Tuesday, February 24, 2009

When it rains, it pours

I have been busy with the new baby, keeping things running in my home, and trying to come up with a new routine/schedule that works around nursing. When I am not busy, I am sleeping. Since the birth of Elisabeth I have not had much energy for doing extra things. Even some of the basic house cleaning has been slipping. My wonderful husband does help out in the evenings after he comes home. This past week and a half has been especially rough.

Rueben had all four of his wisdom teeth removed a week ago, so he was sleeping and not feeling well. I miss his help. Usually when things get out of hand I can count on him to get a child or two out of trouble while I take care of another situation. I try not to interrupt his school work too much, but it is great to have some back up when I’m busy with one and someone else has an emergency.

Yesterday he went back to have his follow up appointment. His left side is infected, and they lost his chart. He had to get antibiotics for the infection. I am glad my mother-in-law was able to take him. He was there over three hours already, but that is what you can expect from government run health care.

The day after Rueben’s surgery, Abby woke up complaining of a headache. I didn’t take her seriously at first. I thought she was trying to get attention like I was giving to Rueben. I had plans to take all the kids to the local museum which has a great play area for toddlers. I tried to encourage her to get her chores done so we could go, but then she threw up so I knew she was serious about not feeling well. She spent the next two days laying on the sofa and throwing up anything she ate. I did what I could with natural remedies to help her feel better, but I was trying to help Rueben remember to put ice on his cheeks to reduce the swelling, and get him to eat.

About the time Abby was starting to feel better Robert started complaining about a headache. He had it only one day since I had figured out what helped Abby, I started Robert on it right away. Believe it or not teething tablets helped them with the head ache, and a bath with a few tablespoons of ginger helped the fever. Then the “Baby Love Toy Trains” DVD kept them entertained or put them to sleep. Watching toy trains go around and around with classical music, is a great way to fall asleep. It always does that to me, but the kids only fall asleep if they are sick.

Josiah woke up this morning crying with a fever. I gave him his cup with mint tea and teething tablets. By 9:00 he was feeling fine and asking for “moat-meal”. He is the one who is still cutting teeth. He has been having “teething” symptoms for a month now. I did get him to open his mouth so I could check his teeth. I had Abby and Robert open their mouth so I could “count” their teeth, then Josiah let me “count” his, too. I saw one tooth part way through, but he still has another tooth to cut.

Not all has been bad, but it seems to have come in one big bunch. And I believe we are through the toughest part of sickness and teeth problems.

Elisabeth is almost one month old. All the kids love to smoother her with attention. When she is awake she enjoys sitting in her swing or seat and watching the activity around her. She is healthy, eating well, sleeping well, and growing.

The kids are waking up from their naps, so my quiet-time for writing this post is over. :)

Monday, February 9, 2009

Abby and the camera

Aunt Becky gave Abigail her old digital camera, and how she loves this. She is daily taking pictures of everything from her dolls to pictures on the wall to her brothers. She even got a good picture of Rueben – which is hard to do, but I ally deleted it : ( She loves to chase her bothers around the house trying to get their picture. Here are a few of her better photos.

Josiah and Robert

Aunt Becky and Elsabeth

She loves to photograph their toys.

Mommy and Baby Elisabeth

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Birth Story

This post is for all those who love birth stories. I enjoyed writing it so that I can remember her story as well. Someone did a birth story of the twins and I appreciated it. I did not do this with Josiah. Now I wish I had. I did not put any graphic details since this is open for all to read.

The Birth of Elisabeth Hope

In August and September I started doing a lot of reading about home births. I decided I wanted to have a home birth, especially after reading and hearing about other Christian women who had home births. I have never liked doctors, needles, and hospitals, so with my husband’s approval I began doing more research and asking questions. I found that there was only one midwife in my area that did home births. She had been doing it for many years so I felt comfortable using her services.

I was about seven months along when we changed from using IHS (Indian Health Services) to Juanita, my home birth midwife. Liz, my midwife at IHS, knew Juanita and was happy that I was doing a home birth.

On Jan 8th I thought I was starting labor, but it was a false alarm. I was unsure of what real labor felt like since the twins were born C-section and with Josiah I was induced after not going into labor within 24 hours of my water breaking. January was a long trying month with many days of contractions that would go away when I lay down at night. I did not loose much sleep from contractions, but they did cause me to slow down on my normal daily activities because I felt uncomfortable.

