Friday, July 25, 2008

Happy 1 month!

I'm a day off, but yesterday (7-24-08) we celebrated Edmund (aka Little Mister) turning 1 month old. Can't believe how quickly time is passing!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Prayer Request (update III)

Well, Edmund went to the chiropractor and started taking Bifidus both on Tuesday.

The result... a new baby!

We are thrilled to report that his fussiness has gone down to normal fussy baby levels! Yea! We wanted to wait a few days to watch for growing/lasting improvement... which there has been!

Tomorrow, Edmund goes back to the chiropractor for a follow-up appointment. Apparently his spine was out of alignment and he had a couple muscle spasms that the doctor was able to work out.

We are SO thankful!

He eats better. He sleeps better. He can actually be consoled...

Thanks everyone SO much for your prayers. They were answered!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


*Saw this on a "mommy blog" I check frequently. Thought it'd be fun... especially considering the not-so-fun days I've been having lately.

What are 5 things on your to-do list for today?
1. nurse the baby
2. read to my kids
3. homeschool
4. do handwashables/empty dishwasher
5. go to evening church/prayer meeting

What are 5 snacks you enjoy?
1. fruit (esp. fruit salads)
2. peanuts and chocolate chips
3. Cool Ranch Doritos
4. pita chips and hummus
5. popcorn

What are 5 things you would do if you were a billionaire?
1. Give to our church and specific missions
2. Pay off school/business debt
3. Buy a big house with a lot of land
4. Do what I can to end abortion
5. Invest it

What are 5 of your bad habits?
1. Not being patient enough with my kids
2. Reading too many supplemental books and not enough of my Bible
3. Leaving dishes in the sink
4. Biting my nails
5. Not drinking enough water

Where are 5 places you have lived?
1. Ohio (born there)
2. Michigan (raised there)
3. Marion, Indiana (college)
4. Indiana (current residence)
5. ---------------------

What are 5 jobs you've had?
1. Marino's (pizza joint)
2. McDonalds
3. College; singing ministry team (girl's quartet)
4. Drug and Alcohol Counselor
5. Stay-at-home wife/mom

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Prayer Request (update II)

1- Edmund, for the second night in a row, slept very well through the night.

2- Talked with the midwife yesterday evening about Edmund's near constant fussiness/gas and she thinks he might have an immature digestive system and recommended we begin giving him "bifidus", which is a bacteria to aid in digestion. The herbal shop has it so we'll start him on it today!

3- Also called the chiropractor this morning and was so happy to hear that even though they close at noon on Tuesday's they still had a 10:30am available!

Keep you updated.
Thanks for your prayers!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Prayer Request (update)

1- I've decided to cut out caffeine to see if that'll help.

2- Edmund soundly slept from 10:30pm-4am last night. Even then, when he awoke, instead of all-out crying he just sort of fussed. Had a great AM nursing and slept snuggled with RD and I until close to 8am. YEA!!!

3- My girlfriend introduced me to Priscilla Dunstan. Not sure if any of you have heard of her but she has a photographic memory for sound and has identified (5) patterns of cries in newborns. Really fascinating. Check it out here. Edmund does all of them! If Priscilla's right in her analysis, then Edmund definitely has a gas problem!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Prayer Request

Would you all please pray for RD and I as we are kinda going through a rough time with Edmund? He is just a very fussy baby and we're having a hard time figuring him out. I'm not sure if he's colicky because he doesn't scream for hours at a time... but he's cries and fusses most of his waking hours. And he's not a very good sleeper either (sporadic and fitful). He's just SO unlike our other three kids. Whereas when they were fussy they were easy to console, Edmund is quite the opposite. He doesn't much care to be held, swaddled, sling-ed, swing-ed... We're wondering if he's struggling with gas because he tends to toot and burp a lot. Starting today, I've been carefully monitoring what I eat to maybe cut down on the gas problem. We purchased gas drops, too. Also, sometime this week we're going to take him into the chiropractor to get him adjusted.

So anyways... we are just requesting prayer at this time:
1- That we can discover what's giving him gas and change my diet
2- That we can "figure him out" and better meet his needs
3- That Edmund sleeps a bit better (so RD and I can get some much needed rest)

Thank you!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I must have overcomers

I so needed to hear this message this morning. Read this excerpt from Frances J. Roberts' book entitled "Come Away My Beloved" and it has renewed my desire to more fully surrender my life to Christ and His will/plan for my life.

I Must Have Overcomers
"I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me."
-Galatians 2:20

O my children, the path where I will lead you is not easy for your human nature to bear. It is not a pleasant way, nor in accord with your selfish desires. I do not intend to please the self-life; instead, I will bring it to the crucifixion; for it can only be a hindrance to your spiritual progress and My working through you.

You have faith in Me; this is good, but faith without works is dead. Faith I can give you as a gift, but the works I can do through you only when your ego moves out of the way. For they are not your works, but My works, just as Jesus said, "I must work the works of Him who sent Me." (John 9:4)

Like a flood, I will cause the tears to flow through you, and I will purge out your self-life, and will give you My love. With My love, I will give you My power; then you will no longer walk in your own way...

