What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Thursday, December 31, 2015

In the Hospital

I had hoped for a homebirth this time around.  I tried my best to find a homebirth midwife for months after finding out I was pregnant- but the only one within two hours was certified for NY and not for PA.  She was in the process of getting her PA licensing but it wouldn't be done until early December at best.  So I got regular prenatal care with a hospital midwife with the hopes that the certification would go through by the time Tiddle would come and we could switch to a homebirth last minute.

I called the week before Tiddle arrived and the paperwork still hadn't come through.  It seemed the Lord wanted to me to have a hospital birth after all.

This was a bit of a stresser for me, having been seven minutes shy of delivering on the highway last time and feeling quite sure that it would happen this time around.  Waiting for Matt to get home from work (an hour drive at best) and then a trip to the hospital (45 minutes at best) seemed like a highway baby might be inevitable if the labor was a short-lived as my previous one.

Praise God, He worked everything out perfectly.  Matt had taken the week off of work so he was home- and there was no need to wait for his hour-long commute to bring him home when it was time. And, despite the drive, we made it to the hospital...though it was a pretty intense drive!

I had had several nights of serious contractions that we thought were 'it' but after HOURS, they eventually stopped.  It is a very discouraging thing to believe you are in labor only for all progress to stop.  By my due date, I was very despairing indeed.  Tuesday the contractions began as they had several times before.  Around 11ish, Matt and I were playing checkers and eating tomato soup when I realized that when it was my turn, I was having a hard time concentrating on my next move.  I may or may not have won that game.  We may or may not have even finished it.  I don't really recall.

We called Matt's parents at 1:30 to come and get the children.  My contractions were five minutes apart at that point and very painful.  I didn't care if it was false labor at that point.  I just needed to go for my own sanity.  We left to go to the hospital.  We forgot the diaper bag.  We forgot the carseat.  We remembered the camera. ;-)

We arrived at the hospital and started for the elevator the very moment Matt's twin brother John (who works at the hospital) was walking out of the very same elevator.  I could barely concentrate on anything through the pain of the contractions but I remember thinking at the time (and have thought many times since) how the Lord used that moment to ground me in Him.  It was one of those small things that pointed so clearly to His perfect timing...every thing, every moment is determined and ordained by Him.  John could have left seconds before.  We could have arrived seconds later.  But....the Lord.  He used John to remind me that everything was going just according to His plan, which was a great comfort to me.

We got up into the room after a very hurried wheelchair ride to labor and delivery!  The nurse was practically running I think.  My eyes were closed most of the time but I remember opening them twice.  Once to see a nurse.  Once to see the on call midwife.  Just a glance at their faces.

And Ineke was born 15 minutes later.

The nurses all couldn't believe I had delivered just 15 minutes after arriving.  I couldn't believe I had made it to the hospital!

She was 8 lbs 15 ounces and 20 3/4 inches long.  Everyone who has seen Ineke has said she is a nice, big baby but after Judah, she seems like a teeny little doll to me.  Joy!

She was a champion nurser from the get-go and a champion pooper too but because Ineke was born so speedily, I had bleeding problems and she had choking issues from the amniotic fluid left in her lungs.  It was a bit worrisome in places but all has been made right at this point and we are both doing very well.  Very well, indeed.

The children are over the moon.  The boys had wanted another boy pretty badly so I was worried that they may be disappointed- but one look at their faces as they held their little sister calmed any fears of that.  Not sure they could have been more smitten!

And that is the story, though short and sweet, of how Ineke came to be!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Her First Noel

The best Christmas gift ever... we were blessed to finally meet our little Tiddle on December 22nd.

We were discharged from the hospital the next day, just in time to put children to bed the eve before Christmas Eve.  The next day, it was wrapping presents and filling stockings.  The next, Christmas Day.  The next, more wrapping and last minute doings for a Christmas party.  The next day, more wrapping and last minute makings and doings for another family Christmas.  Every day was filled with bustle, every evening filled with a little girl who I can't seem to stop staring at.

I have fallen asleep sitting up more times than I can count but I love those middle of the night feedings when we wonder at one another by the glow of Christmas lights.  I can't stop watching her little face twist and turn into these impossibly sweet expressions, I can't fathom the sweetness of her little head of black hair nestled in the crook of my neck, I am utterly undone when she squints her eyes to peek at this, her new world.

 Today is our first day without some pressing holiday commitment looming ahead and a list of things to finish up quickly before it arrives.  It has been glorious.  Now that there is a moment to breathe, I wanted to finally introduce you to this beautiful little soul.

