A day in August

I’ve wanted to sit and write the story if Lily’s birth several times but I could never find the right words. It was such a sweet day. My labor and her birth were an answer to prayer. I’ve relished the details over and over. 6 months later, I’d better get it written or it won’t happen.

Leading up to my due date (August 4), I was increasingly anxious about the impending labor. I worried that it would be very long and drawn out because this pregnancy had been so very different from my others. There was also an underlying current of anxiety that I had trouble putting words.  I prayed often for her birth and for her safety.

Here are the notes I took from her birth:

Sunday morning. 0715. Woke up feeling not great. Just blah. Stupid irregular contractions. I’m feeling them more in my lower back. I’m starting to wonder if I might be pregnant forever or maybe this is labor. I’m not sure.

0744: Text to Brandi (my midwife). Good morning. I woke up in labor (I think). Contractions every 4 minutes lasting 50 seconds. Membranes intact, lots of low back pressure. Baby moving well.

My contractions all morning would get closer together and then space way out. I wasn’t sure this was really it. I was pretty comfortable and I had time to sleep in between. I told Kerry I wasn’t going to church another week without a baby in my arms. So we stayed home, he wasn’t one to argue.

1044: Text to Brandi. Starting to get a little more uncomfortable. Contractions every couple of minutes lasting 50-60 seconds. Baby moving well.

Brandi and Kathy (my other midwife and Brandi’s mother) had just finished church and were going to see a family member who had been ill. I was totally fine with them not coming yet because I still wasn’t sure this was it. At 1130 they texted to see how things were going. Actually…at that moment they weren’t. After my last message to them, my contractions almost completely stopped. So much so that I’d napped. I was so afraid I was going to call them way to early or very much too late and end up having this baby without them (we’ve been there and done that). So they were going to get lunch and then come check on me. That sounded like a great plan to me.

Around 1: Text to Brandi: Not in the tub yet, but it sounds nice. Contractions are every 3-4 minutes and feel very intense. Baby is moving well.

My contractions had changed from being in my back to up front but they were still so irregular. The pool sounded really good, but I didn’t want to get in too early and stall my labor. In the meantime, the little guys went down for nap. My mom had brought lunch and was going to stay until baby was born. I thought we were going to be in for a long day.

Around 1:30 the midwives got here. I was so worried I’d called them too soon and they were going to tell me I was 3cm. The big boys helped carry in equipment and Kerry filled the pool.

Kathy checked me while Brandi started filing out paperwork and setting up. Kathy said the baby was in great position. Then she said the sweetest words I’ve ever heard “You’re a good 8-9cm”. I cried I was so happy. I was so certain this wasn’t the real thing. I may be the first labor patient to cry happy tears about being in labor.

I couldn’t wait to get in the pool and relax a little. It was wonderful! My contractions stayed irregular but were intense when I had them. In between, we talked and joked with our midwives. We had worship music playing and it was perfectly peaceful. Kerry always knows just what to say when I’m in labor. Usually it’s something to make me laugh.

About 2 I started to feel a little more uncomfortable and my contractions were much closer with no breaks. I remember telling Brandi I felt kind of pushy and she told me to go ahead. I felt very calm and collected. Sometimes I have been panicky at the end and I hate feeling so out of control. This time though…it was just serene and wonderful.

Kerry stepped out to let mom know the baby was close. She came down with my second push and I told Brandi “Here she comes” and she was born right after that at 2:18. It was so beautiful. No panic, no rush, just calm and peaceful and perfect. I was on my hands and knees so Brandi passed her up to me. The instant she came out of the water she started wailing. Louder than any of our other babies. She was making her presence known! She was so pink already!

I double (and triple) checked that she was indeed a girl. I was so overjoyed and thankful to have a healthy girl. I was grateful God granted me the privilege of her birth.  There had been so much anxiety that I hadn’t realized. I think deep down I was worried that she would die too. That maybe somehow I was unworthy of having a daughter. I surprised myself and was overcome by emotion. I burst into big ugly crying. I am not a crier by any stretch so it really caught me off guard. I just kissed her sweet head and thanked God for his provision and His blessing.

After that Kerry cut the cord and wrapped her up to show her to the boys while I got out of the pool and dried off. Shortly after that the little guys woke up and got to come meet her. The moment big brothers meet a new sibling is one of my favorite moments ever. It was so fun to see them watch Kathy like a hawk as she weighed and measured their baby sister. She weighed in at a BIG 9lbs 5oz! Biggest baby yet.


