Wednesday, August 10, 2016

A Sunflower

Since Jeremy is blessed to have a first-ever paternity leave available for him to take, the kids have been enjoying lots of daddy time lately...they've been doing math schoolwork and receiving rewards when they finish each unit. We've taken them bowling, to a movie, and next will either be a Honkers baseball game or to bounce world. It's been a very special time.

Yesterday Jeremy was out doing some yard work with the kids in the back while I was indoors with Gabriella. I heard Sayde come inside for a few minutes and then go back out, then I heard some squabbling out the window. I looked out and saw Sayde and Hudson arguing by the sunflower growing up against our fence in the back yard. It was taller than either one of them. Sayde had brought out her little step stool from the bathroom upstairs and was apparently trying to pick our one and only sunflower! Hudson was telling her not to and trying to keep her from it. Jeremy told her, "if you leave it alone it will grow taller than Mommy." So she said , "oKAY, but I can still pick the OTHER flowers over there!" pointing to a yellow flower bush outside Hudson's bedroom window.

Sayde loves picking flowers outside. Nearly every day she brings inside not only flowers and dandelions she's picked for me, but also pine cones, sticks, grass cuttings and pine needle branches. She sure loves nature!

Friday, August 5, 2016

Introducing Gabriella Rose

I've made it a tradition to write birth stories or at least a few notes about the births of each of my children. No matter how many times I'm told that once I have more than two or three I won't have baby books for all of them, or that somehow it gets easier once you get past three kids...none of that is true for me. It is incredibly challenging having four children under the age of seven. We are doing the best we can, but I know we're far from the most competent, expert parents out there. We don't assume with arrogance that we can handle anything. We're crying out to God for help!

Gabriella's birth is different from the first three kiddos because I had to be induced. I tried all kinds of natural remedies to go into labor before the induction date, but we still ended up arriving at the hospital early morning of July 14th. It felt funny to be strolling into labor and delivery without labor contractions.  I was soon hooked up to an IV with fluids and pitocin to synthetically start it all. Jeremy and I were prepared with essential oils to help progress labor quickly and help with pain management, but a few hours later these contractions were not like normal labor contractions I've been very familiar with from my previous three babies. Baby still had a high head station and was not progressing down to the birth canal. The birth was beginning to not be so natural and unmedicated as I had planned, the epidural was called in for pain management.  Finally the obstretrician, a very pleasant woman, recommended a repeat c-section due to an "arrest of descent" and heart rate issues of the baby during contractions. My midwife had actually advised no more pushing and had me lying on my left side and breathing oxygen for the baby. It was not going well, so I was relieved by that evening to finally hear that I needed the c-section.

Maybe I was supposed to fight the c-section and maybe I didn't seem so brave being relieved that I no longer had to work for hours longer trying to push a baby out of me...I was minutes away from meeting her. We were wheeled into operating and not much later I heard her first cries as she was lifted out. I got to hold her as she looked up at me from under her blanket. Jeremy was there with us through the whole thing. He had to wear a scrubs outfit in order to be in there with us.

We named her right away because we knew her name fit as soon as we saw her, it means the strength of God. We've been experimenting with many little knicknames that come out of that name, including "Gabby." Her middle name is Rose. We like old-fashioned sounding names alot.

We were wheeled back to our labor and delivery room with Gabby in my arms, where she could breastfeed for the first time. There was all the essential oil bottles lined up in a row on the bedside table. The hospital staff all remarked what a nice smelling room it was. My birth plan turned out not quite as natural as I had planned for, but God gave us a beautiful baby girl who is feeding and growing fast.