Monday, August 1, 2016

A Time To Be Born

We are THRILLED to introduce our newest "love explosion",
Stephen "Worth" Blackiston.

It truly felt like we waited an eternity for him to get here!
Hope and I made the most of it as we learned to WAIT ON THE LORD.
I don't think I had ever been that pregnant.
My body felt like it was going to explode.
And, yep, soon it would! Explode with LIFE.
It is amazing to me that God allows us moms to be a vessel for His gifts.
And that He gives our bodies supernatural abilities to carry them.
Some days Hope and I just needed to put on cute shoes while we waited.

 I can honestly say Hope loved Worth before he was born.
Reminds me of God's love and plan for us BEFORE we were born...
“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb.
Before you were born I set you apart"
Jer 1:5
So, July 27 finally arrived. It was time! I was 5 cm dilated and 90% effaced when I got to the hospital.
The contractions didn't hurt bad. Mine don't until the end (thank you, Lord).
Tim and I were so nervous. People constantly say, "you guys are pros at this by now!".
Everything in me says, "no, no, no! You don't understand. We aren't pros at all! God has asked us to do something we have no idea how to do and it requires SO MUCH FAITH!!".
I was so scared because I really wanted to do this without an epidural. Not because I am so natural but because I got a spinal headache once that required a patch procedure and my back has hurt since. I am afraid of epidurals. 
I don't take birthing classes because they creep me out. I don't like looking at naked people delivering babies. I would DIE before I did that in front of Tim. Those people are entirely TOO NAKED. Lol.
Tim and I have a joke that there is "good naked" and "BAD naked". ;) Ha ha.
I want to make out with Tim after this is all over! I don't want him to have traumatic images lodged in his brain forever.
So, I am not a real natural-delivery girl and I am NEVER prepared.
I just know it HURTS.
Suzy asked me what a contraction felt like.
I said, "I have no words to describe it".
I really can't describe pain that makes you want to unzip yourself and crawl out of your own body!

I go in "armed" with my birthing verses...
"I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth."
Ps 121

"So do not fear, for I am with you
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
Is 41:10

I always go into the bathroom alone and beg God to help me. 
To just be WITH me. To help me endure the pain. If I know God is with me, it gives me courage and strength.
He makes His presence known and I move forward in faith that He will truly HELP me deliver this baby.
"The Lord is WITH me; He is my helper."
Ps 118:7

"And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper,to be with you FOREVER"
John 14:6
(love that the Spirit will be with us FOREVER...)

The hospital where I delivered is big and old and like a maze. I told mom how thankful I was that GOD could find me in that little room. I'm not sure anyone else could have! But God was there in that tiny room (and even tinier bathroom). Isn't that so cool? Praise God we have direct access anytime... anywhere.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there
if I make my bed in the depths (of Erlanger hospital- lol)
you are there.
Ps 139:7,8

For whatever reason, IV's are usually a problem with me.
Nurses can't get them in.
After multiple tries, the nurse got one in... or so she thought.
They started the saline and 45 minutes later, I looked down at my arm and it was BLOWN up. It was so scary looking, I couldn't look at it. (the picture doesn't do it justice).
Ok, great... now how was I suppose to do this naturally when I can't move my arm?
This wasn't helping my anxiousness!
They had to move the IV again into the other arm on top of my verse.

Just about then, one my very best friends in the world walked in and surprised me! My beautiful friend, Suzy.  Next came my other amazing friend, Val. Val introduced me to Tim. She has been at all the births. I tell her they are all really  her children because she arranged our marriage.
Tim, mom, Suzy, Val and I had a great time hanging out. A pastor from our Church came and shared beautiful stories of God's faithfulness. It was a special place.
But, all of the sudden... my contractions were getting strong. Like really strong.
I know delivery is super close when I want to be BY MYSELF.
The doctor was suppose to be in at 9. It was 8:59. I texted him to tell him it was getting really intense and that he should come. He was there in the next 5 minutes. 
I was 9 cm and baby was on his way.