These first 6months have gone fast. I can’t believe how much joy she has brought to our family. Her brothers love her and they tell her how beautiful she is every single day. She has big brother Gabe wrapped around her finger and she saves some of her biggest smiles for him.

I thank God every day for the blessing of our children. Lily’s birth was such a sweet spot for me. I am grateful that God is His infinite wisdom granted us the privilege of having her in our family. We pray that she grows up to love and glorify Him.

6 years ago

6 years…in many ways it seems a life time ago and it is. So much has changed and yet this day is one I will always stop and reflect on the life and death of our first daughter Lily.

I think of how different our family might be if she had lived and how she never would have existed if Knox had lived. How we could be celebrating the 6th birthday of a son or the half birthday of a daughter who would be 6 in November.

I think about how much I have learned from that experience and the 6 years since. How it grew my faith and understanding of God’s sovereignty. It changed how I care for others.

Today as I turn 29 weeks, expecting our 2nd daughter in August, I think about the blessing of being a mother who has experienced tremendous grief at the loss of a child and who also knows the joy of welcoming a new baby to the family.

We’ve talked about names and how we will honor her memory in the birth of this child, just as we did for Knox when Zeb (Zebediah Knox) was born. We pray that God will lead us to choose the right way to do so without minimizing Lily’s life or her importance in our family.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little bit anxious as I prepare for her birth. Fear that maybe I won’t be able to hold a little girl at the end of all of this. You see, that’s the crazy thing about grief and losing a baby…you’re never quite sure when it’s “safe” to let your guard down.

I’ve never longed for a daughter like some mothers do, my boys are pretty amazing to be honest. But losing a baby changes your perspective…I don’t care whether I have a daughter or son…instead I long for a live baby. A baby who takes it’s first breath and cries beautiful cries. Who looks at the world with wide eyes and hears her brothers and parents celebrate her birth.

So I pray…I pray for her safety, her life and that whatever happens God will use me in the way He sees fit. I pray that I will surrender to what God has in store. That if He grants me the beautiful privilege of a daughter I will be the mother I need to be for her. That she will grow to love Him and others.

Six years ago, we said hello and goodbye on the same day. We held her for the first time and the last time. We didn’t forget, we won’t ever forget. But we are thankful for her and the way she touched our lives and taught us much about the treasure of life.

Psalm 139: 13-16

13 For You formed my inward parts;

You wove me in my mother’s womb.

14 I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

Wonderful are Your works,

And my soul knows it very well.

15 My frame was not hidden from You,

When I was made in secret,

And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;

16 Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;

And in Your book were all written

The days that were ordained for me,

When as yet there was not one of them.

Rosfeld family update

Things have been quiet on the blogging front for the last few years. As I hope to ease back into posting regularly,  I thought you might like a little update about what’s been going on with our family.

In a nutshell, life is busy. Life with 7 boys is busy. Life homeschooling 7 boys, raising goats and chickens, and working full time is busy. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Our boys are 15, 13, 9,7,4 (almost 5), 3, and 16 months. There is always something going on here! I recently had the opportunity for all of them to visit Grandma’s house for a day while I worked. It was harder than I expected to concentrate without the normal background noise I’m used to.

This last week we had our 20 week sonogram for baby #8. The boys were excited to find out the gender of this little one. A couple of the boys have been wishing for a sister and a couple of them were really hoping for another boy.

They wanted to do egg roulette as a gender reveal. If you’re not familiar with the concept, we boiled 17 eggs and left 1 raw. We dyed half the eggs blue and half pink. The color of the raw egg represented the gender of the baby. Then each boy took a turn smashing the egg on his head to see who got the ‘lucky’ egg.

Here’s the video we shot of the gender reveal…this is truly what’s it is like to live at our house. 🙂 Enjoy!


Four years ago

Four years ago today I had one of the most amazing and rewarding experiences of my life. I had an awesome homebirth. It was what I needed to heal from some less than ideal birth experiences. It was my first VBAC after 3 c-sections. For those who haven’t heard or read the story, I’ve posted it below the pictures.
Titus has been such a blessing to our family. He is challenging some days with his strong opinions and preferences but he is oh so wonderful in our family. He has a stubborn streak a mile wide but he also loves and cares so deeply for those around him.  I look back at the day he was born and am so thankful for the prayers God answered that day. We continually praise Him for the blessings He’s given us and His provision. We are thankful that God allowed Titus to be born at home (something we prayed for daily from the day we found out we were pregnant)  and so thankful that we have been blessed with 5 happy healthy boys.
Below are a couple pictures from the day he was born and the days following and some more recent pictures too.

