just that, but He desires for us to bring him up knowing Him. My prayer is that Boone would see exactly who God is, see his desperate need for Him, and submit his life to Him at an early age.

One of my favorite moments!

From the moment he was born, I had completely forgotten my abdomen was cut open, he was pulled out of it, and that my OBGYN was sewing me back up. The surgery could not have gone any smoother. I know with confidence the Lord's presence was in the OR! Praise Him! After skin-to-skin, and my abdomen was closed, the nursing crew took Boone to give him his first bath and I was wheeled to recovery. Reality set in here a bit. I was able to sit up a little and watch Boone get his bath and Browning take a zillion pictures of him. That was our son. He looked at Browning and I knew at that moment Boone was going to look up to his daddy for the rest of his life. I couldn't be more thrilled to watch Browning be a dad. I knew he was going to be the best and he already is. In recovery, our family was able to come and meet their grandson. Browning left recovery (after several staff members came to tell us our families are anxious to hear about how everything went) to reveal Boone's name and stats! Then in walked Browning with our moms. They cried tears of joy as they stood there around Boone. It was a special moment to watch. They had a photo shoot with Boone and then it was the dad's turns. They walked in with Browning and stared at Boone with sheer happiness. Finally after I was able to move my legs a bit it was time to head upstairs to our room.

My two boys!

Things settled down and I began to sit back and soak in everything that had happened the past few hours. I struggled to stay awake because of the drugs, but I wanted to absorb the precious moments with my new family. I was bedridden for a few days which was hard because I was helpless, but thankfully my husband is my rock and waited on me hand and foot. It felt great after the first day being able to get up and walk around... but mostly take a shower!!! Our family stayed in town for the entire time we were at the hospital so they were there to get some Boone snuggles, take a zillion pictures, share in laughs, bring us yummy food, and help us get settled back in our house after we were discharged.

Boone Bryant Wayman

Lolli & Pop Pop on the day Boone was born

JeJe & G-Dub on the day Boone was born

Aunt Hayley with Boone

The sign we used to tell our parents Boone's name

Resting Boone

Pop Pop, Lolli, me & Aunt Hayley

Boone with his Aunt Hayley, Lolli & mama

Aunt Hayley & Browning with Boone

We are sure proud parents

Wayman clan

Boone's second day of life

Lolli & JeJe with Boone

Proud Lolli & Pop Pop

I love my little man

Boone's third day of life

Our pregnancy and delivery experience was incredible. After it was all said and done, I was ready to do it again... I loved pregnancy! Yes, morning sickness is the pits, but it ends. Yes, being  8 months pregnant makes it hard to sleep, but that also ends. Pregnancy is hard, but when you take a step back, it is incredible! Feeling Boone's kicks, punches, movements, hiccups, etc. is a testament to God's power! It is unbelievable to me. We have never felt God's presence more than we did during pregnancy and the first 2 months of having Boone. Our c-section went flawlessly. My spinal block went smoothly, the surgeon performed the c-section effortlessly and Boone entered the world like a champ. We felt blessed and continue to do so. The staff in postpartum was top class. The lactation consultant was a huge help and my OB and Boone's pediatrician were above and beyond excellent. Our hospitalization was so great but we were ready to go home on day 4!

Preparing to leave the hospital

First family picture at home

Here are some pictures of Boone in the early weeks:

Boone's first walk

Lolli was a huge blessing to have in town after we got home

Sweet time with Lolli

Lolli with Boone after his first sponge bath at home

 Us with Boone after his bath

Boone loves his daddy so much

Little snuggler

Back to the time he was in newborn clothes and had all his hair still...

Boone loves his Baylor bears

Mama made him pose naked for some photos

Boone's first Thanksgiving

Fun with JeJe on Thanksgiving

The first few weeks but especially the first 10 days when my hormones were totally out of whack, life was tough. I was so incredibly thankful my mom stayed in town for a week and Browning was off of work for an entire month!  I needed them! I cried at the drop of a hat even when Browning said something sweet to me. I thought hormones were crazy during pregnancy... they were insane after pregnancy. I thought I was crazy, but thank goodness for friends who warned me. I am forever grateful for them. Everything was so different. I had a handsome, happy, and healthy baby in my arms, yet I stressed over how much Boone was eating, if I needed to have him on this perfect schedule, and if I was doing things right... blah blah blah... God had given me a so much grace and confidence through the first few months of parenting. I started this blog post just a few weeks after Boone was born and now I sit here 2 months later. If that doesn't show you how long it takes me to get things done, I don't know what will. I wouldn't change it for the world! Every laugh, giggle, coo, smile and snuggle is worth every tear I shed in the first few weeks (and the sparse tears I still shed). I still find myself stressed. I think that is part of parenthood. No one has it all figured out, but I am thankful God has his Word to guide us through this journey. Time and time again I have to remind myself of that.