Ineke Rose Newman
(pronounced Ee-nuh-kuh)

She has a head full of dark hair that surprises everyone but me and a pucker that forms a perfect little heart.  Her fingernails are so tiny they almost don't exist and I don't know what color eyes she will have because her 'bright eyed and bushy tailed' look is actually just a whisper above a squint.

She smells delicious, the back of her neck is the softest thing on planet earth and she looks like the exact same child I have birthed four times before.

We are absolutely and utterly besotten.

Birth photos and details to come soon...

Monday, December 21, 2015

In the Waiting

How do you like my belly button?  And Tiddle's large foot giving me a kick?!


December 20th came and went and no Tiddle.  I am officially overdue.  

So.... we wait. 

And while we wait, we add glitter to edges and tie up with string.  We cut paper and glue gifts and sew ric rack and bring down quilts and make a new chalkboard signs and string ribbon candy ornaments.  We toss around too many baby names, we drown our sorrows with too much cocoa and we hum Christmas carols all day long.  

 I rediscovered this bonnet at the bottom of the basket where it was buried in frustration after ripping out the fair aisle portion THREE TIMES!  I decided I might as well give it one more go before it is too late to fit a Tiddle, if Tiddle happens to be a girl.  I *think* (knock on wood and pray real hard) that, after printing out a bunch of copies and making the gird as it is to be worked, I am doing it right this time.  A very frustrating knitting project but it will be worth it in the end.  

Kind of like these last few days of being pregnant.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Tiddle : 5 to 1


So much for the Tiddle blogging I intended to do every week leading up to the due date!  I only missed five weeks of the ten.  50% is all.  That isn't bad.  (ha.)

With three days until my due date, I have to admit I am a bit disappointed to still be pregnant. Really, I was totally ready for baby to come as soon as the wedding was over.  (As in, that night!)  But, as only afflicts 9 months pregnant women, I also have a serious case of pregnancy-induced schizophrenia.

 I want to meet this little person!  I want to be able to roll over in bed in one solid, quick turn instead of the three-step heave, push, roll thing that I do now.  I want to walk instead of waddle.  I want to kiss that little foot that keeps jabbing me in my ribs and see the little expressions that accompany that sweet hiccup.  And at the very same time, I am close enough to the end to realize that those contractions I've been feeling for the past month or so are going to get exponentially worse feeling and oh yeah! All those wonderful things I just mentioned come with a hefty price tag of excruciating pain!

Excitement, anticipation, fear, dread.   It all happens in second intervals over here.  

I have discovered one lovely thing about being due in December...time really FLIES.  There are so many diversions and distractions and busyness to keep your mind and heart occupied.  These past five weeks have just vanished before my eyes!  The last month of pregnancy, which usually just drags on and on has been filled with holidays, weddings, christmas shopping, christmas making, christmas cards, christmas movies, a trip to the Philharmonic, decorating, parties, lists, sparkle, plans, happiness.

Last week I deep cleaned the childrens' rooms and the Spare Oom.  I crawled on hands and knees into the 3 1/2 foot tall storage cubby and organized it, barely being able to heave myself out once I was in.  I changed sheets on beds.  I tidied the school room shelves and bookcases.  I cleaned the living room.  The mudroom (the worst room in the house-always-and the first place everyone sees when they enter) was completely emptied and cleaned out.  Stocking stuff was sorted for each child.  Presents were wrapped.  The laundry got caught up.  The cobwebs were swiped.  The floors were swept.  Matt fixed the baby bed.  Everything was just right.  Ready.  And then, no Tiddle!

Since the house was so tidy and all my diversions were used up, I decided, very spontaneously, to invite a few friends over for a cookie decorating party...the next day.  I stayed up until midnight making dozens of cookies.  Of course, our neighbor saw the lights on up so late and called the next day wondering if a baby might have been keeping us up.   Around that same time, Matt had been feeling poorly and stayed home from work for a day.  Another neighbor, up the road a bit, saw his car and thought the baby had come too and came calling.  Seems everyone on the hill is on baby watch!

As happens with a family living, a clean house last week does not equal a clean house this week.  Spiders weave webs, dirt gets tracked in, children scatter blocks and Legos to the four corners of the house and clothes get dirty again.  It isn't nesting...it's just life at this point.

But it is keeping me busy as we wait upon this little one.  Which is always a good thing.  I am going to recharge my camera battery and pack up a hospital bag today (something I've always waited to do until I was on my way to the hospital)...a little 'hurry up Lord!  I'm ready!' message.

I hope you all are doing well and having a wonderful balance of calm and bright these days leading up to Christmas!

And Tiddle...whatever you do, if you wait until after your due date (agh!), please please please come before Christmas Eve!

You'd make your Mama so happy.