The 3 big boys on 8/26/2010
They were amazingly chipper and happy for being up so late the night before. Both Gabe and Otto stayed up until about 2am to watch Titus get checked over by our midwife. Otto couldn’t keep his hands off of his baby brother. We watched the video recently and could hear ourselves asking him to move because his head or his hand was in the way of trying to do the assessment. Zeke was the only one that night who got a good night sleep.

The next morning our birth photographer came to take pictures of our new little addition. He seems so little looking back. We loved getting to know all of his little features as a family. There is just something about a newborn baby that begs to be touched, held, kissed and loved.
He really enjoys waffles for breakfast.
Because what boy could resist mud?
BIRTH STORY (this is the story I posted a few days after Titus was born to Facebook)
We have been so blessed with the addition of Titus this past week! I’ve had several people send me messages asking if his homebirth was “on purpose” so I thought I’d write an abbreviated version of our birth story. In short…yes his homebirth was on purpose and it was awesome!
His birth story begins kind of with Gabe’s almost 8 years ago. I had a c-section with him after a failed induction at 37 weeks. With Otto I had a repeat c-section and when it was time for me to have Zeke, my doctor who had initially been VBAC (vaginal birth after a cesarean) friendly changed his mind and threatened to drop me from his practice. I felt very backed into a corner and consented to my 3rd c-section.
When I became pregnant with Titus, I wanted a different outcome and began researching my options and the current research regarding having a 4th c-section to having a VBAMC (VBAmultipleC). The research is limited, but what there is shows that even VBAMC are relatively safe and the risk of uterine rupture (which is the big fear with VBAC) is still less than 1-2%. The current culture in the hospital is not VBAC friendly even after 1 c/s and is definitely not friendly after 2 or more.  So I began researching a homebirth with a midwife, discussing options and research with Kerry and covering each decision with lots of prayer. I would encourage any woman to do her research and pray before making her birth choices. There is a lot more support for VBAC there than some would have you believe.
We found a midwife , who was also a believer,willing to take me as a client and began our journey. My pregnancy, like all of them, was uneventful and pretty normal. As part of my care, I saw a chiropractor once a month to help align my pelvis and spine and help position baby correctly. One of the reasons I had a c/s with Gabe was because he was malpositioned, so I wanted to avoid that if at all possible.
We prayed regularly as a family for God to honor our desire to have more children (something that would be really frowned upon after having 4-5 c/s) and our desire for a homebirth. Every time fear would creep in, we’d pray and turn it over to God. He has answered so many prayers along the way!
Towards the end of my pregnancy, I started to get nervous that my body wouldn’t know what to do. It had never been asked to actually “get a baby out”. I was wondering if it would know how to go into labor, how to birth a baby, and would I be strong enough to do it?
The day after my due date I started having a few contractions, but they weren’t terribly uncomfortable or regular, although they felt different from the contractions I’d been having for weeks. We spent the day running errands, I made a quick visit to the chiropractor (just in case this was really it) and napped in the afternoon. My contractions kept coming, but were still irregular and relatively comfortable. I called our midwife a couple of times during the day to update her, but felt like it was going to be a long evening/night if this was the real thing.
That evening about 7pm or so we took a mile(ish) walk around our neighborhood. My contractions were still irregular, but I had to stop a couple of times to let them pass. I was still able to talk through them. Being a L&D nurse, I really wasn’t sure this was going to be it or that it would be any time soon, because nothing was textbook. 🙂
I decided to rest and just hang out that evening and talked to our doula and photographer about 10pm. I talked to her through a contraction and told her I wasn’t sure I’d need her yet, but she could come this way just so she’d be here when I did. Mom and I set up the air mattress in our spare room because I was sure they (the doula) would be sleeping here. I also called the midwife and told her I was still doing fine and I’d have Kerry call when we needed her, but not to worry I thought it was going to be a while still.
I laid down on the couch to get some rest, and had one really big contraction that was quite uncomfortable. But the next couple were manageable again. Mom suggested I put a towel under me “in case my water broke”, I was sure that wasn’t going to happen, but though I would humor her anyway. (I was glad for the suggestion, as with the next contraction that’s exactly what happened). My water broke about 10:30 and that’s when things got “fun”. Kerry called the midwife to let her know and she said she’d head down. Kerry and I came upstairs to fill the pool (we had set up a little pool in our bedroom for me to labor in) and my contractions started coming much much faster and stronger. Mom and the big boys (Zeke was asleep) were downstairs watching a movie and had no idea things had really picked up.
I spent about 30 minutes in the pool and then walked to the bathroom. Once I was there my contractions were so intense and my mind was racing. Kerry says I was really pretty calm, but in my mind I was going nuts. At one point I told Kerry “I’m hysterical….I can’t be hysterical”. He said later he didn’t know what I was talking about as I was barely saying anything and appeared really calm to him. He wasn’t (at least he didn’t act like it) scared or panicked at all. About 10:15 I felt my body pushing and I couldn’t stop. In my head I was sure I wasn’t ready to push and was worried I was going to do something that would make my labor go longer.
At that point, Kerry took the cell phone to mom and asked her to call our midwife to let her know I felt like pushing and to hurry. 🙂 The midwife told me to go ahead and push if I needed to and that she was about 15 minutes away. Mom and Kerry stayed in the bathroom with me and the boys kept watching their movie. Kerry suggested I move to the pool again, because he thought I would be more comfortable and it would be easier to birth there. I made it about two steps before I said “I can’t” and kneeled on the floor. (I found out later both mom and Kerry thought I was just having a contraction, not birthing a baby)
The next thing I really remember was telling mom and Kerry “there is his head” and to “check for a nuchal cord” (a cord around the neck). He had a loose one that we could easily slip over and the rest of him was born. I was able to put him right on my chest and we covered him with towels  and dried him off, he was pink right away. I think I kept saying “I did it! I did it!” Kerry was so excited, but still very calm and had the presence of mind to grab the camera and take a few pictures.
He asked the big boys if they wanted to come see their brother and they both ran upstairs. Gabe (***note we later found out that Gabe handed the camera off to Otto) took the camera and took pictures, and he did such a good job! About 10 minutes after he was born our midwife came in. The apprentice midwife came about 10 minutes after that. Titus James was born at 11:32pm on 8/26/10. He was direct OP (which means facing up instead of down, the same position Gabe was in), but I truly think prayer, positioning and the care I received made all the difference. He weighed 7lbs 11oz (my second biggest baby) and was 19 3/4 inches long. The rest of the story is pretty “routine” for postpartum, but it just all happened at home which was awesome!
I didn’t really think I would go that quickly in labor, especially since I hadn’t done it before. I was completely surprised by the whole experience, but it was exactly what we needed.
I fully believe in birth choices. I think women should be able to choose when, where and how to give birth. By in large, those choices are being taken away for many reasons. If a woman wants to birth in a hospital, home or birthing center…let her. If she wants to VBAC or schedule a repeat c/s…let her. I often heard after my c/s that what really mattered was a “healthy mom and healthy baby” which is true…but that health also includes mental health. For some women it is mentally and physically the best choice to have another c/s, for others it is the option to have a VBAC.
For me, this time and every time from now on (Lord willing), homebirth will be my choice. I pass no judgement on whomever chooses something different for their birth. It is important that the risks vs benefits are considered for each option and in each case. And for each woman make the decision that is right for her, her family and her baby.
Each birth and each child is special and a blessing however they come. This birth for me though, has been incredibly healing, empowering and faith building. God is good and we are so thankful for His blessings and His faithfulness. I want to add too, how incredibly important it was for me to know that others were praying for me. My midwife, my doula, our families and friends. I believe God honored those prayers and they brought me so much peace and confidence throughout this whole process. He has blessed us many times over!
Praising Him,


One year

A year ago today (5/19) our daughter Lily was born. She was born on our son Knox’s due date. We said goodbye to two babies in 6 months. I remember when we got pregnant with her that surely(surely!) God wouldn’t ask us to go through the grief of losing another baby.

When we were given her diagnosis, I was sure she was going to be the 1% that survived. But she didn’t and she was born on the day our son should have been born.