By God's grace (and the help of an pudendal block), I had my easiest delivery yet.
Worth was born at 9:38. 8 pounds exactly.

I never remember wanting to see my baby's face the way I wanted to see his. 

"My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” 
Your face, Lord, I will seek."
Ps 27:8

I think because, in Worth's face, I could see the power of God.
His face was evidence of many battles won.
His face was evidence of the mercy of God.
His face was evidence of prayers answered.
His face was evidence of life after death.
His face was evidence of the end of a long journey.

They do things a little differently at the hospital since I had Rhett. They do "skin time" when the baby is born. They don't bathe him or weigh him. They lay him right on your chest for an hour.
It felt like HEAVEN ON EARTH.
He was SO beautiful (even covered in slime).


That picture was taken seconds after Worth was born. 
I have the BIGGEST crush on Tim. 😍💋💋
Can't believe he chose me to run his race with. He is a total godly hunk. 
The doctor asked him if he wanted to help deliver this one. I said "No, I need him with me". ❤️
When I didn't think I can endure any more pain, Tim leaned over and whispered in my ear. He said, "it's been a long hard road to get here. It's almost over". This baby represents the other side of perseverance to both of us. 

“You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised.”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭10:36‬ ‭




 I cannot describe the feeling of the other side of perseverance. Holding in my arms what He had promised. 
I honestly don't remember feeling peace like I did after Worth was born.
It was a wave of peace that enveloped my soul.





 The first time they saw their new baby brother. 
What a gift THEY have been given. 
They know it too.
I am so thankful they get to SEE the power of Elohim... Creator God.
Rhett is a little dangerous. Love that cute little toddler hand going for his face.
Gonna be a big job to keep Worth safe from Rhett!
Thankful he has so many body guards.








Reece brought his football to show Worth when he met him. He is staying with me. He has always loved how newborns smell. Such lifelong memories!
Reece is going to be an amazing big brother. All 5 of them are.



I just stared and stared at him for 2 days in the hospital.
In AWE.

 "Let the whole world fear the Lord,

and let everyone stand in awe of Him."
Ps 33:8


 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.

You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb...
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Ps 139:13


 Our lives are in his hands,

and he keeps our feet from stumbling.
Ps 66:9




Ok, I never dreamed the cute girl photographer at the hospital was going to take pictures like these! Either she was really good or Tim is unusually gorgeous. OR BOTH.
I love this picture so much.
Tim looked at Worth and said, "I was so intimidated by the thought of having you, Worth... number seven. But you are here and we are so thankful."

I am blown away at Tim's walk with God. He has truly laid down what is so hard for men:
Control.
It's not a one time thing either.
Being a living sacrifice is hard.
I know I want to squirm right off of that altar when the heat gets turned up.
 God is blessing Tim.
He has a joy that is new. I see it in his eyes and his smile.
He looks more alive.
It will be so incredible to watch the relationship between these two. 
They need each other.

We are still learning to walk by faith, Worth.
Be patient with us.
We are not PROS.
We were simply chosen (without merit) to do what only God can do through us.

"...think of what you were when you were called. 
Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth.  But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.  God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are,  so that no one may boast before him."
1 Cor 1:26-28






 Mom has been the biggest blessing. She could hold a newborn for 24 hours a day.
She is holding him now so I can journal and work on his baby book.
I still haven't made a baby book for 2 (or 3!!!) of my other kids.
It makes me so sad. I just don't have time to sit at the computer like I used to!
So thankful my mom was able to be a part of Worth's birth.
She is beautiful.

 Loved having friends come visit us!

