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 Proverbs 3:5-6

 English Standard Version (ESV)

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths

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 Elenorah  (Norah) Ray of Light, God’s Shining Light, Woman of Honor

 Siobhan pronounced Shi-Vawn  or shiv-Awn (gaelic for Joan, feminine derivative of John) God is Gracious

 8.8.2013

 8 pounds 15 ounces

 21 inches long

We are happy to announce the birth of Elenorah Siobhan! I want to chronicle her story because it was very unique for us and parts- quite funny. She is a precious, spunky little baby girl and her advent into life outside the womb certainly revealed that to us. 

Before I share the long story and the funny details… I would like to share the providences of God as Todd and I experienced them… I went into active labor on my own- thus eliminating the need for a caesarean or any kind of pitocin (which was not to be used in my VBAC situation). God’s hand on Norah’s delivery is so very evident. He utterly and totally protected me in every way.  I went into labor at night- thus minimizing stress to the children… I think. In some ways, I do think for some, they would have appreciated more of a heads up than they were given. The smooth, quick birth has granted a quick recovery which is a treasured blessing.  He brought me through the pain of a unmedicated birth- something I think I always thought I wouldn’t be able to handle or get through or maybe just not a pain I wanted to go through…  Everything was safe and perfect for both Norah and I with the birth. We have experienced issues in the past with an epidural and that is always a concern whenever I have to have something put in my spine. The Lord completely took that off the table and kept me safe. It was such a relief for both of us not to have to be concerned with any side effects or complications. Finally, Todd brought to my attention this fact: we were planning a VBAC in North Carolina. We had to travel to Asheville for this and it was also to be at a hospital we have never been to before (similar with what happened here). All things being equal in terms of water breaking and so forth- I would have most likely had the baby before we arrived or immediately upon arrival. Todd really sees this as a confirmation of our move here and I am thankful I didn’t have to experience that kind of drive in that kind of labor!! He literally thinks that we would have had to pull over in Clyde NC and have the baby there! It was just over two hours from water breaking to baby’s arrival. Our drive was an hour and a half(in NC) and that does not include having child care arrive and so forth. See the grace!! The baby was born just as Thursday turned to Friday. Todd only missed two true days of work… Friday and Saturday. He was able to work from home on Monday. We have been uplifted by help- my aunt who was “on call” for “THE call” and my mom who has been here to run the house while I rest and heal before jumping right back into our family life.

(note this is a birth story- and while there is nothing graphic- it is still a birth story.)

March 7th    – early in the morning, I had an ultrasound to check the size and well being of the baby. All was well- but I came home feeling very tired and a bit crampy. The ultrasound wand had seemed to irritate my uterus and I would have random contractions here and there. Around nine o clock that night I was resting on our bed with my three older boys watching a documentary related to our schooling. I noticed some contractions- but nothing significant and was expecting them to disappear as I slept. Around 11:35 I sat up in our bed… I had been reclining and visiting with Todd who had only been home from work for about two hours or so… as I sat up, I suspected that my water had broken… within a few minutes- I knew for sure that it had broken and I asked Todd to quickly lay a thick padded blanket on the floor as I knew when I stood up- I would gush- and I did. Such an unmistakeable feeling remembered from prior babies-

So- I stood on the blanket and Todd started gathering his things. I began to make phone calls- knowing that contractions were going to become intense quickly.  In a funny providence, I ended up calling several numbers for my dear aunt who was to come and watch our children- however I couldn’t reach her… I contemplated calling my other aunt but then moved on to my parents. They had to be informed anyway- as my mom would be on the road in the morning to be here with the children and help us all. They had some other number options and so I hung up with them and tried again.  My sweet aunt  later shared how crazy this was… as it was the ONE night her phone was not on her charger and instead under a sweater on her nightstand. I again contemplated calling my other aunt- but as my parents had no less than four numbers for this aunt (grin) I just proceeded to call them and get a hold of her. I scrambled around with a quick shower and sending out prayer requests via email and facebook and my phone. We wake our oldest son to await my aunt who would be arriving within minutes and I head out the door- unwilling to let him see my pain.

March 8th around 12 midnight-Todd and I leave for the hospital. We have never been to this hospital before. I had driven past it one other time. But that is the extent of our knowledge… We are listening to Christian radio and Todd is ramping it up and encouraging me.  He has been very ministered to by Christian radio here and has shared with our whole family about it… I barely listen. These hurt! Suddenly, we realize we are being pulled over by a police officer!! Apparently we were going 63 in a 50 zone- completely unaware. However, the officer was almost entirely unsympathetic to my plight. I can still hardly believe how long he took and how long we had to wait on the side of the road!! ( I am also entirely amazed. Ninth baby and this is the first time this has EVER happened…)Thankfully, he releases us- none too quickly- and off we go…  we near the Columbia exit and I plead with Todd to speed up a little… things are picking up!!

