Wednesday, October 16, 2013

"Special Delivery"

Friday night I cleaned everything in my house. I washed all the sheets on the beds (that is a FEAT with the boys' bunkroom). All 5 kids were spending the night with friends. The house was eerily quiet.
Tim and I were scheduled to be at the hospital at 4 am to have our baby. We went to bed late.
The time was finally here.
I woke up twice in the few hours of sleep I got that night to go to the bathroom. I was so uncomfortable. The alarm went off at 3 am. We both fell out of bed and threw our clothes on. I put some perfume on thinking that maybe I will be able to smell it during labor and it will make me happy. (It reminded me of when Mary puts perfume all over Jesus before He goes to the cross and how He was probably still able to smell it while He hung on the cross for the sins of the world--- how precious our sacrificial love is to Him).

We grabbed all the stuff I had packed weeks before and off we went. Me, Tim, my suitcase, an egg crate mattress, a big blue ball, and a Bible. It was dark. No one was on the road except a deer and an opossum. We were quiet in the car. I told Tim it reminded me of our honeymoon night. When you wait FOREVER for something, that when the time finally comes, it doesn't seem real.
We walked into the hospital and checked in. I love getting to do anything alone with Tim because it always feels romantic (just being with him holding hands). 
It also helps that he is just so darn HOT.

Tim takes such good care of me. He talks to the guy about insurance and payment stuff while I nervously half-listen. We walk into our room where we are going to meet our new son. They start an IV and I have to get antibiotics for strep B.
At 7 am, my OB gets there. I am dilated to 5.  My water is broken around 7:30 am. Now I know "the train" is coming.
My goal is to not get an epidural. No one is on board with that plan because of what happened last time I delivered naturally. If you have read my blog for a few years, you may remember this POST about delivering Hope... drug-free, doctor-free, and sanity-free. You can read in there how I say I will never do it again. Yet, because of my fear of epidurals (due to a botched spinal tap), I am determined to try it again.
Tim and I start walking around the parking lot of the hospital as the contractions start to get stronger. We walk and talk and walk and talk. 

Then I would take breaks. Tim has the epidural guy come in and answer all my questions and get everything set for an epidural if I choose to have one.
At around 2ish, my OB tells me I am 8 cm. I am still doing ok. My doctor says, "You have 10 minutes to decide if you are going to get an epidural". That still makes my stomach sink. Mainly because I knew "the train" was right around the corner. My mom, my friend Valerie, and Tim were all telling me to get it. I go into the bathroom alone and ask God what He wants me to do. I tell God that the desire of my heart is to not get the epidural. I ask Him to help me. I asked Him to be merciful.

It occurred to me that I am asking the God of the Universe to come to a little hospital in Chattanooga, Tn to come help a scared momma. I felt so small all of the sudden. I knew His presence was there. I had felt it. My friend Valerie had been reading Scripture over me during contractions and it was powerful. I had my verse that I believed the Lord had given me to get through this posted on the wall:
"Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river"

I had the cross I bought at the gift shop when I delivered Hope to squeeze. It brought me so much comfort. It is usually in Hope's room on her dresser. She (hesitantly) let me borrow it. ;)
I didn't let go of it.

When I came out of the bathroom after praying, I told Tim that going natural was the desire of my heart and I needed his help. Out of love, he got *on board*. I told him he didn't have to stay and watch this part because it wasn't going to be pretty. It is so sweet to look at these pictures because I didn't realize how incredible Tim was during this whole process.
(** Single girls- wait on the "one the Lord has chosen" for you. He will love you with God's love.)

Honestly, it was me and Jesus walking through this. I was glad Tim was there but I was in "the zone" with the Lord. It is actually kind of weird to see these pictures because it seemed like I was in another world.  It was an intimacy I hadn't known before and it felt like God and I were walking together in the garden in the cool of the day.

"And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day"
Gen 3:8

The contractions were getting stronger and stronger. I was sitting on my big blue ball squeezing my cross while Tim rubbed my back and Valerie kept reading Psalms...

(I am about 8 cm here- God's strength)

I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.

This poor man called, and the Lord heard him;

he saved him out of all his troubles.

The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him,
and he delivers them.

God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.

Hear my cry for mercy as I call to you for help, as I lift up my hands toward your Most Holy Place.

Answer me, Lord, out of the goodness of your love; in your great mercy turn to me.

Words are jumping out at me as she reads...

