Saturday, November 8, 2014

Darin's Birth~ Part 5

      David was able to stay at the hospital for the first six nights, but because he was starting night shift that next week, he had to head home to get his sleep!  For the last three nights big sisters came to help me out and spend some time with their brother.

         Lydia joined us the first night, Bethany and Lydia stayed the next night and then Havilah and Auntie Rachel joined us the last night.  It was a blast!  Who knew being stuck in the hospital could be so much fun!
          My time at the hospital with my dear son was truly a precious, precious time.  But as the time drew nearer to going home I started getting really excited!  I was bonded so well to my sweet Darin and I couldn't wait to have our family all together at last. 
        Finally the day arrived!  The doctor gave the final word and we packed up for good this time and headed out!
      Ten days after walking into the hospital, I stepped outside for the first time!  With our beautiful little boy!!!  God was so abundantly gracious to us through every single detail.  Now we headed home to begin life with SIX children!  Now the adventure really starts!!!!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Darin's Birth~ Part 4

       On day three of our stay at the hospital the doctor came with the final word that we were going to have to stay in the hospital for at least six more days.  That was a bit of a hard pill to swallow.  The reality of such a long hospital stay hadn't really crossed my mind.  David had such a great attitude about it though and our girls were having a grand time with grandparents and uncles and aunties. 

          They also told us that they would keep as at Silverton Hospital to the very best of their ability.  We found out later on just how amazingly blessed we were by this.  This birthing center doesn't keep sick babies, but transfers them to a bigger hospital with a NICU.  Which would have meant that Darin would have stayed in the nursery while we waited somewhere else.  As it was they had to move us to a different part of the hospital, but they gave us a beautiful room with somewhere David could sleep.  The nurses from the birth center came all the way across to take care of us!  The best part was Darin was able to stay with us the entire time.  They brought the IV pump right in our room and anything else that had to be done happened right there with us. 

          Darin was such a trooper.  Even after being poked and prodded unceasingly, he was just a delightful little baby!

(His poor little arm!  He kept whacking himself in the face!)

       There were some long days, but we had lots of special visitors come see us which was encouraging!

         Our sweet Sister-in-law, Hannah, even brought us out a delicious home cooked meal one evening.  The hospital allowed us to continue to order meals which again was a huge blessing.  The food there was actually quite tasty.  This was my favorite hospital meal that I ordered at least seven or eight times for either lunch or dinner!
          There came a point I thought I would never want turkey dinner again, but I must admit, my mouth is drooling now!!! 
         The days passed quicker than I thought they would.  I found that having nothing to do but ~feed my baby, snuggle my baby, stare at my baby, repeat~ was a life I quite enjoyed!  And he grew like a weed!  I felt like I was watching him grow in front of my eyes.  By one week old he had surpassed his birth weight by five ounces!
          I need to take a brief moment here to say how overwhelmingly blessed we were by the entire hospital staff the entire time we were there.  They treated us like royalty and were so friendly, kind and encouraging.  Because we were there for such a chunk, we had several of the same nurses several times.  It was so fun to learn about their families and their backgrounds.  Many of them were outspoken believers and it was tremendously encouraging to have the body of Christ right there in the hospital caring for us!  I miss them all!!!
          Whew!  I think I'll finally finish up tomorrow!!!!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Darin's Birth~ Part 3

      So, there we were, all packed up and ready to head home from the hospital when we got the news.  Darin had spiked a fever and had high respiration so they wanted us to stay overnight.  They moved us to a different room and started trying figure out what was going on with our little guy.

      Within what seemed like minutes, but really was hours, our poor little guy was having a chest X-ray, was getting a port in his little arm to start IV antibiotics and was getting ready to go under the lights because his bilirubin count came back too high.  It was hard.  I spent a lot of time standing by his little light bed crying as he screamed and screamed.  He had to stay under the lights for two hour stretches, then I could feed him and hold him for twenty minutes, then back under the lights he would go.  He really, really didn't like it and cried almost the whole time.

