Saturday, September 7, 2013

Baby-Dumplin's Birth Story.....

On September 4th, 2013 at 6:30 am, Nathan and I met our 6th daughter!!  Throughout my pregnancy we prepared for this day through reading books on natural birth, watching documentaries, and taking a Bradly class on Natural Birth.  This would be my first attempt out of 6 births to have a natural- drug free- delivery.

For five weeks prior I had been having contractions every night and lost so much sleep!  Anytime I would lay down, or sit down the contractions would start and last all night long; the minute I got up and walked around they would stop.  I assumed they were probably Braxton Hicks; however, they were slowly changing my cervix.  At 36 weeks I began taking Evening Primrose Oil, which is supposed to make it easier to dilate as well as Red Raspberry Leaf Tea which is supposed to strengthen your uterus.  We also hired an amazing Doula to help us through the labor and delivery process, we were really excited to work with her since she was also a believer and was committed to praying for me through my pregnancy and delivery.

We put together a birth plan for this pregnancy which was super new to me but fun to think about and type up.  From all I had gathered most Christian women have people speak verses over them while in labor and pray over them and that helps them to get through it.  For me I decided that I wanted to worship through labor.  I put together a playlist of praise and worship songs and let my Doula know that while having verses spoken over me was great, I would rather praise God through the pain.

At 2:20pm that afternoon I went to my 39 week prenatal appointment with my midwife.  The whole time I had been seeing the midwives (there are 4 of them) I knew that there was one in particular that I adored and would love to be in delivery with.  Not only that I knew she had a large family, homeschools her children and was a Christian.  Knowing that my midwife was a Christian made me more comfortable with my birth plan of praising God through the pain.  Anyways, so this appointment was scheduled with one of the other midwives and for weeks I had been trying to get in with the one I had wanted to deliver with but she wasn't available.  So I was super surprised to see her when she walked through the exam room door and my appointment ended up being with her after all!  I expressed to her how I've tried everything natural to get this baby moving, I ended up not being much more dilated than I was the week before but was 80% effaced.  She told me that I should take the "birth cocktail" and that would get things moving along for me.  I was to take 2 tbsp of peanut butter with 2 tbsp of caster oil.  The peanut butter would slow the oil down so that it didn't make me sick and on the toilet all night long!

At 5:00pm I took the Cocktail then sat down to eat dinner with my family.  After dinner Pumpkin and I went for a walk and when I got back I noticed some things starting to change.  By 8:00pm that evening I began to contract.  The contractions felt different than the one's I had been having the last few weeks; however, they were stronger still when I laid down or when I sat up, but when I stood the pain wasn't as bad but I still was feeling pressure.  For the next three hours we texted my Doula, and counted contractions which from the beginning was 2-3 minutes apart constantly but still I was hesitant that it wasn't real labor since it didn't hurt as badly when I stood up!  So we called Nathan's mom and asked her to come over so we could go walk around walmart.  The paper I had from the midwife said that if it was real labor it would get worse with walking, so that was what we needed to do.  We went ahead and loaded the car before we left with our hospital stuff and while walking around getting that all in order the contractions were getting more intense.  We got to walmart around 12:00am and gave my midwife a call.  The one I wanted in my labor was on call that night!!  She said she thought I would probably be ready to come into the hospital in about 2 more hours and to just relax and save my strength.  So then I remembered that if I was in the early stages of labor I needed to get something to eat!!  We got in walmart and they were waxing the floors.  Nathan went and bought me one of their already made subs and we walked around walmart while I was in laboring and eating a sub!  I was in complete fear that my water was going to break on their newly waxed floor!!  My doula met us at walmart about 45 minutes later and walked with us, made me laugh to take my mind of things and gave suggestions on how to get through the contractions as they started to get stronger.  Around 2am we went back to my house.

