Mar 312009
 

My oldest two do not remember a time without our second set. As far as they’re concerned, we’ve always had four kids. And now we have this little singleton babe that they all agree is “very cute!”

But…

The first day he was home Bay Bit asked her grandma, “Where’s the baby?’

“He’s right there sweetie.” She replied.

“No, where’s the other baby?”

We’re Kingdom Twindom plus ONE! And by the way, I still love having twins, but one is super fun!

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 March 31, 2009  Things Kids Say 5 Responses »
Mar 302009
 

I talked with Kiersten, my midwife, for a little while last night. She said, in response to my last cliffhanger post, “I can’t wait until you get your computer fixed!” I laughed and said, “But you already know what happened!”

So I figured, if she’s that interested in the gory details, even though she witnessed them first hand, some of you might be politely waiting on pins as well.

Like I said, the birth was just perfect. I’m not going to lie, the contractions from about 9 cm through the delivery were positively mind-splitting. At first, I really didn’t know how I was going to push through them. But they showed me the crown of his little (15 in.) head in a mirror, and my desire to get that baby out of my belly and onto my chest finally took over. They even had to slow me down to avoid tearing. I think he was born about ten minutes from that point.

After the delivery, I was blissful. He was perfect, I felt great, and we all just sat around and stared at him. I took bets on his weight and we all talked about what cousin or sibling he looked the most like.

I delivered the placenta about twenty minutes after the birth. As far as I am aware, my uterus seemed to firm up right away. One of the midwives would check me every five minutes or so and, if you’ve had a baby you’ll know what I mean by, “mash away at my uterus.” I really hate that part!:) But instead of getting increasingly firmer, it seemed to be getting more and more “boggy”. One of the midwives (Joan) swept my cervical opening to check for retained placenta, and I’m pretty sure I yelled out louder at that point than I had during the entire birth. The blood that was released was estimated at 1.5 liters. I immediately felt faint and shaky, and Kiersten ran to call 911. I don’t remember feeling scared until the paramedics arrived. The midwives gave me a shot to help firm my uterus, started an IV, and put me on oxygen. From my perspective, the mood in the room was still calm and peaceful, although Kiersten has informed me that was not at all reality. They sure had me fooled though, professional through and through.

My first time on an ambulance gurney was bizarre and scary, and it’s not an experience that I’d care to repeat any time soon. I was dizzy and barely conscious, and I felt like I was hoisted twenty feet into the air.

Once in the ER, the doctor on call did another sweep through my cervical opening. She announced what she was going to do before she began, and I just started to scream and cry. I’ll blame my little fit on the loss of blood, but I was not happy. At. All. Then, she said that she needed to do another more invasive sweep, but that she would try to get some drugs through my IV in time. I tried to announce that they had not taken affect, but that didn’t seem to matter. Something about stopping extreme blood loss being more important that sparing me pain. Whatever.

In no time at all, I was being wheeled to recovery. I guess the drugs had finally taken effect, because even my memories of the the faces in the room are veiled and blurry. But I do know who was there, and I am so grateful to each and every one of them. I remember my doctor hugging my midwives and everyone breathing a heavy sigh of relief. And I also remember the final blood loss being estimated at over two liters. I had a very graphic fantasy of a coke bottle full of blood, and I started to feel faint again. Then I slept for at least two or three hours.

I couldn’t sit up straight for about nine hours, but while lying down I felt good, and I had even started to get some color back by dawn. I was given the option of not receiving any blood, but I was also assured that my recovery would be a long, anemic road. I took two units and was released around seven o’clock that same evening!

I’m sure you all want to know, but I’m still not exactly sure what the problem was. I know I had retained some membrane that was finally recovered on the third (possibly fourth) sweep. But, basically, I just kept hearing that I had a “floppy” uterus. Considering how much it’s been stretched, and three times in the past four years, I guess that makes sense…but it’s still scary.

I do not regret having a vbac in the birthing center. If anything, my faith in midwives has only been proved. It was so nice to hear the doctor commend them saying, “Well done.” and “Thanks for leaving me with so little to do!” I feel certain that I was able to have the birth I wanted and still be in the best possible hands.

He was born just after midnight on Thursday morning, and by Friday evening I was ready to go out to eat for my thirtieth birthday! I’m taking it easy besides a few brief outings; but, after giving birth, it’s a nasty chest cold that is really taking me down. The older kids all have it, too, so please remember us in your prayers (especially if you’re up in the middle of the night!).

More, just as soon as I can!

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 March 30, 2009  3rd pregnancy 11 Responses »
Mar 272009
 

Not taking the camera into Wal-Mart was a big mistake. I mean, the video would have been award winning (at least on a comedic level). Half-way from the van to the front door I asked Papa Bear to “Sllloooowwww doooowwwn!” I was starting to have contractions that I couldn’t fake my way through.