I must have overcomers through whom I may overcome. There is an enemy to be contested and defeated; and to do this there must be more than resolve in your heart- there must be power. This power cannot operate until your self-will is out of the way. Yes, My new life will become yours in direct proportion to your success in emptying your heart of self-will.

I know you cannot do this for yourself; but you must will it to be done. And as you will it, I will work with you and within you to bring it to pass. You will know joy as never before, and as never possible any other way. You will have rest from inner conflict; yes you must be delivered from the inner conflict in order to engage in the outer conflict with the enemy.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Basking in God's Sovereignty

In my Quiet Time this morning, I read a beautiful passage in Scripture concerning God's Sovereignty, especially in regard to His creative abilities. These words have been ringing in my ears all day, filling my heart with peace and joy. May they be a blessing to you ladies as well.

-Isaiah 40
12 "Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hands and marked off the heavens by the span and calculated the dust of the earth by the measure and weighed the mountains in a balance and the hills in a pair of scales?
13 Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord or as His counselor has informed Him?
14 With whom did He consult and who gave Him understanding? And who taught Him in the path of justice and taught Him knowledge and informed Him of the way of understanding?...
18 To whom then will you liken God? Or what likeness will you compare with Him?...
21 Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been declared to you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?
22 It is He who sits above the vault of the earth and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, who stretches out the heavens like a curtain and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.
23 He it is who reduces rulers to nothing, who makes the judges of the earth meaningless.
24 Scarcely have they been planted, scarcely have they been sown, scarcely has their stock taken root in the earth, but He merely blows on them and they wither and the storm carries them away like stubble.
25 'To whom then will you liken Me that I should be his equal?' says the Holy One.
26 Life up your eyes on high and see who has created these stars, the One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name; because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power not one of them is missing...
28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable.
29 He gives strength to the weary and to Him who lacks might He increases power.
30 Though youths grow weary and tired and vigorous young men stumble badly,
31 yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary."

-Isaiah 42:5
"... God the Lord, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spreads out the earth and its offspring, who gives breath to the people on it, and spirit to those who walk in it..."

Our God is TRULY an awesome God!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Edmund's Birth Story

**Note: though I tried to write this entry with great discretion and tact, alas, it IS a birth story, and so, is slightly graphic in nature. Just a heads-up!

On (Monday) June 23, as mentioned in an earlier post, I spotted all day long and then experienced painful contractions starting at about 10:30pm. Rather than getting closer together, my contractions got further apart and stopped altogether at about midnight.

On (Tuesday) June 24, I awoke to nothing unusual, and so, went about my day as I normally would. Come lunchtime, though, I began experiencing slightly painful contractions, consistently around 15 minutes apart. Thankfully, RD had to stay in town to fix an on-going computer problem at a local business, and so, was unable to go to his 2 day/wk. contractual job out of town (approximately a 45 min. drive). Yea! That helped me relax knowing that he was working so close by and could quickly get home.

Contractions continued to remain about 15 min.s apart throughout the afternoon. I called the midwife to give her a heads-up and she recommended I try to nap when the kids went down for quiet time. I was able to sleep some but was awoken 3x's with painful contractions. After my nap I called RD and told him this was the "real thing" and would keep him posted if contractions got closer together. Also called my babysitters to let them know that they should come and pick up the kids when the hubby got out of work.

At about 6:30pm, my babysitters arrived to pick up the kids and RD got home from work. By this point, my contractions were painful enough that I had to work through them and they were approximately 8-10 min.s apart. After the kids were gone and RD and I got settled, that's when my contractions started coming pretty hard. We called the midwife when they were about 5 min.s apart. She only lives 12 miles away and so was able to get there fairly quickly.

When the midwife came, I was near transition. Contractions were coming about every 2 min.s and were lasting about 1-1/2 min.s. RD and the midwife went about making preparations in the master bedroom (where I knew I wanted to birth). They also started preparing the herbs for my postpartum bath. What a familiar smell! It totally brought back memories from when I birthed Cassandra.

I labored like that for about an hour more. My midwife actually got a little knitting done during that time. ;-) Finally, contractions started coming one after another... hard, painful, and long. There were a few contractions that nearly led me to vomit so I knew I was in transition at this point. I remember there being at least (2) contractions that were back to back. Ouch! As with Cassandra's birth, I was in my lazyboy recliner, rocking through each contraction. For some reason, rocking helps me to work through the pain. The midwife kept telling me to relax my whole body, to pull my chin down to my chest, and breath slowly through them. This was the first birth where my fingers didn't go numb from lack of oxygen. This was also the first birth where I managed to not vomit during transition!!! (Perhaps it helped that for dinner I ate a light turkey sandwich.)