So much has happened in the last year and a half. We’ve said goodbye to two children and welcomed a new one to our family. Time has softened the grief a bit, but it’s still there under the surface. While I was pregnant with Zeb, I struggled with fear. I struggled to embrace and delight in the pregnancy because I *knew* that God could ask me to grieve another child. There is no promise that He won’t again. But I trusted that whatever He chose for us would be the best that He had for our family…even if we don’t always understand it. The morning Zeb was born all I could do was sit there and hold him praising God for the safe arrival of our baby. That I was holding him in my arms without grieving…but yet part of me did in a way. One child doesn’t replace another. Lily didn’t replace Knox and Zeb doesn’t replace either of them.

I still grieve the loss of our babies, I hurt deeply. I still have days where I’ll see an outfit and it will give me pause. It reminds me of a daughter I don’t get to hold here. I’ll see a hat or pair of shoes and I’m taken for a moment to the place where I know that a little girl is missing in our lives. I see Zeb and wonder if Knox would look as much like his brothers as Zeb does. I wonder if Knox would share the same bent pinky or one sided dimple with his brothers. I trust that one day I will know. What a marvelous day it will be to meet my children for the first time in Heaven.
But I am thankful. I am thankful…even as my heart still heals. While I grieve (yes still), I can minister. God has taught me and grown me. He has knit our family together tighter than before. He has blessed me with opportunity to share His love with others because of what He’s called me to go through. I am thankful too, for the healthy baby I have in arms tonight. While we have always viewed children as blessings and we have desired them…the true meaning of that blessing I think would, in some ways, be lost had we not been through losing Knox and Lily. I can truly say that while I am exhausted some mornings, I am so very thankful to have a baby to wake up with during the night. When I was pregnant, I would give thanks for every push and pull when he would move, when I was in labor I praised God for every contraction and now that Zeb is here…I am grateful for every late night feeding and early morning diaper change. We all are. 

Lily is not forgotten today, on this day…her birthday. Knox is not forgotten on this day…his due date. They are remembered every day. We talk about them and we have reminders of their special little lives in our home. Knox’s footprints hang in our hallway, Lily’s pictures are in our photo album and they are remembered and loved. They are part of our family.
We remember and are thankful.