On January 25th I decided to go soul winning with my husband and kids for however long Gabe wanted to go. I wasn’t going to stop until Gabe stopped or I saw someone get saved. I had lead two boys to the Lord after Jr. church, but I wanted to see someone saved our knocking on doors, too.

We met at the Coronado Apartments on 16th St. I had a bus girl, Sherice, to be my partner plus Robert and Josiah (for part of the time). The plan was for my group to do the downstairs doors and Gabe, Rueben, and Abby do the upstairs. It wasn’t long until I was going up the stairs because Gabe was witnessing. I did lead one boy to the Lord. After soul winning for 1 ½ hours we went to Arches and had a late lunch or early dinner around 3:30. We dropped off Sherice and came home to relax a bit before evening church. I was having my usual contractions, maybe a bit stronger than normal, but I wasn’t convinced that they were for real.

Church was a celebration of the pastor’s birthday, so it was short and the kids fell asleep since they did not get their usual nap due to being out soul winning. We came home and all went to bed fairly early.

Around 12:30am I started having sharp contractions that woke me up every 6-8 minuets. I was excited that maybe I was finally going into real labor, but I knew I needed to rest as much as possible, so I continued to rest between contractions, and did not wake my husband or call Juanita. At 4am my husband’s alarm went off for him to get up for work. I told him then that I was pretty sure we would have a baby today. He had to go to work and at least get some paper work. He was closer than the midwife so he would be home before anything happened.

At 7am after I had taken a nice hot shower and gotten dressed, I called Juanita. She was just finishing up another delivery and said she would be here as soon as she was finished. I was the third delivery in two days for her. I called my husband, and he was on his way back home with his paperwork.

While helping Abby get dressed she told me she wanted to go to the library. I told her I thought baby sister would come today, so the library would have to wait for another day. She said, “After I shake baby’s hand, I want to go to the library.”

After arriving home Gabe took all the kids to pay a bill and get them out of the house for a little bit. While they were gone Juanita arrived. When she checked me I was 3 cm dilated. She suggested we go for a walk. Gabe had returned so we took the kids for a walk/bike ride around the neighborhood. They are learning to ride bikes, so they go pretty slow. After we returned Gabe kept the kids outside while I did some laundry and dishes. Juanita wanted me to keep moving, to eat, and drink plenty of water. Quite different from the hospital that wanted to keep me hooked up to monitors and wouldn’t let me eat or drink anything for the whole two days while waiting for Josiah to be born.

My mother-in-law came shortly before noon and took Rueben and the kids. I was glad for the quiet. It allowed me to focus on the contractions instead of wondering what they were into. Around one the contractions were getting closer, and I was getting tired from them, so Juanita suggested I get into the tub. I was glad for the change, and the water felt wonderful. I labored in the tub until a little after four. I was able to rest nicely between contractions in the tub. Juanita and my husband then helped me move to our bed where she was born at 4:50pm. The kids were home and out in the living room area. I was later told that they were all standing at the bedroom door listening for baby sister to cry.

After she was born, Juanita asked us what her name was going to be and my husband replied, “Elisabeth Hope”. This was the first time I heard a name for her. I love the name. Over the past few months there had been some debate between the names of Hope, Sarah, and Elisabeth. Since I choose the names for the twins (Abigail and Robert), my husband got to name the next two (Josiah and Elisabeth).

While I was getting cleaned up Gabe had taken Elisabeth out to see Grandma and the kids. He said Josiah just looked at her like a deer staring into headlights. The twins were thrilled to have a baby sister. Abby wanted to change her name to Sarah.

Gabe and Juanita weighed and measured her. She was 8 lbs 10 oz, and 20 ¼ inches long. Juanita did say that her gestational age was probably 41 to 42 weeks, so she was a little over cooked. :)

This was my first home birth. I enjoyed birthing at home with my family there and the comfort of my own home. My husband enjoyed it, too. I will be doing this again. Yes, Lord willing, there will be more children.

Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. (Psalms 127:3)

I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully. (1 Timothy 5:14)