We sat in the living room and talked and laughed while I rocked on the birth ball between contractions (since it hurt to sit during a contraction).  Then around 3:34am we decided to head to the hospital before contractions got too painful to be in the car.  On the car ride I felt things start to pick up a bit and it hurt worse when Nathan would take turns so to comfort me he prayed over my stomach and then started to sing a praise song "Child of God" and I joined in, in between contractions.  We arrived at the hospital around 4am and was taken directly to a room.  I put on my own clothes and was examined.  I was 6cm upon arrival.  I was preparing to get hooked up to the IV for the first 20 minutes and then the plan was for them to unhook me; however things didn't go exactly according to the plan.  I kept asking when it was going to be done because I was ready to move away from the bed and get in the tub but I don't remember getting much of an answer.  As they were monitoring the baby and I was heading into 7-8cm the contractions got even more intense.  My doula and midwife had me on my knees facing the back of the bed with my arms over the head of the bed.  During contractions my doula had a heat pack on my back and was massaging my legs and feet (which was helping a ton).

Finally my midwife told the nurse "Go get the doctor."  I realized she was talking about me and trying not to scare me but I knew there was something wrong.  She explained to me that the baby's heart rate was above 200 and had been for a prolonged period of time (about 45min).  She said there were several factors that could be causing that and usually it was a fever but in this case I did not have a fever.  She said it was very dangerous for the baby and she wanted to doctor to come in and give us some options. At this my heart skipped a beat and I knew we were talking about a C-section.  From what I know about C-sections most doctors tell you once a C-section always a C-section.  And once you have one it has the potential to limit how many children you can have.  I began panicking and worrying about my baby, and everyone could tell I was beginning to stress!  They kept me on the IV, and added oxygen to see if it would help but it wasn't really helping.  While waiting for the doctor to arrive anytime I had a break in contractions I just stared at the monitor praying her heart rate would normalize.  Then all at once I felt my midwife put her hand on my back, my doula put her hand on my leg and Nathan put his hand on my stomach and it got super quiet...they were all three praying for my baby and I could feel the presence of God in the room!  Within minutes her heart rate began to lower and normalize contractions became more intense and it was time to be checked again.  I was now at 9cm and my bag of water was bulging so we broke the water and it was time to push.

Out of the entire labor I felt like the contractions were tolerable the entire time until it was time to push!  I did not expect pushing to be that hard and that intense pain.  With my other labors I had an epidural and so pushing was easy!  1-2 pushes and the babies were out!  This one was harder, I actually had to work to push the baby out!  It was still just a few pushes but with more effort than I had though I would have to give!  When the baby finally came I was so focused on pushing that I didn't realize they had already put her on my chest!  I couldn't hardly catch my breath in order to calm down and see her!  I could feel her warmth and hear her cries but my mind wasn't putting the timeline together in order yet!  She was beautiful though when I could finally look at her.  She had tons of black hair and weighed 7lbs 5oz; the biggest baby I'd had yet.

I was so surprised at myself that I was able to get through a natural labor, I never thought I would be able to do something like that.  I did think about the epidural once while pushing and wondered why in the world I wanted to do something like this.  After the delivery I decided that having another baby anytime soon would probably not be in the cards right now, I would definitely need some time to allow my mind to forget the pain.  But over all I could feel God's presence the entire time and that is what carried me through to the end.  Knowing that God was there watching over me and my baby, knowing that God heard my cries that if it was His will for us to have more children after this baby then please do not allow me to have a C-section that will limit that.  I also remembered Nathan telling me that the reason I had not had the baby yet (the week before) was because God had perfect timing and he knew every detail of how it was supposed to be and maybe if I had her earlier I wouldn't have had the midwife I wanted there.  He was so right; maybe if I had her earlier my midwife would not have been there to help pray for my baby!  So thankful again for God's perfect timing!  Nathan was amazing as well, he was by my side the entire time (even when his back was hurting he still stood next to me and wouldn't move).  He told me how great I was doing, prayed for me, sang to me, and rubbed my back when I needed him to!  He was amazing!!