         That night was hard.  Thinking of the night before, when I had laid there with nothing but praise on my lips, I was reminded to give thanks again for whatever road the Lord had for us to walk.  The lyrics that had sustained me through labor and filled me with joy as I had held him in my arms, once again reminded me of truth as I laid alone that second night longing for my baby.
     "Scars and struggles on the way,
 still with joy our hearts can say
Never once did we ever walk alone.
Never once did You leave us on our own.
You are faithful, God, You are faithful."
       The next morning brought the news that Darin had pneumonia.  Apparently he had aspirated on some amniotic fluid with bacteria or something like that during delivery.  The doctor wanted him to stay on the lights for the rest of the day and continue on the antibiotics until he knew more.  We were also told that they would keep us at this hospital as long as they could but that it was likely that we would be moved to a different hospital.
       The new day had also brought new joy though, and we were so thankful to be somewhere with people who knew much more than we did and who were taking excellent care of our boy and were also treating us respectfully and kindly.  It was a sobering thought to think that if we had gone home the night before that Darin could have gotten very sick before we knew something was wrong.  We were so grateful to be right where we were.
       That night Darin was able to be done with the bilirubin lights and after almost 20 hours of only being able to hold my baby at scheduled times, I was sooooo ready to have him in my arms again!!!!

To be continued.......

Monday, November 3, 2014

Darin's Birth~ Part 2

    After Darin was born we all cried and kissed and kissed a cried, the placenta was delivered without any problem, Auntie Rachel cut the cord, I got a solid chunk of skin to skin time with my boy, he ate like a champ, everyone got a little snuggle time with Darin and we all kissed and cried some more.  Rachel and the girls headed home around 11:00 or so, and David, Darin and I "settled in for the night". 

     Apparently, after six babies your body likes to bleed a little more than usual even when everything goes well.  I spent the night with my sweet, sweet nurse who seems just a little less sweet after coming in every twenty minutes to press on your uterus all night long.  I passed many very, very large clots but after the nurse's diligent work, everything seemed to settle down and by 5:00 in the morning she said all was well!

     All night long, even with the excitement, I was euphoric.  The tears of joy just kept coming as I marveled at my beautiful son.  I couldn't do anything except give thanks.  Lying there with my baby in my arms was all I could dream of.

       The next day was a joy filled day as we had many of our favorite people come and meet Darin. 


(Somehow I am missing a chunk of pictures of many other special visitors!  Thank you all who came to see us.  We were so, so blessed and encouraged by you all!)
     It was a wonderful day.  Darin was eating great and looked wonderful.  I felt fabulous even after not sleeping much at all the night before.  We felt so very loved not only by those who came to see us but by everyone else who contacted us or wished us well online! 
     We LOVE Silverton Hospital, but we were looking forward to heading home that evening and sleeping in our own bed.  The nurse took Darin for his hearing test, we packed up everything and packed it in the truck.  We were ready to head out the door when the nurse brought Darin back in with a very sad look on her face.  She said, " I'm so, so sorry, but he has spiked a fever and his respiration is very high.  The doctor wants you to stay overnight."
To be continued......

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Darin's Birth~ Part 1

         Sorry it has taken me this long to return with our news and the details of Darin's birth.  To be honest, this past month I've been snuggling my little man 97% of the time and have not really let blogging weigh on my mind at all!  I've been looking forward to getting back here and writing out the exciting story of the birth though.  I know for some of you this may not be your cup of tea (feel free to skip it!), but some of you have been asking for the details.  So brace yourself~ Here it comes!!!

        This pregnancy started out the easiest of all, but ended the hardest of all.  My girls were the biggest encouragements the entire time.  They let me rest.  They brought me water.  They rubbed my swollen feet.  They talked with me about the baby again and again and again and again.  And they never once complained about any of it. 

        I started this pregnancy positive, p.o.s.i.t.i.v.e. that we were having a girl.  And to be honest, I wanted a girl!!!!  I was sooo tired of people hoping we would have a boy.  After praying for a baby for two years nothing sounded better to me than a beautiful baby girl, and I was grieved at the thinking that a sixth little girl was somehow less valuable than a boy. 