By now, it is really just me and the Lord. He was Who I needed. I just needed to be in communion/fellowship with Jesus. It was so powerful, such an intimate spiritual place with the One Who created me and my baby. He is the Author of Life, the Giver of Life, the Prince of Life... of course His presence is going to be powerful during the birth of a baby. Part of the curse of sin is that there will be PAIN in childbirth. What is so incredible about God is that although we are under a curse, He comes and bears the weight of the curse for us. I felt that. That He experienced it WITH me. He HELPED me. The Holy Spirit is called our "Helper".  
This word "parakletos" means:  
 a helper, aider, assistant
**of the Holy Spirit destined to take the place of Christ with the apostles (after his ascension to the Father), to lead them to a deeper knowledge of the gospel truth, and give them divine strength needed to enable them to undergo trials and persecutions on behalf of the divine kingdom

I was so scared of the pain of natural childbirth yet I have never sensed the coming alongside/Helper character of God like I did Saturday. It felt like I was the only human being in the world because how could God possibly be helping someone else at the same time? Seemed impossible yet God is completely available to each and every human being at the same time. Mind-blowing.

So, the time came to start pushing. I never put on a hospital gown. I guess because I had been out of bed up until the last minutes.  

I just hoped and prayed that baby was not sunny-side-up again like Crew was because he got stuck. That was not fun WITH an epidural. 

My legs are being held up and and I start pushing. (In between contractions, my OB and Tim were watching some football game on the big screen on the wall between my knees... ha!. I was glad though because I didn't want them staring at me at that point!!!). 
My OB was so patient with me during this whole thing. He hung out with us at the hospital all day because he didn't want to not get there in time.
He is practically part of our family after delivering all my children (except Hope).
I am very very grateful for him.

Meanwhile, baby doesn't seem to be going anywhere and the "ring of fire" was turned up 7 times hotter.  :) yowza.
I think this part took about 45 LONG minutes.  :(
(I will save you some of the *juicy* details)
I screamed during the last 5 minutes. It is just plain WRONG how bad that part hurts. Oh my goodness. 
Then... out came my darling baby. 
My sweet new baby boy who was SUNNY-SIDE-UP but no one told me. That is good because I would have lost it. God was so merciful that he didn't get stuck and came out looking so perfect instead of bruised and beat up from being face-up. The scariest part for me is the first couple minutes after birth when you don't know if they are healthy or not and waiting to hear that first beautiful cry.

After natural delivery, I need about 1-2 hours to recover psychologically. Whoooo. 
It feels like you get hit by a train yet you somehow live through it??

Tim, mom, Val, and my older 2 boys hung out with the baby while I just thanked God that he was here and for helping me. One of the best parts of delivering with no meds is when it is over, it is over. I was able to get up and move around and walk to my new room.
It was like it never happened. 

My older 3 boys prayed for a long time that God would give us another baby.
Rhett is an answer to their prayers...

I just look at the babies in the nursery and wonder who God is bringing into this next generation.
Who have you given us, God? 
And, what is your calling on his life?
What gifts have you given him?
Will he change the world?
I pray so.
 Below is my dad's hand. He loves babies. So thankful he was there and that his cancer is GONE as of the last scan. He will continue to be on chemo though. 

 Mom... the baby whisperer... happily back on duty.
 The first time they saw him...
 Getting his hearing tested. I thought he looked so cute.
 Mom and dad. :)
I got to stay in the hospital by myself for 2 days. I listened to worship music and read my Bible and soaked up every second of peace. I truly believe God extended peace to me like a river. It was so peaceful I didn't know how to take it all in. I think Rhett may have brought peace with him. 
"my peace I give you"
John 14:27

"For he himself is our peace"
Eph 2:14

Tim surprised me with a "push present" right after delivery.
UGGS! I have never had a pair. He knows the way to my heart... boots. 

I am so thankful for this chance to grow in my relationship with God. It was the best birth experience of all 6 births. I have changed my tune. Having a doctor and a nurse there changed everything. I didn't panic.
I would highly recommend trying natural delivery. If I can do it, anybody can. I didn't take classes or read books. God helped me and gave me the desire of my heart.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
Here is the moment the 3 younger ones first met their new brother...

I am so excited for Crew. He has no idea the birthday gift he was just given. A best friend to do life with. My older boys are so close. I am eternally grateful they have each other to encourage, rebuke, and walk this life with. Now, Crew will have that.
And, Hope? She is surrounded by amazing boys who love her and we have each other. :) 

 Lake is so precious to me. I have no idea how someone so precious and pure-hearted came out of my womb. He sings through life. He has more joy than anyone I have ever met. He constantly makes me want to be more like Jesus. Rhett is so blessed to have these older brothers.
 She is beautiful like her daddy.