Long Awaited — a birth story

Little did I know that in less than 12 hours of writing this post about being a watched pot, I would be holding our little baby. I firmly believed that I would be pregnant for several days yet and boy was I in for a surprise!
We had been planning a homebirth  but our plans changed a bit towards the end. Kerry was feeling a little more uncomfortable having the baby with just the two of us here so we had started seeing a doctor in Lakin. I’d made a birth preference sheet and gone over it with our doctor, who was very supportive of a low intervention birth (even though I was a 2VBA3C– 2nd time vaginal birth after 3 c-sections). I felt okay about going to the hospital, although I still would have preferred to stay at home. But Kerry and I agreed that unless both of us felt completely comfortable, neither of us would be able to enjoy the experience so I agreed to go to the hospital if I went in to labor without an extra set of hands here to help.
On Wednesday (4/3) evening, I stayed home from helping with AWANA, not because I felt laborish, but because I was just so tired and didn’t think I could handle a group of 6 three and four year olds. Kerry and I stayed home and I got caught up on some work and house keeping. I wrote my “Watched pot” post because I was sure I wasn’t going in to labor soon. Before we went to bed that night we talked again about birth plans and I thought my agreement to go in to the hospital until we had someone here to help was a “safe bet” because nothing seemed to be happening baby wise. We went to bed that night around 1:30 and, like so many nights before, I was a bit discouraged I was closing another day without a baby in my arms and my prayer was that I would be content waiting until God decided our baby was to be born.
Around 4:30 I got up to go to the bathroom. I lumbered back to bed, got settled and had just dozed off when a sudden movement by the baby woke me up. I groggily realized I was in the middle of a contraction, although I was comfortable, and my initial thought was “Huh. That was weird.” and then I rolled over and realized that the bed under me was a bit wet, I rolled my eyes and got myself out of bed thinking the baby had kicked my bladder and I needed to go pee again. As I stepped over the side of the bed I quickly realized that it was highly unlikely this was just a “kick to the bladder” and it just might have been my water breaking. I made it to the bathroom before I flooded the floor. I was in shock to be honest. After not having many contractions and nothing else exciting happening I couldn’t believe I was sitting there in my bathroom, trying to wake Kerry up and processing the fact that we were going to have a baby soon. I started shaking with the adrenaline of it all. I had a hard time calming myself down and making a coherent thought about anything. Kerry asked me what I wanted him to do…”ummm beats me.” I thought. I did ask him to get the doppler so I could check heart tones for the baby and make sure all was still okay with him. His heart rate was good so I just sat there for a bit trying to gather my thoughts. I started having a few contractions right away but I was relatively comfortable.
While we had agreed to go to the hospital, neither of us had really packed a bag or gathered stuff for the trip. While I sent a text to my mom, sister in law and a couple close friends Kerry got his stuff together and I walked around in circles trying to figure out what I needed, what I didn’t and what I was going to wish I’d brought along. Thankfully I had put together a list of things we would want to make sure we took to the hospital a few days earlier. We made a stack by the front door and debated about who we should call to sit with the boys. It was about 5:15am and I didn’t want to call anyone that early. I talked Kerry in to waiting until about 8:00 to call someone to come stay with the big boys, although I promised if I got uncomfortable I would tell him sooner. I spoke with my mom around that time and she was going to leave work early to head this direction as she lives about 4 hours away. Kerry decided he would try to get a little sleep on the couch while I ate some breakfast and tried to rest as well.
I had a hard time sitting still long enough to eat. I was hungry, but nothing sounded good and I had a hard time being able to sit through more than a few contractions. They were coming every 3 minutes or so and while I could manage them, they were much more intense than the contractions I felt with Titus. They felt “sharper” I guess. I did spend a little time in bed listening to some relaxation tracks on my phone and trying to rest. I couldn’t sleep, but was able to rest a bit and thankfully time seemed to move fast enough that soon it was 7.
I was in the bathroom around 7 when my second son Otto came in because he saw the lights on. I told him that today was the day the baby was coming because my water had broken. He was so excited and Zeke was right behind him so he heard it all too. They were both so thrilled! So thrilled in fact, that Otto walked right in to their bedroom, turned on the light to get dressed and woke his older brother Gabe. Otto was a little disappointed though that he couldn’t come to the hospital with us. He had been looking forward to the homebirth because he wanted to be close by when his little brother was born. It hurt my heart a little bit to see his disappointment. Between 7 and 7:15 we came to the living room where Kerry was dozing and woke him up. I was more uncomfortable with each contraction and was having to focus more with each one. I was starting to feel like if we were going to go some where we should go sooner rather than later or just stay home.
Around 8 Kerry called our church secretary to see if she might be willing to come sit with the big boys for a few hours until mom could get here. We knew she would be up taking her son to school and thankfully she agreed to be here by 8:30. So we busied ourselves helping big boys get breakfast and loading the car with our bags. It was so foggy outside that morning, I was praying it would clear some by the time we were going to leave. I was thankful that all of the boys were up by the time we were going to leave, that way I could hug and kiss each one goodbye and snuggle the two smaller ones a little bit before we left. We didn’t spend much time chatting with Susan after she got here, Kerry was anxious because I wasn’t talking through contractions and could tell I was more uncomfortable. He called the hospital to let them know we were on our way (but forgot to tell them my water broke).