       As it got closer to the birth I started to wonder though.  There were enough funny little differences that got the thought in my head, "I wonder.....".  Boy or girl we could not wait to meet this little person.  Every day it felt like all we could do was wait, wait, wait.  I didn't have any even small contractions leading up to labor, but there was TONS of pressure.  It seemed like at any time this baby could just come with little warning!  So still we waited.  And prayed.

         Three days past due, we were still all waiting.  At noon, my water broke!!!  I instantly started smiling, praising the Lord and shaking!!!  David came home right away,  Rachel, Lydia and Bethany got ready to go and we were off!  I hadn't really eaten anything that morning so we were going to swing by for some food on the way to the hospital, but I was having so much pressure I wanted to get to the hospital as soon as possible.  Public Service Announcement to anyone going to give birth:  EAT SOMETHING before heading into serious labor!!!

        We made it to the hospital and they checked us straight into a room.  It seems that having your sixth child and saying you're in labor carries some weight!  When they first checked me at 2:30 I was at 5cm..  That's when the contractions started.  And when I say they started, I mean they started.  I've never had labor begin so furiously.  Usually my labors are a steady progression from start to finish, sometimes slower, sometimes faster.  These contractions were five minutes or closer the entire time, incredibly long and incredibly hard. 

       I was expecting to be able to interact with my sister and daughters that we had invited to be there, but from the very start I was in the zone.  I was very weak from not eating and felt completely exhausted and nauseous.  I had put together a playlist of music weeks before and there were many moments were the words of those songs were what got me through.  It was a blessing having those words of truth playing audibly during those hours of extreme trial!

      David was such a support.  Whatever I needed, he was there for me.  Rachel and the girls were fabulous at just sitting back and letting me do my thing.  I was on the birthing ball for a long chunk.  I was struggling with pretty good back labor so I decided to try the Jacuzzi for awhile.  That was a tremendous help.  I was able to relax briefly in between contractions which was a blessed relief!  After awhile in the tub I began to feel a bit of pushing type pressure so I got out to be checked.  I was still only at 8cm. which was disappointing to me.  We waited for what seemed like forever, but really only an hour or so for things to progress.  Finally I tried laying on my side which proved to be terribly painful but effective.

       It was finally time to push!!!  Pushing didn't take too long before they were saying they could see the head.  I wasn't sure how much Rachel and the girls would want to watch, but they positioned themselves right down at the end of the bed and watched the whole thing!  I could tell in the pushing that this baby was on the bigger side, but finally his head, his shoulders and the rest of his body was pushed out.  There is absolutely nothing like that moment of seeing your baby for the first time.  Nothing better in the world. 

       The midwife showed him to the girls briefly before giving him to me to discover that it was a boy!!!!!!!  It was a moment of complete disbelief while at the same time being so very, very right.  I cried.  Bawled my eyes out is more accurate.  Rachel cried.  Lydia cried.  Bethany cried.  It was beautiful.  Unbelievable.  Nothing in the world like meeting a new person created by an awesome God, brought safely into this world.

           We named him Darin David after his Daddy, David Darin.  He was my biggest baby so far at 8 pounds 14 ounces, 21 inches long.  Labor lasted almost exactly six hours, and while it was hard, it went very well with no complications.  Praise the Lord for His unending grace!!!

          I couldn't believe we had a son.  A beautiful, perfect son.  Daddy was just a little bit proud!

      There is a bit more to this story, but this concludes the actual birth.  I'll continue on with the rest soon!


Saturday, November 1, 2014


     With great, great joy I introduce to you our son ,  Darin David.

That's right.  The Lord has blessed us exceedingly with a beautiful boy. 
Born September 30, 2014
8:30 P.M.
Weighed eight pounds, fourteen ounces
Twenty-one inches long
Loved more than could ever be expressed!!!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Double Blessings

            I've never been shy about how much I adore every single one of my sister-in-laws.  They truly are sisters to me and each one is so, so dear to my heart.