We are now at home after two nights in the hospital.  The girls are thrilled to have a new sister and I do not see her having any alone time anytime soon!!  Goobies, was the one I was worried about!  I had thought since she had become so spoiled by all the girls being the baby for the last two years that she would be really jealous!  She is so possessive of the baby that she will tell everyone to leave her alone and "Don't touch my baby!"  She says it is HER baby!!  She even cries when we take the baby from her arms or tell her she can't hold her right now.  She says that the baby is "ADO ABLE" (adorable).  lol

I'm so thankful for my family, God has answered my prayers for a large family, a loving Godly husband, and more love in my life than I could have ever imagined!  I knew this year was our year of "Jubilee" or  "Jubili" -where God was going to bless our family abundantly after  6 years of famine and long suffering.  I am so overjoyed to see that those blessing have started pouring in by the bushels and I could not sing the God's praises enough for all his provision, protection and joy he has given me!  I am beyond blessed!!  

Monday, September 2, 2013

God's provision.....

They say that patience is a virtue, but that is one area of my life I've never been good at ESPECIALLY while pregnant!!  I actually recall a conversation once I had in one of my early pregnancies; I was huge, miserable, and ready for it to be over and someone said to me "I guess God is teaching you patience!"  Well the normal me would have smiled and walked on the hormonal me came out instead and replied, "God doesn't teach pregnant women patience, He knows better!"  While we laughed about my unexpected response (I didn't even expect it) it became something God would later use to prove me wrong!

When Nathan and I got married we purchased a 3 bedroom 2 bath rancher.  We never dreamed that we would have so many children to fill it up with!  While he had about two children in mind, I knew I wanted a large family but never imagined that the definition of large was over four.  Over the 10 years we've been together and talked about our expectations for our family and future our views on what a blessing Children are, birth control, and trusting God began to change and develop into something we would have never imagined.  Never once have we ever had a conversation in our ten years that went anything like, "lets have six children!!"  It began with one, then unexpectedly we were expecting the second and then God began to change our hearts to want what he wanted for us and not just what we wanted for us.  So needless to say our home has filled up quickly!

After the third baby I began praying that God would bless us with a larger home.  For over five years I have prayed that if God wants us to have many children he would supply us with our need for a larger home.  I didn't want anything fancy just something that we could fit in comfortably, expand our family if it was God's will, and have room for homeschooling (which we believe we were called to do as well).  Once we had baby #4 I began to agonize over this home that did not look like was in our future!  I HATED our home, I could not stand to be here, it was suffocating and embarrassing that we were all shoved in here, and I couldn't invite people over because we had no where for them to sit!  Finally after four years of praying for a larger home the economy took a dive and the housing market went down with it.  We began our search to find a larger home for the same price we bought our rancher for and rent out our current home.

We looked at several homes but nothing that would really fit us.  I began looking for something around the same size as what we already had but with 4 bedrooms and a dinning room.  I didn't want anything huge just something that worked.  We quickly realized that we would soon be in the same situation as we are in now if we upgraded to only 500sq ft.  and had to look at larger homes over 2000sq ft.  Nathan would ask me "how will we know when it's the right one?"   I'd tell him "we will just know!"   We found a really nice white house that we liked, we had a few reservations about it but overall we liked it and it would fit us and fit our price range.  We put a contract on it and it was verbally accepted then 30 minutes later we received a call that they received a better offer and was going to go with that one!  We were heartbroken and I almost didn't want to look anymore!  But we kept on.  FINALLY we found the one!  It was over 2200 sq. ft, 4 bedroom, 3 bathrooms, fireplace, dining room, play room, fenced in back yard, and in a culdesac, so the kids can finally learn to ride bikes!!  It was perfect for us!  As we walked around the back yard I prayed and asked God if this was the one, and a figure came into my mind as to what to offer on the house!  The amount I felt we should offer was 20,000 less than the asking price, and 43,000 less than the assessment price of the home!  Once we found out the home was a short-sale and was owned by Indy Mac/ One West we really were hesitant it would go through.  Indy Mac/One West is known for not approving short-sales because they make more money on forclosures sense they are backed by the government.  After a three month wait we were told by BOTH selling and listing agents that they did not believe this short-sale would ever happen!