It must have been around 10:30pm and I felt like I had to go to the bathroom. In between a contraction, RD helped me up and walked me to the restroom. The walking made the contractions worse and I had to work through a few really hard contractions while sitting on the toilet. Just to see what would happen, while in the bathroom, I tried pushing through one of the contractions and discovered that it felt good to push! RD called back out to the midwife to tell her I felt like pushing. She told me to go ahead and take my shorts and underpants off and head to the master bedroom.

Once there, I sat on the birthing stool (which is a crescent shaped chair with handle bars) and she gave me an internal (my first with this pregnancy- yea). I was fully dilated and effaced with a bulging bag of waters! To prepare our bedroom for birth, our birth kit included a HUGE clear plastic tarp... which we spread out to cover the carpet and the surrounding furniture. Underneath the birthing stool were several of those large square hospital absorbency pads. RD had a chair behind me so he could hold and steady me. My midwife sat Indian-style in front of me with a hospital absorbency pad covering her lap.

I was ready for pushing right around 11pm. I tried pushing through a few contractions but it was unproductive. My midwife suggested that when I feel a contraction I pull my chin into my chest, bend forward, and groan with a relaxed jaw. I felt sort of weird "groaning" really loud but it helped a lot. She also helped by doing another internal and pushing at a spot in the birth canal, giving me a focal point/pushing target. Still slightly unproductive.

My midwife decided to make me switch positions. I was squatting with my knees on hers and my arms wrapped around the back of her neck. For some reason, this opened things up down there and made it so much easier to push. I remember I kept asking her if it was ok that my water hadn't broke and she kept assuring me not to worry and that in due time it would break. She was right! As Edmund was working his way down the birth canal, I felt this 'pop' and clear liquid came rushing out. Yea! I felt a rush of excitement as I could see I was nearing the end!

When Edmund's head was over halfway down the birth canal, my midwife had me reach down and feel his head. So neat!

Then... it got hard. I thought that what I had experienced thus far was hard. But no...

His crowning was the most painful thing I remember from any of my births. Out went the slow, deliberate breathing. Out went the chin in/moaning thing. I don't want to go so far as to say I was "writhing"... but it was close. I remember I couldn't breathe regularly and I started crying. It seemed like an eternity, but it really was only 1-2 min.s (if that).

Then, at 11:47pm, Edmund was born! Just when I thought I couldn't take it a second longer, he was quickly birthed and I was graced with the biggest feeling of relief and accomplishment. The midwife caught him, wrapped him in a receiving blanket, and as I sat up on the birthing stool again she laid him on my chest. I remember looking at his face and I just knew he was a boy. He had such masculine features. I pulled the blanket back to see and sure enough, my prediction was confirmed. ;-) RD was simply beaming! As soon as the cord finished pulsating, the midwife clamped the cord and handed RD the shears to clip it.

For some reason, the placenta took its time in coming out. Usually it slips out without any effort, but not this time. There really weren't any afterbirth contractions. The midwife pushed on my tummy some and then had me push. We caught it in a Schwann's ice cream tub. (ha ha) The midwife just kept commenting on how it was "such a clean birth".

After we cleaned up a bit, we wrapped one of those hospital absorbency pads around me like a big diaper and I walked upstairs to have my postpartum herbal bath. My midwife always encourages the baby to bathe with momma so the two of us got in and took a nice warm bath. The herbs help both my tissues and the baby's umbilical cord to heal. Edmund took his first round of nursing there in the tub and took to it like a pro. There is something truly bonding about nursing. I just can't explain it.

After our bath, Edmund and I got dressed and headed back downstairs. Once there, I ate some cheese and crackers while Edmund got weighed and measured. We also went over the postnatal care list of do's and dont's. Then she brought back out the placenta and showed us how she examines it to make sure everything looked healthy. In one regard, the placenta looked gross... but from another perspective, RD and I were both in awe over God's perfect design in creation.

Once the aftercare procedure was over, the midwife left RD and I to bask in Edmund's birth and to let him have another round of nursing. She gathered all the birthing laundry to get that started washing. She completely cleaned up the birthing materials in the master bedroom. She even washed up the tub upstairs from our bath. In less than 30 min.s, our house was back in order... to the point you would have never guessed a baby had just been born. It was amazing!

RD and I stayed up for about an hour more after the midwife left to snuggle and enjoy our new son. I drank a cup of herbal "Mother's Milk Tea" (helps promote healthy lactation). This was at about 2am. Finally we retired and went to sleep. RD slept on the couch so he could be with me. I slept in my lazyboy recliner with Edmund, letting him nurse and sleep as he desired.

Well... that's it. :-)
I was terribly curious to see how this homebirth differed from Cassandra's, but it really was quite paralleled in experience. They were both quiet births. Both babies came out alert and content...

If I could describe my experience in one word it would be "peaceful"...

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Maternal Instincts

I'd mentioned before that since Edmund's arrival Cassandra's been revealing a very strong maternal side. She loves the sling I made her so she can carry around her baby Edmund.

Here's Benjamin hangin' with his little bro

Benjamin wanted to take another picture.
He really does a good job with the camera.