“Do you want to just go straight to the center?” he asked.
“No, let’s give it a few minutes and see what happens.”
I had a few things to return, and I grunted through one contraction as the greeter tagged my items. Then, I winched through another as the customer service gal processed my return.
“I can’t find this item in our system.” she said. “Would you like me to go check on it?”
“No!! Umm…no, that’s fine. I’ll just keep it.”
Between contractions, I was fine (and amnesiac-ly forgetful). I wanted to look at pjs. I remembered all sorts of random things that we needed. Then a contraction would hit and I’d grab the cart and visit loopy town for about 45 seconds. I know people were looking at me in horror. Well, it serves them right. They’ve been staring at me like I was about to explode for about three months now!
_________
Before heading to the center, we called my parents, my good friend Rachel, and, of course, the midwife on call. My contractions were about 2.5 minutes apart, but they were only lasting 30-45 seconds. It was almost 7:00 pm.
_________
We showed up at the center laughing hysterically (although I can’t remember now about what). For the next three hours, that was pretty much the drill. In the time away, I had dilated to 7 cm! We were so excited and the mood was just perfect. By 9:30 or 10:00 pm, my birthing party had all arrived. I heard a rumor that someone in the living room didn’t think we were taking things seriously enough, and from that point on, I absolutely could not stop laughing (except every minute or so during the contractions). Never tell a silly person to get serious. It just doesn’t work!
_________
Around 11 pm, I began squatting though contractions. At one point, I really thought he was going to be born right there on the floor. But, as it turns out, natural birth is not that easy! Ha! The contractions were so intense by that point, and so close together, that I think I inadvertently kicked everyone but Papa Bear and the midwives out of the room.
I’d have to say that natural childbirth was a little more intense than I had predicted, or at least than I had hoped. But what an incredible experience! My mind was literally swarming with Biblical analogies (none of which are clear on my first day postpartum).
I specifically remembered Jennifer’s post about offering it up. I wanted to sob as I prayed that Jesus would be glorified through my pain. I can only hope that He was.
_________
It took about 30 minutes for me to push out our 8lb 6oz blessing. It only took me twenty-minutes to push out both Lil Prince and Bay Bit combined. I’ll write more about this later, but let me just say that the epidural might not be everything it’s cracked up to be. It gave me a completely pain free birth with my second set, but the recovery was weeks of horrendous pain. Today, just one day postpartum, I can honestly say I am in no pain at all.
_________
The baby formerly known as Womb Dweller emerged from his 38 week incubation at 12:15 am (fifteen minutes into his due date). I was ecstatic and felt absolutely wonderful.

For about half an hour….
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Mar 272009
 

I have so much that I want to remember; so if this gets really long, I might need to write it in pieces.

But first of all, how fun to open my e-mail this morning and see all the well wishes! Thank you!

If you follow me on Twitter, you were probably pretty sure about what was happening yesterday. I received a call on Wednesday afternoon from one of my midwives. My liver profile had come back with borderline results. Nothing very concerning, but just one more thing that might have landed me in the hospital for a cesarean. She suggested that I come right in for a check and a sweep. I was pretty worried that I still hadn’t dilated and a sweep wouldn’t even be possible. But on faith, I decided to call Papa Bear back from the one day of work he had found this week, and we headed off to Taos leaving the kids at home with my mom.

On the way there I said, “If she’s able to sweep, I want to go out to dinner and walk around Wal-Mart before heading home…just to wait and see.”

“OK.” he answered. “Where do you want to eat?”

Now, I really wanted sushi, but I figured he knew that, so I left the decision up to him.

“It doesn’t matter to me. Where do you want to go?” I said in my best lying voice.

“Ummm…I’m really in the mood for Outback Pizza.”

“Oh.”

“Well, where do you want to go?”

“No, Outback is fine.”

I started to dread going into labor with a belly full of pizza, and I almost insisted on sushi. But then I remembered reading about Italian restaurants who claim to induce labor. I assumed it had something to do with the Oregano and Basil, and since Outback has a wonderful fresh herb dressing. I thought that just might be God.

_________

I was dilated to three cm when she checked me at 4:00 pm. She did a pretty invasive sweep, and we all crossed our fingers.

_________

We arrived at the restaurant sometime around five. I ordered a salad with extra dressing and a slice of Basil Pesto pizza. Almost as soon as we left the birthing center I began to have contractions, but during dinner they grew stronger and came much closer together.

