Sunday, September 25, 2011

Waiting for the Labor Pains

Everything that happens to us, happens for a reason. It's not some trite saying. I truly believe that all things are ordained and scheduled. "And we know for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28)

So when I was pregnant with L I knew the time would come to give birth. I didn't know WHEN exactly that would happen, but I knew it would happen. As September approached I thought that it would pretty soon and started making all the preparations and letting family know that I thought it'd be soon. But I didn't know for sure when he would come.

Then it started happening. Around 2am I had one of those familiar 'different' contractions. With A I felt one and she was born 8 hours later. With G I felt one and he was born 2 1/2 hours later. With this baby? I was sure it would be quick and so I had to be prepared. But I waffled back and forth as to whether we should get ready and get to the hospital because the contractions weren't very strong, or very consistent. I've always heard that, 'you'll know when it's time to take them seriously.' And in those early hours they weren't very serious. I could talk through them, walk fine, and even put on make up before we left the house at 4:30am. We got to the labor and delivery floor and everything was quiet, we were calmly chatting and laughing about how things went the last time we arrived there.

It was so different this time around, we figured we'd have a baby before breakfast. I wondered whether cheesecake would be on the menu for lunch. And we waited. And waited. My mom even arrived from out of town. Lunch came and went. Then it was mid-afternoon. The three of us waiting for our baby to arrive, for labor to get going for real, for SOMETHING! We were starting to get testy, a little frustrated that things weren't going like we thought they would. Mom went to get the kids, would we have the baby in time for them to come back and meet their new sibling that day? And so we prayed. Why is this taking so long Lord? What should we do? We needed wisdom to make choices about if we should wait it out, break my water, or order pitocin to make contractions start. We felt better after praying and when we talked with the doctor around 4:30 we had her order the pitocin. And we waited some more. 'Dinner' came (for me that was more clear liquids again). We waited more. The daytime doctor left and then the night shift doctor came back, surprised to see that I was still pregnant after checking in that morning. Finally around 8:30 the pitocin came and the labor really got going. We didn't have to wait long after that, L took his first breath around 9:30.

It was easy to get frustrated when his arrival was, in my thought, 'taking so long.' But it would have been silly for me to think he wouldn't ever come. If after 4 or 5 hours I just gave up and thought, 'well, I guess I'm not having a baby after all.' Right?

When I read passages in the bible about a woman's labor pains I really can relate to what it's saying. So today I'm home with the baby and I listened to a sermon online that Hubby preached back in July about the coming of the Kingdom of God from Luke 17:20-37. It was about how people were asking Jesus about when the messiah would come and then later Jesus talks about his second coming. He also referenced the text 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11. Here's part of that:

"Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, "There is peace and security," then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober."

So Jesus is coming and it's for sure, but like labor pains, you never know when they are going to start, but you know they aren't going to end without a baby being born. Just like that, we don't know when Jesus is coming back, but he said he was and he doesn't lie so we better be ready! Currently, I can also relate to the 'let us not sleep' part...

In other parts of the Bible, Jesus likens the day in heaven as a wedding feast. In Ephesians he uses a term for the Holy Spirit as a 'seal' and back then a seal was a signet ring that sealed an envelope closed. The imagery evokes the thoughts of the Holy Spirit in us as being like an engagement ring. Being here on earth now as a Christian, with the Holy Spirit living inside of us is like being engaged to Jesus but not knowing what day the wedding will be. We just have to wait.

And like us in the hospital, it's hard to wait. It is hard when you think things should happen a certain way or a certain time and God has other ideas. For me, I wanted so badly to be pregnant for the last few years, but we had to wait. In life we have all these expectations and plans but ultimately it's all in God's hands. Things might not happen as I thought they would, but I know that God has a plan for it all. I rest in that trust that nothing will happen to me or my family that he didn't know about first and allow to happen. He doesn't make bad things happen, but He'll use it all for good.

Another verse about labor pains is John 16:21-22.

"When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you."

