Thursday, July 12, 2012

All About Silas

Today is Silas' First Birthday! Wow! Time sped up this year. Since I haven't really posted about him I figure I will give a bit of his birth story and such. That's always a popular read, right?

One year ago our sweet Silas was born! But his story starts much earlier than that...
Three months after we were blessed with our second son Gregory, I was pregnant again! I know most of you think we are nuts but this isn't a post about the number of children we have or the frequency in which we have them or if we will have any more but a post about the actual child so we won't get into those other "hot" topics. (just yet)

Anyway,  pregnant again, and truly not terrified! We were excited and ready to welcome another blessing! My midwife joked that I would be her first client with "irish twins"!  Gregory was such an easy baby so it made the first trimester a little easier. I did suffer through awful nausea but made it past 12 ish weeks and was feeling the glorious rush of second trimester energy!

Then, at 15 weeks along, after an attempt to hear the heart beat with my midwife and her doppler and a rush to the emergency room for an ultrasound, we found out that our baby had died.

We were crushed. It was hard. Such a sad time and yet God gave us the strength to rejoice in His will and the hope for our future.  We missed our baby but trusted God and remembered the truth we read in scripture that  "God causes ALL things to work together for good for those who love God and are called according to his purpose". As we still grieve the loss of that baby we can see clearly now God's perfect plan. Although I would not choose to lose one or the other, with the loss of that precious soul, we gained another that we would have never known.  That was August.

After the pain of loss during the summer months the new season  brought with it the joy of new life!
By the end of October we were pregnant again and once again thrilled that we had been blessed with another precious little one! I was due in early July with our sweet baby Silas! It was a very exhausting first trimester. The boys have all taken so much energy out of me those first months of pregnancy. The girls always make me sick.=)

Fast forward to June where I was contracting constantly and dilated to 3cm four weeks before my due date. We were all convinced He would come very early! We were also slightly concerned he would come very fast as Gregory was born in just under two hours!

June came and went. No new baby. The first week of July passed and still no baby. Not worried though because I wasn't due until July 11th, just surprised.  Then Sunday evening around 10:30 my water broke. Sort of. We weren't sure, I know this is something I should have been sure of having as many children as I do but we weren't. =) Contractions were happening so we called the mid wife assuming it would be quick and he would be born before the clock struck mid night. We also called all the invited birth guests and doula like sisters ( actual sisters and christian sisters) who would be there for the big event. =) Yes, another weird one for most of you,  that there were lots of ladies invited to his birth. A brief explanation and then maybe a post in the future. =)
The reason for my birth party was simple. I was horribly confused and very scared during my pregnancy , labor and birth of Sydney. All was well and there were no complications but in my mind I desperately wanted to know what in the world was going to happen to me during labor. I wanted to deliver naturally with her but I had never seen it done nor did I have anyone who could give me the information I was longing for. I wanted to see a woman in labor go through the whole process naturally. But, I didn't  so I ended up laboring, then getting an epidural at transition with my first three kiddos! All have beautiful birth stories, all were well, but I knew I was missing out on something. Just a note for fellow mamas who have opted for the epidural. I want to make sure that it doesn't seem like I think you shouldn't have one. =) I just really wanted to experience all of my birth and knew after I had Jaclynn that I would need to have my other babies at home to get what I thought was right for me. It is a personal choice. =) My pregnancy with Silas found me with lots of friends hoping to birth naturally and  a few dear friends who I am sure were curious about homebirth so the birth party was born. =)

Now, back to the potential broken water.  After the mid wife arrived and I was contracting, but not progressing at lightening speed like we all thought I might,  she began to wonder if my water really did break. After a simple test it was confirmed that it had but was just a "trickle".

By this time it was somewhere around 3 am so we all, ( yes the majority of the friends and family too) went back to bed. We woke up in the morning to dull contractions that could be made stronger with regular walks around the block. I had a one minute long contraction every three minutes on the dot endlessly on my walks.  No pain just consistent but still not progressing into anything. So as the day went on we decided to try some other methods of labor induction. We made chiropractor appointments for the next day and called a very dear and wonderful friend who is a massage therapist to come over and try to massage me into the second phase of labor. All the while, my friends and family happily hung around the house encouraging me, serving me and my husband and kids, and google searching every method of labor induction they could find! It was fun! 

The next morning we woke up with one goal in mind, get labor going! I had a foot massage and my toenails painted and all sorts of extra special care. It was the perfect picture of support for a laboring woman. I was so incredibly blessed by that time. We had wonderful family friends take Calvin, Jaclynn and Gregory for the day because we knew it was going to be our baby's birthday! Sydney was able to stay and be there for the birth and I am so happy she was!  