Thankfully during the 30 minute ride to the hospital the contractions, while intense, were tolerable. It felt like it took longer than 30 minutes to get there and when we rounded the hill towards town I couldn’t see the grain elevator and was discouraged because it didn’t look like we were as close as I thought we were. Kerry knew I think that I was discouraged and said “Town is right there, you just can’t see the elevators because of the fog, we’re almost there.”
They were waiting for us when we pulled in the parking lot. There was a woman waiting with a wheelchair to take me in, although I would have rather walked. I guess my history of fast births preceded me as the room was all set up for the birth and everyone was waiting just in case. Our doctor was waiting for us as well and had gone over the birth preferences with the nurses. I was so thankful and they were willing to accommodate us. The nurses drew lab, checked me in and then basically left us alone (which is what I had asked for). I spent some time on the birth ball and walking around the room. Kerry put some hymns on to listen to while I labored.
The first hour passed uneventfully although I was fairly uncomfortable (more so than I had been with Titus), I’m not sure uncomfortable is the right word though…the contractions were just really intense. I continued to move around and it was time to get another monitoring strip of the baby so I sat on the ball while they monitored me for 20 minutes. Everything looked good with the baby and they unhooked me. I was so thankful the hospital had a nice Jacuzzi tub and I got in around 11 to try to relax. I had packed a swim suit top at the last minute and was thankful I had. I told my sister in law later at least I looked cute (ha!) while I gave birth.
I appreciated the warm water of the tub but was getting much more restless and my contractions were coming quickly (they had been 2-3 minutes consistently). I remember several times moving around and telling Kerry I just wanted it to be done. He prayed for me and kept telling me I was doing a good job. There were a couple moments when I said “I just can’t get on top of these contractions” or “Again!” when I’d have a back to back contraction. Kerry told me later he knew when I said those things that it wouldn’t be long…I on the other hand was fairly certain if it kept up much longer I was going to be begging for meds.
A few minutes later I felt my body start pushing and I remembering thinking (just like I did with Titus) “This can’t be happening, I can’t be ready now.”  And at one point I told Kerry I was feeling a lot of pressure and he might want to call the nurse, so he pulled the call bell. It took them a bit to come in, but by the time they got there the baby was already crowning and when they asked if I could get out of the tub Kerry said “No” and reached down to catch the baby. He brought him up out of the water and I held him. The baby cried right away and was so beautifully pink it was wonderful! The nurses and staff all seemed like they were in shock and kind of stood there not doing anything. We asked for a towel or blankets to dry him off. About that time Dr. Birky came in pulling on gloves and saw that he missed it. Once he saw baby looked good, he and the nurses left us alone for several minutes in the bathroom while we sat there and just bonded together. I was so thankful for this time and thankful they didn’t push us to get out or do the “routine” stuff right away (something I asked for and was grateful they respected).
When the cord stopped pulsing (another request I had made), we cut and clamped it and then Kerry took the baby and carried him to the room. I was able to get up and walk to the bed and felt really pretty good and we waited for the placenta. The nurse asked about starting pitocin, but Dr. Birky was fine with me not having any as long as things continued to look good. The placenta was born a few minutes later and I was holding the baby the whole time. Kerry took a few pictures, but thankfully one of the nurses does some photography on the side and had picked up our camera to take pictures right after he was born and throughout the whole process. I’m always thankful for those pictures and when I go back to look at them never feel like I have enough. I told Kerry that if we are blessed with another baby I’m going to hire someone to take pictures so I don’t miss anything.
The nurses did a great job of just letting us kind of take it in as a family and delayed many of the routines that happen in the hospital. They did weigh and measure him. I kept apologizing that things went so quickly and told them I thought I would have a little more time to warn them but things happened so fast. They said I was the most “natural” birth they’d had in a while and probably the first to have the baby in the bathtub. It made me chuckle a bit.
After we both were checked out we were left alone again to spend time getting to know each other. Over all I was about as happy with the hospital experience as I could have been. It was the closest thing to a homebirth in the hospital as I could have. I still would have preferred to stay home but was pleased with how things turned out. I am very thankful for the staff at the hospital and my doctor who was willing to accommodate me and the things I requested to help me have the kind of birth I wanted.
We took a bit to name him but we settled as a family on Zebediah Knox. Zebediah means Gift from God…and he truly is. We are so very thankful for this gift we have. Knox was his brother’s name and we felt it fitting to honor him in that way. Zeb weighed 7lbs 13 oz and was 20 inches long. He has more hair than any of our other boys and looks a little bit like each one of them. They have been very welcoming to him and argue about who gets to hold him next. We are praising God for the birth of our son and a healthy outcome for all of us.
I would like to thank all of our friends, family and my readers who have followed us on this journey and prayed for us along the way. I am so thankful for the support we’ve felt and the encouragement I’ve had along the way.