And it's the truth. There is so much sorrow here on earth. I hate death for all the pain that it brings and for the fear it strikes in my heart at the thought of loosing a loved one. We have sorrow here on earth because things are not the way God intended them to be. Crap happens, people get sick, things don't go the way they should. But this life is not all there is. God is redeeming this life on earth to give us a better life with him and when we see him our hearts will rejoice and no one will take away our joy. 

I so long for that day, it's my dream that Jesus would just come back and take us home. But I know that God is not delaying for no reason. 2 Peter 3:8-10 says:

"But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed."

So he has not come back yet because he's wanting more people to repent and turn to him. Who is he patiently waiting for? If you haven't committed your life to him, perhaps it's YOU we are all waiting on! Tell him you are sorry and invite him to control into your life. Then maybe it'll be time for him to come back and we can all be go and be with him. I can hardly wait for that day.

Friday, September 23, 2011

10 years later

2001 was a big year for us. We got married in May, moved into married student housing and Hubby started working at Church in September. It's hard to believe those things were all 10 years ago. I still think of the 2000's as not that long ago. A lot of other 10 year anniversary events will happen next year like my graduation from college and buying our first house.

But it's really hard to believe it's been 10 years since that Tuesday morning. I celebrated my 21st birthday Monday night by drinking a glass of wine with our dinner in our little student housing apartment. We didn't do anything big, but Hubby had planned to surprise me the next day by going up to celebrate with my parents. Tuesday morning came just like all the others, starting my day by getting up and catching one of the buses over to my Psychology lab class that started at 9:30 and went for two periods. I remember the room and a little something of what we were discussing that day. I remember taking our break in between periods and seeing people chatting about something in the Psych building hall. The class got out around 11:15 and I headed over to the Reitz Union for some lunch before my 'Meat We Eat' class at 12:50. Things were kind of buzzy when I walked in the Student Activities Office to say hi to my friend. She looked pretty busy. I still remember our words. 'Heya, how are you doing today?' She passed me a sheet of paper and said, 'I'm doing better than people in the rest of the world.' I was quizzical but then looked at the paper in plain black and white at the top it stated, 'This is what we know right now...' That's how I learned about what had happened while I was in class. I looked at her and said, 'This is bigger than Oklahoma City.... Is this bigger than Pearl Harbor?'

10 years makes a lot of difference. The world was so different from today. Before smart phones, before Facebook and Twitter. News traveled so slowly then in comparison with now. I didn't even have a cell phone then. I watched the TVs they had set up in the Student Activities office, the news media all in confusion about what was happening. I was glued to it until it was time for me to go to my class. How could I think about cutlets of beef today? Would I remember anything from that lecture except exchanging sad glances with my teacher, showing that he too was informed while the co-eds around me seemed blissfully unaware? Walking out of class, somehow I heard that classes for the rest of the day had been canceled. Didn't matter to me anyway since I was done for the day. I got back on bus and held my sheet of paper so that others could read off of it, I was hungry for information and knew others hadn't even heard yet about what happened. I wanted to talk with people about it. I couldn't wait to get home so I could call Hubby.

It's funny, I don't remember talking to him or when he got home, but I remember just watching TV all night long. We'd switch channels to see if the other stations had any new information. Were there more attacks coming? Was it done? What had happened in Pennsylvania? Were there other planes unaccounted for? And over and over again I saw the plane crashing into the building. I sat there for hours, speechless, shocked. I couldn't pry myself away from the news coverage. Tears came when President Bush gave his speech that night and I so wanted justice for all the people who died. The country came together.

We didn't go to my parents' house that night, sticking close to home was probably safer. For most people flying was out of the question if it wasn't totally necessary. All the football games were canceled. I still blame the terrorists for UF's loss against Tennessee that year. Well, the terrorists and Darnell Dockett. If we'd played the game in September we'd surely have won. But having it in December after Earnest Graham's knee had been wrenched by a foul FSU player and we couldn't get the win.