Around noon I had my final pressure point massage to try to kickstart labor. I fell asleep almost immediately on the table! At 2 pm I woke up with a contraction. They kept coming so I opened my door and told everyone that I was pretty sure it was finally happening! Yay!

I labored for a few hours with everyone walking around and talking. Then as things got more intense I headed into my bathroom to relax and focus more. Right when transition kicked in I was able to get into the shower then switch to the tub. I switched back and forth one more time then ended up where he was born just before 9pm.

It was a wonderful experience! So humbling and amazing! We had no idea that it would be such a long early labor. But, God did. And He had prepared such a perfect plan for our baby's arrival. I am so  thankful!

It is crazy to think about that day exactly one year ago. It goes by so quickly. There is nothing anyone can do about that. I am just thankful. Thankful for another year with another one of my precious blessings! Thank you Lord!

So the first day of my littlest man  being a one year old has ended well. All are asleep now after endless rounds of "Happy Birthday to you", lots of snuggling the birthday boy and his first piece of cake! 

And, as if he knew today was the perfect day to stand up and walk, he did. =) He had been trying for a few weeks now to take a step or two and then would lunge out straight in front of himself. But today he can officially be called a walker! He really amazed us all. Now he just stands up and walks like he'd been doing it all along! 

Happy Birthday Silas! What a gift you are! You are always smiling and clapping and happy to be doing whatever everyone else is doing! My prayer for you is that you would grow to be wise and bold like your daddy. And to always seek first how God would have you live this one life here on earth that is but a vapor. I love you baby boy! Love, Mama
Sydney is helping the midwife get him ready to be weighed
Big sister holding Silas just minutes old =)

Oh they are so cute!

Such a sweet birthday boy!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Life with FIVE

I am busy. Obviously. I haven't blogged or even thought about attempting to blog in  a looooooong time. =)  Lately I have had some nudges ( or actually maybe some very loving shoves ) back toward the direction of blogging.
I have a lot of catching up to do. The kids are growing. God has blessed us with another one, Silas. He hasn't even had an official introduction in here, right? The Lord is moving in me to depend on Him. For real though. Not sometimes, not when I remember. Constantly. He wants me to have peace with him because of Jesus. To rejoice in the hope of the glory of God! Like it says in Romans 5. 
"Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—"
(Romans 5:1-12 ESV)  

I have been thinking about  this verse for a while. Also thinking about what it requires. I like that  I am being challenged to really think on these scriptures instead of reading through them and not pausing to apply them. Sometimes it's painful and VERY difficult,but it is so worth it. I have to remember " suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us"

I have also been thinking a lot about what it means to be a living sacrifice as described in Romans 12. 

"I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness."
(Romans 12:1-8 ESV)

My spiritual worship...hmmmm? Makes me think often what my spiritual worship looks like, Is it really a "living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God?" Well, thankfully, by God's amazing Grace I am holy and acceptable to God! Whew!!!! Because of Jesus' sacrifice I look perfect in His eyes! ( Although in actuality I am not) AMAZING! I don't think I can describe with words the freedom in that. And yet, I feel a DEEP, longing desire to change. To grow more in Him, to sacrifice more, to be more like Christ. To suffer more if for the sake of His name. To turn my life upside down if that's what it takes. It is a hard life. But, because God loved me more than I can imagine and sent his Son to die for me, I can have so much joy! A life filled with abundant blessing! True happiness and contentment! I can feel full and loved all the time. Even when life gets crazy and kids seem endlessly sick. Even when the load seems too heavy to bare and the needs that surround are more than five people should handle but the responsibility falls on me. Even when someone comes to me and can't see when they will ever climb out from under the weight of their sin. I can confidently say that He can sustain!
We have been saved! Why wouldn't we be constantly claiming the glory and mercy of Christ? I am challenged to remember Ephesians 2
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."

(Ephesians 2:1-10 ESV)
We all are or at one point in time following the prince of the power of the air (Satan).  Praise God for releasing me from my sin and bringing me to life! Now, I know I am called to claim Christ and share the good news of the Gospel with EVERYONE! My children, neighbors, family, friends, YOU! There is hope in this world. There really is. 

When we don't remember what God's word says we stumble, or at least I do. I forget. I don't want to, I want to grow.
 God has stretched us and refined us and is constantly working to grow us more. There is a lot to write about and to say.  I want to write, to update, but it can be hard for so may different reasons. The question is will I or can I? We will see. =) For now that is it. Stay tuned....I think.