             My very first sister-in-law is Laura and my relationship with her has blessed me more than I can ever say.  She's become one of my closest friends.  We both knew each other's hearts to be blessed with another baby and spent a long time praying for that very thing.  We were overjoyed to find out within a week of each other that we were expecting.  We were even more thrilled to find out we were due only one day apart!!!

             It has been more fun than I can say to go through this pregnancy with Laura!  We are both going to the same midwife clinic and are planning on delivering at the same hospital.  We've lined up our appointments together so it's so much fun to carpool together.  The best part has been having someone who never grows tired of talking about the ups, the downs, the hopes, the fears without end.  To have someone right where you are is loads of fun!

          I can't believe how close we are now!!!  Laura is due in four days and I'm due in five.  It's unbelievable to me how close we are to having these babies in our arms.  I can't wait to watch these precious little ones grow up together.  I will always look back on this pregnancy with so much fondness.  What a blessing it has been!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Just For a Little While

          What an interesting week it has been.  As we eagerly await the arrival of our precious baby, we were also faced with the reality of saying good-bye to one of the dearest women alive, my grandma. 

          Growing up with a grandma like her was such a gift.  She always encouraged, always was gentle, always had a smile, always was thinking of something special to do for you.  Even though Grandma and "Boppa" lived and hour and a half away, they were tremendously involved in our lives, even becoming very involved in the lives of our friends. 

(Grandma and little Lydia)
              As a grandma, she couldn't be improved upon in any way.  Then she became a Great-Grandma and exceeded all known possibilities of greatness.  Soon after Lydia was born, Grandma and Boppa moved in with my parents who live, literally, just down the road from us.  We never could have imagined the blessing that would bring to us all.  Grandma's world was the people she loved, and her great-grandbabies got every drop of love from her that she could possibly give.

(Baby Bethany)
            One of the many blessings of knowing Grandma and Boppa was getting to witness one of the greatest love stories ever.  These two lived out every day what it meant to truly be in love and to sacrificially love each other.  Every word spoken between them was kind and loving, and every shared look was endearing or flirtatious.  I've never known a couple more young at heart and I'll cherish the memories of their constant flirtations all my life.  Thinking of my sweet Boppa carefully leading Grandma by the arm gently and patiently wherever they went was such a precious sight.
         While Great-Gran loved every single one of her "grands and great-grands" as much as anyone could possibly imagine, there was a very special bond between Grandma (Marjorie) and her namesake, Esther Marjorie, who was also born on her birthday.  Those two were two peas in a pod and I don't know if there was any way to tell who adored each other more.  We were blessed with three priceless birthdays to celebrate these two together.  It's hard to imagine next June without Esther's birthday buddy.  Even during Grandma's last hours, Esther loved to be by her side, holding her hand or stroking her arm.  Esther was one of the very last people Grandma responded to at the very end when we didn't think she was responsive at all. 
            Grandma's body starting shutting down just a few short weeks ago and the final days she declined so rapidly I think we were all somewhat in shock.  All she had to say up to the end though was how blessed she was and how much she loved everyone around her.  We were able to kiss her, love her, say our good-byes and then hours later she was gone.  She was 92 years old.   
           Having Grandma in our lives was such a gift, such a treasure that it feels so selfish to wish for even one more moment with her.  We cry because life without her feels just a little less beautiful.  But really that's not true.  Because of her we learned to appreciate the sweet smell of every rose, the value of every child's silly song, the joy of playing "piggies".  She made this world more beautiful for all of us. 
           Grandma knew Jesus as her Lord and Savior and was ready to meet Him.  The thought of her in heaven fills us with joy!  One of my girls said it best when they said, "We are so sad Great-Gran is gone, but the only sad part is that we have to wait to see her.  Soon we will all be together and we'll never be sad again.".  We miss you now Grandma!  But we'll see in in just a little while!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Birth Plan 6.0

        It's so, so unbelievable to me that I'm here facing a birth plan again!!!  This baby is such a huge answer to prayer and every day that brings us closer and closer to meeting this precious miracle just humbles me and makes me giddy! 