They constantly bothered him in the hospital. He doesn't fuss about it though. He passed his hearing test. Yay!! Perfect blood pressure. Yay!!
Every new test I would hold my breath.
I worried more for this baby than any others. I am not proud of that. My faith should be increasing and my worry decreasing with age. I'm not sure that is the case in the area of motherhood.
I love him deeply. Still can't process that he is really here and really ours.
There are usually things I notice about my babies early on.
Whether it's dimples or beauty marks.
With Worth, I notice his eyelashes and long big toes that look EXACTLY like Tim's.
Tim got me roses when we came home. Those roses are opening now and get more beautiful everyday. That is what it feels like watching my children as they grow and become more vibrant. Discovering what all God knitted into them and watching it blossom over the years. Isn't that amazing? God's care and involvement in each of our lives is amazing. 
I am reminded that God has given me everything I need to mother these babies.
He placed it in me before birth. I believe that by faith.


"His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness."
2 Peter 1:3





“Come to Me, all you who LABOR and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭11:28-30‬ ‭

Crazy the difference between this and when I was scared to death in labor. I soaked in every second of the quiet. Didn't turned the TV on once. (Reece watched ESPN when he was here bc we don't have cable at home and it's a luxury for him). The only sound was the peaceful humming of the air conditioner. 
I love being with my new babies at the hospital.
I have learned a few secrets over the years of birthing babies...
1. Bring your own wash cloth to wash your face...think of all the places the hospital wash cloths have been! 😷
2. A pudendal block makes a natural delivery possible. (Best kept secret in child birthing). Ask your OB! It's a local anesthetic for the "ring of fire".
3. Buy an egg crate mattress topper to bring to hospital for $20 so the bed doesn't kill your back.
4. Listen to Fernando Ortega station on Pandora.
5. Memorize a new Scripture
6. Ask them not to give you pitocin after you deliver to shrink your uterus if you go natural. Those after-delivery contractions are killers! "No thank you"
7. Pray over your baby and your family
8. Share Christ with nurses
9. Drink apple juice with crushed ice and ask for graham crackers and peanut butter for a snack 😋
10. Ask God to REFILL YOUR EMPTY TANK. Acts 1:8





 I worried that Worth would think his mommy had wrinkles.
I was SO excited to see that he has more wrinkles than I do!
He reminds me of a shar pei puppy!

And just like that, we loaded Worth up in his new car seat and took him home.


So much of God's faithfulness bound up in a tiny little person.
It feels like a dream.
I am still learning that God truly is GOOD. I don't know why I struggle with that. Maybe because of the deep dark valleys He has allowed me to walk through or the attacks of the enemy that have left me beat up. Maybe because of people who have hurt me deeply who know God. It can be hard to separate people's tainted love from God's pure love.

I am constantly asking God to help me to trust Him.
He has NEVER done anything to make me not trust Him.
His faithfulness reaches to the heavens. It is my own sinful heart that is full of fear to TRULY trust God.

Jennie sent me a card reminding me of these verses:

"You feed them from the abundance of your own house,
letting them drink from your river of delights.
For you are the fountain of life,
the light by which we see.
Pour out your unfailing love on those who love you"
Ps 36:8-10




We are drinking from His River of Delights around here and God is truly pouring out His love on us.
I think it is so fun how God uses babies to show us His love.
Especially one baby, Jesus.
If you do not know Jesus Christ.
He was sent as an atoning sacrifice by His Father because of God's GREAT love for you.
God loves you SO much He gave up His Son so that you may live.
This is how He showed His love among us.

"God showed how much He loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through Him.  This is real love—not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins."
1 John 4:9,10

God is good.


 "You are good and do only good"
Ps 119:68


Praising God for our new son...
Stephen 
 "Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, performed great wonders and signs among the people."
Acts 6:8

Worth
"Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are WORTH more than many sparrows."
Luke 12:7

"I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing WORTH of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord"
Phil 4:8

1 comment:

Rebecca Betts said...

Well. That was amazing. Thanks for taking a rare moment to share, was so encouraging and spoke to me. Congratulations on Worth! What a real gift.