I remember crying a year later at our church's remembrance service, now everything was more clear. We knew who was responsible, we'd seen video of the terrorists arriving at the airport, we'd heard phone messages from people on Flight 93. They stopped showing the videos and pictures of people jumping from the towers because the networks were afraid of distressing people. By then we'd seen footage of the first plane hitting and security cameras showing the crash at the Pentagon. People had shared all their personal accounts and how many times did I cry?

Even today when I see a plane in the sky I think about that day. After having watched it happen over and over on all the news reports, I see a plane now and think it would be natural to then see it fly into a building.

So much has changed since that day. The world is not as naive as it was. I have changed since that day. Then I was just establishing myself as an adult. I can't believe that freshmen in college this year were in 3rd grade when it happened. Now I'm a mom of three (whoa!), have a mortgage and am no longer a newly married girl. I wonder at what kind of world I've brought these kiddos into and at what age they'll learn it's full of sin.

I'm reading a new mom devotional and thought the poem this mom wrote for her son was appropriate for how I'm feeling:

For Matthew
by Miriam Sieber Lind

Dear Little One,
Our newest, tenderest son,
What world we brought you to, we cannot know.

Neither did Hannah know
As on her happy heart sweet Samuel lay
A very Yes of God

Neither did Eunice know
As, prattling prayers, the tiny Timothy stood
Within her circling arms.

Nor did the saintly Monica forsee
If her Augustine's world should thrive or split;

And that unique Susannah, tutoring
Young John, small Charles,
She knew nor more than they...

Than I. But I do know,
As faith-filled they too knew,
That if your times be anguished or be still
It is God's will
That you should live therein to his high praise.

And so I singing hold you to myself.
In strong sweet faith I sing;
Our little son,
Dear, newest, tenderest one.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

L's First Week

L was born on Thursday night and we'd wanted to leave on Friday afternoon or evening, but they usually like babies to stay 24 hours after they are born. We'd been there for 20 hours already and were ready to get home on Friday. We had lots of visitors on Friday, my mom and the kids came by. Then Sisnlaw and the two cousins, our pastor, my dad and both grandmothers, then a couple of girlfriends.

We kept hoping we'd be released that night but they heard a heart murmur and wanted to run some tests and have him stay overnight. They had him see a pediatric cardiologist and she said it was just an innocent murmur and that it would likely close up soon. The pediatrician saw him in the morning and said he was probably just fine and it was okay for us to go home that day. Hubby had gone home for the night to get some rest and I got to have some one on one time with L.

Back at home Hubby noticed that A was getting a rash on her neck along with the sore throat she had for 2 days. He called me about it and I asked the pediatrician when she came in to talk about L. She said it was likely strep throat. So Hubby made an appointment for her to go in. It was strep throat and when there is a rash it's called Scarlet Fever. She never did have a fever and nowadays it's not the serious illness that it used to be. The pediatrician said it was fine for L to be around her since children under 2 years rarely would catch that.

So we finally got out of the hospital around 1:45 and got home and my Sis was there to greet us. We visited for a while and then the rest of the afternoon and evening we just rested and spent time looking at our sweet new little baby. A wanted to hold him all the time and was just in love. She wanted to touch him and hold him and get her picture taken with him.

Sunday we had planned to go to church, but since A had only started her antibiotics at noon on Saturday she was still contagious so we stayed home. It was a good time to all be at home and resting together. We got to play with the kids and take shifts napping and taking care of L.

Hubby could get a little work done while he was holding him.
Some friends came by to bring us a meal (Thank you!!!) and the adults and their daughter enjoyed seeing the baby. Her boys were more interested in the toys, which made me feel better about G's interest in L. He loves him and likes to see him, a little, but is not addicted to him like A is. Must be a girl thing!

Just big as Daddy's arm.
 On Tuesday A went back to school and so it was the boys first day at home together. Sweet brothers!
 We had our first outing as I took the boys to Bible Study that was starting for the fall that day. L did great and everyone there was so surprised when I arrived. He did great, I nursed him twice and changed him and he didn't fuss the whole morning while we were there.

 I caught a little smile!