We have no clue where we are supposed to go at this twisty hospital campus. I call my on call OB again and she tells us to go through the main entrance…we thought we were supposed to go through emergency. So- we find the main entrance and Todd drops me off to park the car. I stand up on the sidewalk and take a step. I can go no further. I look to the glass doors- o so far away! and see a custodial lady- she spies me and hustles off somewhere- I hope she is getting a wheelchair and hobble over to sit down- I see a bench- I choose the garden wall. She comes out as I have managed to walk a bit more toward the doors and whisks me off in the wheelchair. As she is wheeling me away, I tell her my husband is coming behind me. Of which she informs me that he will have to go through emergency as this front entrance is locked down at night. It is providence that she saw me and I tell her so and tell her she is an angel to help me!! I leave Todd behind wondering when I will see him again… His side of this part of the story is hilarious. Apparently- he managed to get in through the front entrance- and no one, no one has seen me at all- somehow the angel managed to whisk me through the front doors of the hospital in complete secrecy- Todd wonders if I have just disappeared into thin air- and HOW have I managed that???

I am dropped off at the front desk in  labor and delivery to a doctor chomping down on jelly worms (not my doctor by the way) and a nurse looking for a boiled egg recipe. They hand me something to fill out. I can’t fill it out. I can’t talk. I have to breathe. I manage to fill out the form. I stutter out that I am a VBAC, I need an epidural, I am anti-E positive…. They leave me sitting there for a bit. Suddenly Todd is striding down the hall- I had visions of him having had to go move the car again, go through emergency, find me, etc. I briefly wonder how he found me so fast. Finally we are taken to a room. As Todd put it- there was no sense of urgency at all. Somehow they didn’t have any of my records or my bloodwork even though I had sent everything in and had full labs done after my first appointment with them  January 13th

I have to be put on a monitor and have an IV administered. Both of these things were challenges. I lay back on the bed in full throttle labor- staring at the IV bag dripping, pain increasing, and knowing my time was running out.  I whisper answers to the never ending questions.

Sure enough, just as that one bag of IV fluids is empty- it is time for Norah to be born. I experience that all mysterious “urge to push” which I think is really the “uterus must expel the baby”- and admidst some loud hoopla on my part- which I find extremely embarrassing- she is born 9 and 9 on her apgars. 1:48 a.m. No tearing for me.  The nursing staff encourage me that I was very mild mannered compared to some… and it is true. They ask me annoying question after annoying question and I just whisper, “I can’t answer that right now… I can’t talk right  now… ”

 The two funny and noteworthy aspects of this part of the story: I can’t get my body in the leg back position they want me to… they keep telling me and there is NO way I can move that way- she is coming out how she is coming out. Suddenly I find myself reclining down in the bed- i.e. my feet are up my head is down. I think to myself- ah, the nurse helped me. She reclined my head. That is one way to get my feet up in the air.  Later, I Iearn from Todd, I reclined myself. In the midst of exertion- my elbows swung out and powered down the bed. Ha!! I still laugh thinking about this. There I am stuck in this reclined position trying to hold my slippery baby and feeling like I can’t get a good hold of her. I had no clue what is going on. Why didn’t someone fix the bed??? Finally, Todd did. The other funny part is that I had to give a few yells- after she was out. The doctor and nurses were like, “Rebecca- she’s out. She’s out.” I yell and then say, “But it still hurts!!”  I just give a yell for the finale of it all.

I had some expectations from prior births that I used to help me through the process. Good thing I didn’t know those expectations would not prove true in this scenario. One being- I thought I would feel instant relief once she was out- as that has been my experience in the past. Clearly that was not the case this time!

I am grateful to God for protecting me. For His Kindness and Mercy to me… for our beautiful, healthy baby. Once again, the Lord has brought me through something painful, I would not have chosen, for a greater gain. I am thanking him for an easier recovery. May it continue Lord! May it continue.

Psalm 31:14-16

English Standard Version (ESV)

14 But I trust in you, O Lord;
I say, “You are my God.”
15 My times are in your hand;
rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors!
16 Make your face shine on your servant;
save me in your steadfast love!

I shared part of this verse with Todd as we were driving home on Saturday. I feel that I have learned some of the deepest lessons spiritually in being open to life and to the Lord’s plans for our family size. “My times are in Your Hand…” O Lord, and as I choose to surrender to what You have placed before me and the lessons You have chosen for me, I find my greatest gain. I am thankful that I have treasured these lessons and treasured His plan.

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 *special thanks to my mom who “manned” the homefront while I put this post together. We love you Ama!!! xoxoxoxo