After finishing our meal, we left the restaurant and headed to Wal-Mart…

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 March 27, 2009  3rd pregnancy 2 Responses »
Mar 272009
 

I can absolutely promise that you will be inundated with pictures, details, and yes, the birth video over the next few days. But for tonight, I just wanted to let you know that all is well. We’re home now with our number five blessing (who was born at 12:15 this morning). I had a little scare which I will tell you about tomorrow, but everything is fine now. Thank you all so much for your prayers!
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 March 27, 2009  3rd pregnancy 41 Responses »
Mar 252009
 

What do I really believe about prayer?

Here are a few statements that I believe to be 100% true. They may not appear to make any sense together; therein lies my struggle:

We live in a fallen, imperfect world.

God is sovereign and preeminent throughout time.

God is good.

Not everything that happens is the perfect will of God, but He will work all things for the good of the faithful.

Prayer is necessary to the Christian walk and we hold the power of life and death in our mouths.

We should pray according to the will of God.

Can you see where I might struggle with this issue?

Do you know if you are a Calvinist or an Arminianist (I know, Mommies aren’t supposed to talk like that)? I’m proudly proclaiming that I am neither. I have spent a great deal of time and energy exploring both, but about a year ago a man made a statement that changed my spiritual life:

“If your view of Jesus is big enough, there is no difference between Calvinism and Arminianism,” he claimed.

“Ummm…what?” I responded.

The point [I eventually realized] he was making, is that some of us see Jesus as the Alpha. Others see Him as the Omega. Still others see Him as the Alpha and the Omega (which is closer). But we ought [as he claimed] to see Him as the Alpha through the Omega.

Does that make sense?

Jesus certainly isn’t just at the beginning of time looking down a long stretch and choosing who will live, who will die, who will follow, and who will not. But He’s also not just at the end looking back on everything we prayed, everything we did, and everything we desired. He’s in the beginning. He’s at the end. And He’s on, in, and through every single second of the timeline in between.

Serious goose bump moment?!

Do I believe we can change God’s mind by praying? Not necessarily. But I do believe we can change the outcome of any particular situation by praying on the side of God’s will. This is such a huge mystery, and I’m no theologian, but I know there is a constant battle in the heavenlies and that our prayers are needed in the war.

I believe that God created us, and this entire universe, with perfection in mind. But He also created us with a free will so that we could fully choose Him (or not). I do not believe (or see any evidence to support) we are living in a universe that reflects the perfect will of God.

Now please don’t think I am saying that any of this is taking God by surprise. Considering His preeminence, that would be absolutely impossible. God is never surprised, but I think He’s often saddened.

The best example I can give is from the Old Testament. Clearly, God did not want to grant Israel a king. He didn’t have to give in to their whining (we can’t force God), but I think it’s important to note that He chose their will over what He knew was best for them. He allowed Samuel to appoint Saul as king over Israel.

Even more interesting to me is what ultimately happened to Saul’s kingdom. It certainly appears that the Lord intended to permanently establish Saul’s kingdom over Israel. It seems that a perfect God has humbled Himself to work in, with, and through a very imperfect people. And it also seems, to me, that God has back-up plans.

Does that sound disrespectful? I hope not! What I mean is that God has a plan and a plan and a plan. This is why no matter how many times we goof, we can just never surprise or derail Him. And ultimately, which is not the same as in the every day, He will absolutely see His perfect will accomplished.

Satan will be defeated.

Sin, pain, and death will be no more.

In the meantime, I think we just keep on asking. It’s important that we pray His will, but there are some things (like salvation for the lost) that simply cannot fall outside of His perfect plan. And we can boldly ask Him for those things!

What happens when we still don’t see the answer we were so sure we had the right, even the godly obligation, to storm heaven for?

I don’t know.

I really don’t know.

But I do know who God is. And I do know that I have no other choice but to trust and follow Him.

You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.

Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.

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 March 25, 2009  Christianity 6 Responses »
Mar 222009
 

I love going to church, but I also don’t mind skipping to spend a nice peaceful day at home. That’s what we’re doing today.

My mom is here (she lives about four hours away). She’s a teacher, and this next week is her Spring Break. She’s my only full-time help (although Papa Bear will be around a bunch this month), so we’re sure hoping our little bundle makes his appearance very, very soon.
Papa Bear and I took a walk alone last night. It was so nice! I’m really not sure how long it’s been since we’ve taken a walk together…just the two of us. We walked about a mile. A half mile in I started experiencing a lot of, ummm….cervical pain. Pain is gain, right? But still, no signs of labor. I know I’m stressing about this too much. I just hadn’t even imagined the prospect of my mom having to leave before a week postpartum. That is, I hadn’t imagined it until yesterday.
OK, Mama, that’s enough worrying and griping!
The weather is a little wintery this morning, but if it clears up we’ll take another family walk this afternoon. The kids are sure loving getting out so much! It’s been a long winter.
But
Boy
Do
We

Love
Spring!!

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 March 22, 2009  3rd pregnancy 6 Responses »
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