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Archive for October, 2015

When you become a parent, you quickly learn to identify your baby’s cries: filled diaper, exhaustion, irrational cranky/whininess, and hunger.  Hunger is the most persistent cry, in my opinion.  Rainee can be distracted in the other scenarios, but not hunger.  She is focused on one thing.

Learning to nurse the first week, 1 Peter 2:2-3 kept coming to mind.  “Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.”  

Once little lady is hungry, the signs are unmistakeable–nuzzling, licking her lips, nudging, “baby birding it” and she won’t be satisfied until she’s satisfied.

Once she begins nursing, she literally goes cross-eyed with focus.  Her lips blister from the intensity of her sucking.IMG_2863

And once she is fed, fully satiated, she falls into a “milk coma”.  If she’s not asleep, she’s half-dazed, smiling sleepily into the distance.  Completely at peace.

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Do I long for the Word like this?  Ravenous, focused on my next meal, the highlight of my day?

Do I attack my time in the Word fully focused, not distracted.  Is it my top priority?

His Word brings meaning to life, direction in confusion, peace in turmoil.

It’s sad how easy it is to skip over my time with the Lord or be only half there.  When I am fully engaged I find myself thinking, “Why has it taken me so long to get here?  I found resolution to these issues/encouragement for life/motivation/been reminded of the gospel/etc. days ago.

I HAVE tasted the goodness of the Lord.  May I continue to, for without it, I am starved.IMG_2823IMG_2830

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If I was to sum up Rainee’s birth in 3 words it would be: Fast. Intense. Beautiful.

I prayed for fast and intense.  Beautiful was just an added bonus from God.

Derek and I headed into the hospital Tuesday at 12 to be induced, as the midwife was fearing the placenta timing out with our happy very content baby still showing no signs of appearing.

Discovering I was only 2 cm dilated, the decision was made to use a foley balloon to mechanically help me dilate.  As the midwife began the procedure, my water broke, discontinuing that route as a possibility.  It was absolutely hilarious for Derek and I as the midwife exclaimed loudly, “This has never happened!” and she and the nurse tried to clean up the mess (and themselves).  There were more exclamations of, “Did we burst a tube?!? No, no, that’s just more amniotic fluid,” and the midwife cracked up to turn around and find my curious husband sniffing the puddles, as people had told us over and over how odd amniotic fluid smelled.

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See how optimistic we were?

We were pretty thrilled that things were progressing on their own, but I was personally frustrated that contractions weren’t intensifying.  After two months of non-productive, relatively consistent contractions, I was ready.  We did all we could think of to get the show on the road, as the rain began outside.

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Lots of walking…

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Even some walking in the rain…

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And of course, we danced (a challenge in and of itself at 41 weeks, folks…)

At 10:30 pm the midwife made the call to insert cervidil.  She explained, “Once in a blue moon this will put someone into labor, but it’s very rare.  Expect a few cramps, get some sleep, and we’ll remove it in 12 hours.”  I had to stay in bed for the first two hours to be monitored, and right away my contractions picked up.  Derek began breathing exercises with me as I tried to relax and listen to quiet piano music.  Contractions progressed and intensified, joined by the shakes, and the last half hour I began to experience something I was completely unprepared for: back labor.  As Derek’s mom pressed on my back, Derek breathed with me, and my mom held my legs between contractions to relieve the shakes.

As the midwife prepped to check me again, the nurse excitedly said, “The shakes are something you normally experience at 4cm or 8cm.  You’re moving along great!” Just as the midwife checked to tell us I had no change at all.

I was too stunned and in too much pain to shed a tear over this, as contraction after contraction hit hard.  On top of everything, the cervidil slipped out and I was exhausted at 12:30 am, not at all prepared to labor through the night.   The shakes had subsided, but back labor increased and I gave up.

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We decided to get a combination shot of Demerol and Benadryl to help with pain.  The nurse said later my contractions were too far along that she didn’t think the Demerol helped, but the Benadryl helped me relax my body between contractions.

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2 and a half hours later (time had lost it’s meaning with me) I gasped to Derek, “I feel like I need to push! I need to push!”  Shirley coached with new breathing exercises as the nurse ran to get the midwife, but the urge was hard to breathe through as I gasped, “It’s too soon!  It’s too soon!”  convinced I was tricking myself somehow.

The midwife appeared, checked me, and shouted, “Let’s have a baby!” and the room erupted into a whirlwind of new faces prepping for our daughter’s arrival.  In two and a half hours I had gone from 2 cm to fully dilated and ready to push.  Back labor was intense because Rainee was descending so quickly.DSCF6508

Derek said he had never seen such determination on my face as I pushed.  30 minutes later, Rainee arrived at 3:29, as 2 minutes earlier the tornado causing the rain touched down in the area.

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Our first meeting

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Rainee was very vocal the first hour as I held her, probably largely due to her sensing my nerves as they stitched me up for an entire hour (one of the bummers of not having an IV or an epidural was the fact that I needed shots for all my stitches and still felt quite a few of them).  She calmed down when Derek and I sang her the song we’d dubbed as hers, a song we’d sung to her throughout pregnancy, “Happy Birthday” by The Innocence Mission.

My favorite series of pictures from my mom's camera: Derek holding Rainee for the first time

My favorite series of pictures from my mom’s camera: Derek holding Rainee for the first time.

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We were super thankful that both our moms could be there to support us.  They were so invaluable and such a great team, and captured the birth as well.  (The nurses even raved about them later.)

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All in all, we’re pretty enthralled with our little lady, who passed her birth weight of 6 lbs 6 oz to 6 lbs 15 oz after just 4 days.  Nursing has had its challenges, but it’s totally worth it.

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Thank you for praying for us through the pregnancy and the delivery.  We are so grateful.  Praise the Lord with us for a healthy baby now home with us!  We’re loving being parents.

Now, we covet your prayers as we begin parenting: for wisdom, an abundance of grace, and our refining through the process.

He is so good.

-T

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