Here are some of the weekly/monthly pictures we took of Boone so you can see his how big and strong he has grown!

Boone at four days old

Boone at one week

Boone at two weeks (phone pic...)

Boone at three weeks

Boone at one month

Boone at two months

No one talks about the hard stuff or the yucky stuff of parenting. I wonder why? Are moms embarrassed? Do we think no one else has or will experience what you did? I am so grateful for the friends who did warm me of some things that would have totally freaked me out if I had not already known about them. Yet still, I wonder why the first few weeks of parenting is not discussed among moms and soon-to-be moms. They say once the baby is born you forget all you went through in pregnancy and delivery. I think that's because of sleep deprivation : ) In all seriousness, I will from this day forward share the difficult things with moms-to-be because I think it's only fair and worthwhile. But NOW I get it. Being two months separated from the first few weeks, I have already forgotten about those difficult moments. Those experiences have been replaced with Boone's milestones and new struggles. I now know why women forget to share the difficulties of the first few weeks, but I will never forget them. I grew from them. So much has changed since then (yes, so much can happen in two months when there is a baby around!)

Thankful for our amazing friends who will stand out 
in the cold to take some pictures for us

Our family

Can't get enough of holding him

Boone and his daddy

Love naked baby pics

Snuggles make this mama happy

Boone has grown so much physically and developmentally! He is currently in the 95th percentile in height and 90th in weight. He is 10.5 weeks old, 12lbs, wearing size 3 clothes but can also fit into some 3-6mo outfits and is in size 2 diapers!! He is cooing, smiling at faces and toys, reaching/punching/kicking objects, giggling (on the verge of a belly laugh), sleeping through the night and starting to take naps in his bed. He enjoys his play mat (time on his back and a short amount of tummy time), having books read to him, playing with his favorite toys (O'ball and sensory monkey), walks, his swing, snuggles (like his mama), and of course showing us the pouty lip here and there! He has been such a joy! Parenthood is hard but incredibly challenging, joyous, rewarding, and fun! We love it! We love our Boone!

Here are our most recent pics:

Boone loves the tree lights

It is so hard to capture his smiles... pretty close here

This picture makes my heart so happy

Christmas Eve at our friends' house

Christmas morning play time

Christmas morning with daddy

Christmas morning with mama

We have not completely neglected Lady. 
She definitely misses being an only child but LOVES Boone

Christmas outfit #2

Proof of how much Lady loves her brother.
He loves watching her too

Another picture to make this mama's heart smile

Currently my favorite picture of Boone

G-Dub and JeJe came to visit on New Years Day

Boone learning all about Baylor

Uncle Larson and Aunt Emily gave Boone lots attention, snuggles, and smiles

Love this pic of them

A few years back a good friend told Browning and I that parenting is a sanctifying process. I brushed that aside seeing that we were not even trying to start a family. Now that we have a son, I am finally seeing this come to life. As I consider what sanctification means, this has become my prayer every day. I have seen more than ever how selfish I am. I am not just needing but wanting to put Boone before myself. He needs us to meet his every need. This is hard but a joy to do. Sanctification is the process by which God transforms our lives into the image of Christ. We are to strive to be more like Him. Christ is the only man to ever live a fully perfect, selfless, humble, and loving life. These are the perfect characteristics of being a successful parent. We have Christ as our example. We need His perfect example to guide us to humble ourselves and love Boone the way Christ loves us.

"Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant
brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep,
equip you with everything good for doing his will, 
and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, 
to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen."
Hebrews 13:25

Also, special shout out to our friends who have served us by bringing us meals, coming to meet Boone, checking on us and simply loving on us. We have felt the body of Christ in a whole new way! We are so grateful for your friendships!

We are sending you off with some of Boone's crazy/sweet/ridiculous faces:

I have thousands of pictures I could post but only so little space and time. And lets be honest, you don't want to scroll through thousands of pictures... unless you are Boone's family, then I take it you wouldn't mind! Maybe I will find time during successful naps to post some more, but for now, I will spare you!

The Waymans
Browning, Taylor, Boone & Lady