 Wednesday was the day of his first doctor's appointment. And here is what he was like a week before...
 The check up went great, Dr. said his heart murmur was gone and that he looked wonderful.
 My mom was at the house from Tuesday to Thursday afternoon. She cleaned almost every square inch of my house (for instance, she spent an hour and 1/2 cleaning the bottom tracks on the sliding glass door in the kitchen, whew!). She is very thorough and I appreciated the deep cleaning that she did.
 Thursday morning I went over to a friend's house who is a photographer and she took these gorgeous newborn photos of L. I am so blessed, what a sweet boy!

And that's how the first week of L's life has gone. It's been a blessing for us, we are so in love.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

It's a Boy!

7 lbs 4oz
9:33 pm
19 inches

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Labor Day!

Thursday September 1st

1:50am- Feel first contraction, start wondering....'is this it?'
1:58- Second contraction, guess it must be time. Think we could be having this baby by 5 am!
2:30- Wake up Hubby, not sure if it's time
3:30- Call doctor, he says he'd rather see me sooner rather than later
4:00- Get showered, call hospital
4:30- Ready to go, call Sisnlaw to come be with the kids
4:45- Take a picture and we are off to the hospital

5:00-Arrive at hospital and check in. Contractions coming at 4 minutes apart, but not serious ones yet.
5:30-In the triage room, remembering how quickly G arrived and glad we aren't having this baby in the car. Checked and I'm 4cm dilated. Called my parents to let them know today was probably the day!
6:00- Admitted to hospital, moved to our room.
7:00-  Met with the doctor on call and told him I was feeling great.
8:00- Contractions are slowing down, not much happening. New doctor on call checks and I'm 4-5 cm now.
9:00- Mom leaves to drive here.
10:00-Wondering if we'll have the baby before lunch time because I'm getting hungry. Clear liquids aren't cutting it.
11:00- Mom arrives, never thought she'd make it before the 3rd baby came. Take a walk around to try and get contractions going.
12:00pm- Still waiting, some contractions. Hubby goes to get lunch.

1:00- Mom and Hubby take naps. I rest and have contractions. My doctor comes to check on me, maybe she will get to deliver one of my babies after all! Sweeps my membranes and I'm 5cm.
2:00- Getting bored, Hubby has played lots of rounds of solitaire on my computer and I'm tired of watching TV. Pain is still not too bad, but it's exhausting just sitting around waiting on things to get going.
3:30- Mom leaves to go pick up kids from Sisnlaw's house. We are still hoping to have the baby before dinner so they can come meet their new sibling.
4:00 - Pray with Hubby that God would give us wisdom as to what we should do. Should we wait it out for days like this? Should we have them break my water and get it done? Should we order Pitocin?
4:30- Consult with doctor and have Pitocin ordered. She checks me and I'm 5-6 cm. Slowly but surely I guess.
5:30- Still waiting to get the pitocin, but 'dinner' comes. I am excited to get some broth until I realize it's a cup of hot water I have to sprinkle a beef packet into. I devour the popscicle, jello, broth, and juices.
6:00- No pitocin yet, but I start having some bad back pain and some contractions get going.
7:00- Back pain goes away, contractions stall. Am amazed that I've been doing this for 17 hours now considering G was born in under 3 hours.

8:00- Am totally worn out. Wonder if I can do this at all when the hardest part is still to come. Reconsidering having an epidural and just having them break my water and get it over with.
8:30-Pitocin finally arrives, they check me and I'm 6cm. They start me on the pitocin and get a birthing ball for me to sit on to help with contractions. Contractions start coming and are starting to be painful.
8:45-Up the level of pitocin and contractions are becoming more frequent
9:00- Contractions are serious now, painful and I'm having to breath through them.
9:15-I'm doubled over with pain and can't walk anymore.
9:27- Baby kicks and my water breaks. Doctor on call is paged to come up from the ER.
9:33pm- L K is born! The doctor comes in in time to see him on my chest. Thank goodness my nurse has experience delivering babies, she's in training to be a mid-wife.
10:00pm While I'm nursing the baby Hubby goes to McDonald's to get me a much deserved cheeseburger and fries. Mmmmm.