          This probably sounds silly to a lot of you, but is feels like it's been a long time since I've done this!  I told David just the other day, "I hope I remember what to do!  I feel like I need a class or something!"  Thankfully his confidence in me is much more substantial than mine is.

          Starting with what is not changing this time around.  We are heading back to the same hospital that I've been at with each of my babies and with the same midwife clinic.  This combo has been such a great, great fit for us. 

          We are praying again for another natural birth.  As previously stated, I'm no great lover of pain, but the birth experience is something I wouldn't trade and honestly, I think I'm more afraid of a giant needle in my back and half of my body being numb than the pain!  So far I'm at three births with Pitocin, two births without.  I'd love, love, love to have another without.  I've never doubted that it has only been given when it was needed, but Pitocin is NO FUN!!! 

          David is my rock during labor and delivery.  To be honest, birthing times have had their highs and lows on our relationship.  He is not an emotional, softy kind of guy and he has learned soooooo much as the years have gone on.   He's a superstar now and has a master's degree on how I need to be supported during this time.

             Now onto what will be different this time.  For Ella's birth my sister Mary joined us which was a wonderful experience.  For all the other births we've loved it just being the two of us.  This time we spent a lot of time praying about the possibility of inviting others to join in this birth or just to keep it to ourselves again.  We had great peace about inviting a few new members to our birthing team this time!

            Rachel is my second sister and one of my best, best friends.  She is a rock star auntie and has one of the most beautiful, sincere hearts for Jesus that I've ever seen.  I'm so excited to share this time with her!!! 

           The next decision took a lot of prayer and a lot of wisdom.  We decided to invite.....

          Our sweet oldest girlies, Lydia and Bethany!  I'm so, so, so excited to have them be a part of this.  These girls have been such an encouragement and support for me during this pregnancy.  Their unending willingness to help and serve me every single day just brings me to tears at times.  They've prepped, asked a million questions and are ready to go!  I can't wait to share this time with them!
          As always, I'm so grateful that our plans are not the Lord's plans and that He is an all knowing, all powerful God!!!
         Only 18 days until due date!!!!!!!!!  I'm sooooooo ready to meet this little person. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Snapshot of Summer

      I know there is no way to fully catch up on all the time I've missed, so I thought I'd briefly throw out a super quick review of the past several months!!!

Esther announces our exciting news to the Facebook world!!!

Over my birthday we whisked the girls away without telling them anything and spent most of the week at a beautiful beach house.  Turns out February is the time to be at the Oregon coast!  the weather was gorgeous!!!

We gained a gorgeous new sister-in-law/ auntie that we ADORE!!!  There is hardly anything like the blessing of watching God bring together two such incredible people.  We love them both so much!  (And I got to do their engagement and wedding photos which was a blast!)
From the end of April to the beginning of June we had three very special birthdays!!!  Havilah turned 6, Lydia turned 9 and Esther turned 3!!!
Another darling, darling niece was born!!!!  Peter and Mary had their first girl, our beautiful Joanna!
In June David and I celebrated our 10th anniversary.  It was such a special time just enjoying how far God has brought us in our relationship and celebrating His grace in our lives.  So thankful for my amazing man!!!
The King Family Campout was a blast, and it was so fun to celebrate the next four King babies on the way!!!  Melissa just had their beautiful little daughter Evelyn last week.  We can't WAIT to meet her!!!
Camp time was a crazy, hard, wonderful time!!!  I got to go to Parent and Me camp with Bethany and Havilah this year which was such a blessing.  I loved watching Bethany in the older sister position and seeing her watch out for her little sister.  The day we got home from camp, David and Lydia took off for Jr. Camp.  She had so much fun!  After that we were all home together for a few days before David took off again to staff High School Camp.

Polk County Fair was as fun as ever!!!  Daddy couldn't make it this year, but Grandma and Boppa came with us which was a lifesaver for this tired, pregnant mamma!
Last weekend we had a glorious day at the beach just enjoying time together as a family.  David's work schedule has kept him running pretty ragged so it was a joy to just play and have fun together all day!
Whew!  Feels like trying to get a drink out of a fire hose, but at least now we're a little bit "caught up"!!!