 She wants to hold him all the time. 
I tell her what a great momma she is going to be!
She laughs and laughs when he has the hiccups or makes some funny baby noise.

 3 monkeys...
These guys have the most fun ever. 
Bunkmates, schoolmates, friends who you somehow never get tired of.

"But we don’t need to write to you about the importance of loving each other, 
for God himself has taught you to love one another."
1 Thess 4:9 

Our house is so full of life now (John 10:10) that it reminds me of a restaurant here in the mornings.
There is so much noise and laughter and silverware.
It goes from totally quiet to a party here every morning.
I never dreamed in a million years I would have 6 children.
Who has 6 children?
Only weird homeschool families who drive conversion vans, right?
How did this happen?
I can tell you it has been God's grace every step of the way. Not a minute early, not a minute late.
God has helped us every day before now, I have to trust He won't stop.
These children are His. He knows the way in which they should go. 
So, like Samson's parents, we BEG Him to come and teach us how to raise them.
"Then Manoah prayed to the Lord
“Pardon your servant, Lord. 
I beg you to let the man of God you sent to us come again 
to teach us how to bring up the boy who is to be born.”
Judges 13:8

The story behind Rhett's name...

 Somebody wanted in on the photo shoot...
 I am glad he did because this ended up being one of my favorites!
 Sleepy baby. He sure didn't seem sleepy last night!

So, I wanted to name him "Hart".
Because of these verses...
"My beloved is like a roe or a young hart"
Song of Songs 2:10

"As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God."
Ps 42:1

I love that verse in Song of Solomon, it is basically the word she uses for "hunk" or "studmuffin".

Well, Tim didn't love it as much as me. So, I could have nagged him to death or be agreeable and let him name this baby. So, with God's help, I decided to be AGREEABLE and let Tim choose the name. Tim chose "Rhett" which means SPEAKER. Love!!! That is my prayer that Rhett will be a speaker one day. 

"Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me:
“Behold, I have put My words in your mouth."
Jer 1:9

As the Lord lives, whatever the Lord says to me, that I will speak.”
1 Kings 22:14

"Pray for us, too, that God will give us many opportunities to speak about his mysterious plan concerning Christ....Pray that I will proclaim this message as clearly as I should."
Col 4:3,4

But, Rhett Hart didn't exactly work. We had to find a name to shorten in order to use both our faves.
So "Everett Hart" became his sweet name. 

I am home now. My job is big. My mom leaves soon. 
I am sunk without Jesus. 
My verse for this new "overwhelming" season of life...
"From the end of the earth I will cry to You,

When my heart is overwhelmed;

Lead me to the rock that is higher than I."

Ps 61:2

Life is such a gift. 

If you don't know the God of the Universe, the Prince of Life in a personal way...
May tonight be the night you fall on your face before Him. 
Place your faith in Christ and be brought back to God.
He loves you.
He knows what you have done and still loves you.
He doesn't desire to punish you.
He TOOK your punishment.
He proved His love for you by sacrificing His One and Only Son so that YOU can live (ZOE).

Place your faith in Jesus Christ and invite God to make His home IN YOU.
He has plans for your life. It is more than you could ever dream of imagine.
He has good works prepared in advance for you to do.
Please don't die in your sins.

"Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. 
My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them."
John 14:23
Be Blessed~


Chrissy said...

Hi there! Congratulations on your sweet baby boy! He is so beautiful and wonderful.

I recently started keeping up with your blog and have to tell you what an encouragement you have been! Your story of Rhett's birth brought tears to my eyes of how great our God is!

Your site just shouts of God's grace and goodness and love. I know we've not met, but you are just such a blessing!

Many blessings to your sweet sweet family!

Love in Christ,

Kim said...

I feel like such a don't know me but I have been following your blog for a long time and am ALWAYS encouraged when I "visit".

Congratulations on the birth of Rhett! You have a lovely family!! May the Lord continue to bless you as you raise these little ones!

~~Kim from PA :)

Anonymous said...

My goodness, there is so much to celebrate! Happiest days to your family.


Anonymous said...

The picture of your gorgeous mother holding Rhett . . . and the picture of a glowing Lake holding his baby brother . . . is it just those photos, or does Lake look JUST like her? So beautiful.

Kate in NC