Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Here's the story!

"With the goodness of God to desire our highest welfare, the wisdom of God to plan it, and the power of God to achieve it, what do we lack? Surely we are the most favored of all creatures." A.W. Tozer

One of my favorite parts of life is looking back and seeing how truly good and awesome my God is.  I really can't imagine believing in "luck".  Only a God who is all-knowing and all-loving could do such personal and amazing things in my life.  This birth was one of those times.

As most of you probably remember, for the majority of this pregnancy I thought I was due in the middle of June, but come April I found out I was due June 1st (which I was ecstatic about!).  By mid May, I was R E A D Y for baby to come!  I was really hoping that I would go just a little early, but as the days ticked away I began to pray for a specific day.  June 3rd.  June 3rd is my grandma's birthday and as we got closer we were pretty sure that if we had a girl she would have her great-grandma's name for her middle name. 

When I finally got out of bed the morning of June 3rd, I had my first contraction.  I really didn't believe it.  About ten minutes later I had another one.  I try not to believe it.  A while later there was another one.  I finally told my sister Anna who had spent the night about them.  The problem was, they were all over the place.  Some were ten minutes apart, some were almost an hour apart.  When I rested on the couch, they basically stopped. 

The day slowly dragged by and while I really, really, really wanted to have the baby that day, I began to realize that maybe this was really not going to be anything.  David came home around 4:30 and encouraged me to lay down for a nap.  I pouted.  I really didn't want to because I was afraid of making everything stop.  But my wise and loving husband convinced me that it would be a good idea.  As I laid there thinking that there was now no way baby was coming that day, God had another surprise in store for me.  Contractions,  STRONG ones, started coming.  Regularly. 

I got up around 5:30 and went to tell David that it looked like we might be going to the hospital that night after all.  Next I called my midwife to get her opinion.  After hearing me describe my contractions and knowing how far we are from the hospital, she said to go on in.  I walked outside to tell David and by the time I got to him, I knew it was time to go soon.  Very soon.

Always before when we've been headed to the hospital I've been praying the whole way, "Lord, please don't let these contractions stop!".  This time however I was praying, "Lord PLEASE don't let these contractions come too fast!!!".  The hospital we go to is an hour away and I was praising the Lord when we pulled into that parking lot!

Now you have to realize, I'm a SLOW laborer.  My time in the hospital before giving birth has ranged from 6 to 22 hours.  Three times I've had to go on pitocin to keep things moving.  Usually we walk and walk and walk and walk the halls.  This time however, even though I was at 6 cm when I arrived, after about two contractions I told David that I was feeling pressure.  I asked my beautiful nurse Tamara, (who we found out is an old King family friend!) to get into the jacuzzi so she went to fill it.

The entire time I was praying for three specific things.  Peace.  Encouragement.  For things to progress.  I've never seen God answer my specific prayers so completely and perfectly.  Before getting into the tub, my midwife arrived and checked me.  In the hour I had sat there, I had progressed all the way to 10 cm.!  "You're not going in the tub!" my midwife said.  With permission to push I settled into my husband's arms and waited to have this baby!

While I felt like I "could" push, I didn't necessarily feel like I "needed" to push.  I knew I didn't want to wear myself out so I continued to just breathe through the contractions, often pushing a little just at the end of them.  I really expected to be there for quite a while, but there was such peace.  Overwhelming calm.  All of the sudden, my water broke!  An instant later, I felt the head.  I closed my eyes, pushed, and then I was holding my beautiful little daughter!  We were in total shock!  For hours I kept looking at David and saying, "I can't believe she's here!  I can't believe we're done!".

Right away I knew she was a pudgy little thing!  "Chubalicious" is what one friend said.  At 8lb. 3 oz. and 19 in. she was our heaviest but almost our shortest!
Remember this baby with the chubby cheeks?
That's really who we had!

Esther was one of David's favorite names from before we had any children, but I was the one who always vetoed it.  This time however it really grew on me and after rejecting name after name it soon settled in as the perfect name for this sweet little girl.

One of the greatest blessings of the birth was that she WAS born on Great-grandma Marjorie's 89th birthday.  Now we will always celebrate Marjorie Alice's and Esther Marjorie's birthdays on June 3rd.

The sisters came to visit the next day.

While Esther is adored by many, never have I seen a prouder big sister than Ella.

We got to go home only 22 hours after first arriving at the hospital.

Esther is the sweetest baby I could imagine.  She is a CHAMPION eater and so contented all the time.  We are all completely smitten with her.  What a treasure the Lord has blessed us with.  In our home we don't believe we have to spread out our love to each new one who comes.  We believe that the Lord abundantly pours out an extra portion of love with each one.  That has definitely been true here!


Aly sun said...

Beautiful! I was blessed to read this. I love birth stories.

Amanda said...

So excited for you and your family Grace! Thanks so much for sharing Ester's beautiful birth story!

Mrs. S said...

Awww...thanks for sharing! So happy the Lord blessed you with a good labor and delivery and a BEAUTIFUL baby girl! June 3rd is Emma's birthday too! :)

Mrs. Skelton said...

Aww!!! I love birth stories!! This was precious! Esther is beautiful!! :-)

Ruthie said...

Congrats on your beautiful baby girl! I can't wait to meet her!