Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Birth Story

 Wow, I can't believe it has been a month since I woke up to celebrate our ninth anniversary.  God has been so good and gracious to us.  His plans never cease to amaze me.

As many of you know, I was expecting my fifth child.  His due date was December 29, 2010.  However, With my first four children all being exactly 10 days early (OK, Ezekiel missed the 10 day early mark by about six hours), I naturally assumed that my fifth baby would also come early.  I mean, why ruin a perfectly good pattern :)  Even my physician thought that he would come early -- he said I just had to remain pregnant until Dec. 1 to have a healthy baby.  Well, Thanksgiving came and we wrapped up the fall semester of school.  My plan was for us to take off the entire month of December, getting ready for Gabe's birth and adjusting to life with a newborn.  Well, once again, God's plan and my plan's were not the same.  Hunting season came, and I joked with my doctor about making sure I didn't go into labor on his day off so we wouldn't have to drag him away from the deer, and he responded with as long as baby was born before sunrise or after sunset :)

Well, hunting season passed with no contractions.  Then it drew closer and closer to Christmas.  My expected date of December 15 passed (hey, all they others were about 10 days early).  Then it was Christmas day.  All day I had minor insignificant contractions.  It must have been the power of suggestion and the idea of having a Christmas baby.  No labor.  By now I was feeling like I was almost two weeks overdue, even though it was my due date.  Well, my next appointment began the process of making sure baby was okay since I was overdue.  So, my next target date -- January 1, I mean why not have the first baby born in the new year.  Wouldn't it be great to be able to celebrate your birthday every year at midnight when you ring in the new year?  I think it would make for some great parties as a teenager.  Well, once again my plan was not God's plan.

December 28 came, and I was sick and tired of putting off everything that I had been delaying because I was waiting for the birth of my baby.  So I opened up my awesome new pasta maker, and made three pounds of pasta, I cleaned the house, got caught up on laundry (OK, some of this was still part of my daily maintenance of keeping house), and did several other things which I can't recall.  Several friends joked about my going into labor that night because of how much work I had done (Carrie, Dee, and some others).  I didn't pay a whole lot of attention to what they were saying; however, before I went to bed I did feel some minor cramping (nothing new since I'd been having contractions and cramps since before Christmas and they hadn't been doing anything).  But, I did take the time that night to write up my anniversary post -- Just in Case :)

Well, at four thirty on my anniversary, I woke up with more serious cramping, but wasn't ready to share my anniversary with a birthday.  By five o'clock I was having three contractions within a five minute period.  So, I leaned over to J.A. and woke him up asking him what he thought of having a baby as an anniversary present. Since I didn't want to take kids with me to the hospital, I called my sitter (she lived 20 minutes away).  Then I asked J.A. to call the hospital while I took a shower. After my shower, contractions had slowed way down.  Dee arrived shortly after I got out, but I was no longer ready to go in to the hospital.  We sat around talking.  About 6:00, the hospital called, "You didn't have your baby at home did you?"  OK, I didn't know my calling in to the hospital would elicit such a response :)  I explained that my contractions slowed down, and the nurse let me know that they were ready for me whenever I came in.

Probably about fifteen minutes after the phone call we decided to head in, not because of my contractions, but because we wanted to leave before Ezekiel woke up -- I just didn't want to have to deal with a fit as we were leaving.  We drove the five minutes to the hospital, and found out that my doctor had been in since my first phone call.  Can you tell they were expecting me to have a very fast delivery (Ezekiel was three and a half hour labor total)? 

 Here is Daddy finally enjoying holding our precious new son.
 Mommy and Gabe snuggling.
Our hospital has a wonderful tradition of serving the new parents a steak dinner.  They typically serve the steak dinner on the second night of the hospital stay, but when the nurses found out it was our anniversary, they called the kitchen and ordered the steak dinner for us to enjoy that evening.  Dinner was a bit rushed since J.A. had to get to church to preach.  But, it was certainly a much nicer anniversary meal than what we would have had at home.

Now, for those of you wanting to know the baby's stats, here they are:

Gabriel Titus
December 29, 2010 at 9:39 a.m.
19 1/2 inches long, weight was 7 pounds 9 ounces.

Happy One Month Birthday Gabriel

Friday, January 28, 2011

We Serve an Awesome God

What do you do when your car won't start at 8:30 at night, and you find yourself stranded in a town where the only people you know are the Walgreens clerk and your daughter's violin teacher?  Well, as my kids found out on Tuesday -- You Pray.  Pray that someone with jumper cables comes and can start your car for you.  When that doesn't work, you pray that you can find a place to sleep for a decent amount.  Well, God answered our prayers.  We rejoice that our car decided to not start in the parking lot of Hastings College.  This was a blessing, because at 8:30 at night we were able to call campus security to come give us a jump start.  The battery of our van was not interested in a jump start, so we asked them if they happened to have an empty dorm room we could sleep in for the night so we could get our car towed in the morning. 

The security guard went and talked to who I assume was the dorm mother of the dorm adjacent to the parking lot.  They had an empty room on the same floor as the women's bathroom.  I state this because we ended up spending the night in the men's dormatory, so it was a HUGE blessing to be so close to the women's bathroom with two little girls.  The dorm mom even had some extra bedding. 

Isn't God amazing!  Yes, my preference would have been for the car to have started as soon as we finished violin lessons, but that was not God's plan.  My preference would have been that the security guards could jump start our van, but that was not God's plan.  God's plan was for us to spend the night in a college dorm room with all of our kids and enjoy an evening of reading fairy tales, as well as telling Bible Stories, and sharing small beds with multiple children.  The kids enjoyed this adventure -- You should have heard them talking with the man who came with an extra vehicle to drive us to the service station (J.A. rode with the tow truck and we squeezed seven people into a six passenger vehicle). 

While I didn't plan for us to spend the night away from our home, I am thankful for a quiet evening away from technology (we even limited the use of our phones so the batteries wouldn't die) to play with our kids.  Hopefully they remember this night as having been God's plan for us and I pray we passed the test of teaching our kids to turn to God when trials come and not becoming anxious.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11