I had such peace about that house, I just knew it was the right house and could not let go of it!  So we kept our contract on that house (although it was outdated) and kept looking just in case.  We came across another home we loved and put a contract on that one.  It was beautiful but had a lot of water issues in the yard; we ended up not getting that one.  After that we had decided to give up on the house for a while.  I was so stressed at the time, being almost in my second trimester of pregnancy with baby #6, that I couldn't handle all the stress from it all.  We decided to still look at what came on the market but unless it had everything we wanted we wouldn't go see it.  We were not settling.  Mean-while, I was praying and praying for the other house to somehow come through!!  We had so many set backs with it but finally in May we received a call that they would approve and close on the home within 45 days!!  We renewed our paperwork and waited, and waited, and waited and heard NOTHING!

In the meantime I prayed, and prayed and prayed!!  We realized that if we didn't find a home before the end of the year we would have to wait several more years before we started the process again so this was the end of the line for us!  I began to understand the meaning of giving things over to God!  I would get so stressed and have to pray and ask God to take it from me, and my burdens were lifted!  I realized that there was no need in worrying about things because this house belonged to God and it was up to him if He gave it to us or not, not the bank!  So I began to pray differently and think about things differently.  I realized that our home we are in now was given to us by God as well.  Why would he give me another if I didn't appreciate the one I had and hated it so badly?!  so I began to organize our home and make things more comfortable for all of us to fit here.  It gave us so much more room and comfort that I began to really love my home!  I actually began to pray and thank God for this home!!  My prayers changed from "please I can't stand living here anymore Lord I'm drowning!"  to " thank you Lord for this house you have blessed our family with, thank you for giving us shelter and the ability to make it comfortable for all of us who live here."  I also told God that I knew the other house belonged to Him and if it was His will please bless us with it.  Once I finally realized the house belonged to God and not the bank, it made being patient (even while pregnant) so much easier!

We got word they were doing an assessment on the home to see how much they should sell it for.  I began to get nervous because I couldn't see how they would ever sell that home to us for the price we offered  (only 10k more than we paid for our rancher but 1242 more sq ft.) especially after seeing what the homes around it were worth and the house market had started to go up again.  One day we were out and about and the kids all fell asleep in the car (which is rare for all of them)!  We decided to take a drive and let them nap a while.  Nathan told me he wanted me to go over by the new home so he could pray over it and claim it as ours.  He said when Jerry Falwell wanted to buy the land for Liberty University he walked the mountain prayed over it and claimed it as his!  Now he has one of the largest Christian Universities there in the world!  So we did just that.  We stopped by the house and Nathan walked around the home and prayed and asked God to bless us and claimed it in Jesus Name for our family.

After two weeks of hearing nothing more; I became weary.  There were many things I have been praying about for many weeks (not just the house) that had began wearing on me; not to mention I was STILL pregnant!!  One night I just could not sleep so I got on my knees in my living room and began worshiping God.  For over an hour I sang praises to Him and just sat in his presence.  Finally I began praying, first thanking him again for our home, reminding him that his word says, "ask and it will be given to you, seek and you shall find" and then reminding him how long I've been asking and seeking and that I was weary!!  I needed a breakthrough!

Finally the end of August (2 days after my prayer) after almost a year wait, we got word they had approved our short-sale!  Not only had they approved our short- sale but they did not even try to up the price, we got it for the price God had showed us to ask!  Not only was I extremely excited but I felt so unworthy that God blessed us in such an amazing way!  I knew if it was God's will it would happen but maybe I just never felt it was God's will to bless us?!

We are finally in the process of closing on our home.  We have all the paperwork in order and inspection scheduled.  It does not seem real to me that we are finally moving, but I will never take that home for-granted that is for sure!  I've never been more thankful to God for showing us that He is faithful to provide all our needs!  Now if I can convince Him to let me go into labor I'll be on top of the world ;)