Psalms 127: 3-7

Behold, children are a gift of the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth.
5 How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them;
They will not be ashamed
When they speak with their enemies in the gate.

A watched pot

That’s what I am these days. I’m 40 weeks this week and still pregnant. And I’m reminded everywhere I go that I’m still pregnant.
I can’t tell you how thankful I am to be 40 weeks pregnant with a healthy baby. When Knox died I was sure I wasn’t going to ever get pregnant again. And then when Lily died I was fearful that I would ever make it to full term again. And here I sit…40 weeks pregnant and anxiously waiting the birth of this little one.
We feel like we’ve been anticipating the birth of this baby for a year and a half. We sometimes have trouble wrapping our minds around the fact that yes indeed we are going to be having an actual baby in the next couple of weeks. It sounds silly I know, but after the outcome of our last couple of pregnancy’s we still find it tough sometimes to really believe this is happening.
I’ve heard lots of really great “how to go into labor” suggestions. Believe me, I’ve tried. I’ve cleaned the carpets, walking, eating spicy food and I even mowed the lawn this past weekend. Truthfully, I think some folks are a little worried when I’m standing next to them that I’m just going to have the baby right there. They always kind of give me a sideways eye trying to judge how “close” I am. But I assure you, I don’t think this little guy is going anywhere soon. He seems awfully comfy in there.
So just for the record as of today…I am still pregnant, I haven’t had any promising contractions and it’s totally possible that I will show up to church on Sunday still pregnant and still waiting. I’m okay with that. We trust God’s timing and planning for our family size and we will keep trusting Him for His timing and planning for when each of these little ones will be born. It’s hard to be patient but we will wait and be thankful we have something someone to wait on.
40 weeks and counting…


Waiting…that’s the name of the game here lately.
We’re (I’m) waiting kind of impatiently for this little baby to get here. I have a little while until my due date, but am close enough to know that if he decided to make his appearance now everything will likely be fine. It’s hard to wait, it’s hard to ride it out.
But I know this baby will come in his time and in God’s time. He can’t be rushed and shouldn’t be. So we wait.
I am doing okay and am thankful to have been fairly comfortable until the last couple of days. I’ve had a terrible cold this weekend and that is probably compounding the whole discomfort thing too. I hope that I am well by the time the baby comes as I don’t want to give him anything and don’t want to be dealing with a cold while adjusting to life with a newborn. Another good reason to keep waiting.
We are mostly ready for the homebirth, I say mostly because I’m sure we’re forgetting something. I’m much more laid back about getting things in order this time than I was last time. So I’m pretty sure that I’m forgetting something. I have all the essentials ready and in line so if there’s something missing we probably won’t know it until we think we might need it.
Here is a recent picture. The boys keep asking how big I think he’ll be. I have no idea to be honest. I don’t think I’m much bigger or small than I was with the other boys, so we’ll see. Kerry is much better at guessing than I am when it comes to baby weights. He’s been within an ounce or two with each of our boys, I haven’t asked him yet where he thinks this one will fall.

37 weeks — Whew!

I am 37 weeks this week and I’m delighted! I wasn’t sure I’d ever see this late in a pregnancy again and I’m thankful to be here. But I’ll tell you…I am oh so tired. I am feeling it this week for sure.
I was a little heavier to begin with this time than I have been for my last two full term pregnancies. Mostly because I ate my way through grief after losing Lily rather than working out like I did with Knox. So I’m sure that’s part of the reason I’m feeling so cumbersome these days.
Since I’m officially full term this week, I’ve been working on getting some birth supplies together and getting everything ready. I have a list of things I want to get done, they aren’t necessarily have to kinds of things but I’ll rest a little easier if I can get them done now rather than after the baby is born. So I try to chip away at one or two things a day in addition to schooling and the regular everyday stuff needed to keep our household up and running.
Today my project was getting birth supplies ready. We are planning another homebirth and last time by this point in my pregnancy I’d had everything ready for weeks. Last weekend I thought “Hmmm….I guess I should probably get some stuff together.” So I gathered our birth linens and supplies and put them in the crib. I tried to label everything so that in case things happen quickly again, it’s as easy for everyone as possible. I hope to be able to clean my carpets yet (please don’t ask why…it’s something I do before every baby is born and always have) this week and to take inventory of the meals I already have in the freezer for when the baby comes.
So now I guess I wait. I have other stuff to work on, but most days I’ll get halfway through a project and then just sit and stare at it for a while because I run out of steam. We’re all getting pretty excited around here about seeing and holding the new baby. But I think we have a few weeks for sure to wait until he gets here. So we’ll just keep plugging along and getting ready bit by bit.

24 weeks — How much longer?

I think I get asked this every day by one of my children. They are so very anxious to meet their baby brother (as are we) that they ask “how many more weeks?” on a regular basis. 16 weeks (ish) to go. Sometimes it seems so far away and sometimes it seems like time is going quickly.
Everything is going well. I am every so thankful for every kick and wiggle that I feel. I pray, thanking God, often. There are still moments where I am fearful or when I get anxious about what the future holds. So I focus on being thankful for every moment and every gift I’ve been given. I think that was one of the things I under-estimated about loss. The messed up brain stuff. Always waiting for the other shoe to fall or for something to go wrong. I wonder sometimes “Why is it so hard to believe God would give me something good again?” I am working on finding the joy and not being stressed.
So today, I am thankful as we count down the weeks…getting ever closer to meeting this little one God has given us.