Monthly Archives: September 2007

Will Benjamin is Here & A Baby Story, part 1

It is hard to believe that two weeks have passed now since the arrival of our precious baby boy, Will Benjamin — and it’s almost harder to believe that I haven’t blogged here about it yet! It is amazing how drastically having a newborn revolutionizes one’s life…suddenly free time is a precious commodity (though not so precious as time spent snuggling with my new baby :)), and tasks like blogging and returning emails and phone calls must be fit into carefully strategized slots of time!

Mommyhood is amazing so far. I am up half the night, smell like spit-up (even as I type), have been out of the house 4 times in the last 2 weeks, and my life revolves almost entirely around feeding a baby and changing poopy diapers – but I love it. Even changing poopy diapers is cute! How weird is that. Only a mother could say that, I think. Mark & I feel so blessed by our precious little gift – Psalm 127 says that children are a reward from the Lord, and I totally get that. Will is such a treasure that we feel so unworthy of!

We have also been blessed by an enormous amount of help. Several friends and family have visited, prepared meals, and showered us with needs and goodies, and both my family and Mark’s parents have been here every day this week to help out – I have been so blessed by their help around the house (they’ve cleaned, brought meals, helped with laundry, and held baby Will so I can catch up on my sleep as I finish recovering) as well as simply their company.

Mark & I have enjoyed reflecting on the events surrounding Will’s arrival, and I thought it might be fun to write the story out here (for our reading enjoyment if no one else’s :)). It’s my very own episode of “A Baby Story”. :)…

Thursday, September 13 was an unusually busy day for me. I spent the morning at a lovely little “baby brunch” at Perkin’s with the ladies from my neighborhood Bible study (I ate strawberry waffles, if anyone was wondering), the afternoon teaching the preschool class at Minnehaha Christian Homeschool Co-Op, followed by an early dinner at Panera with my good friend Aimee. That night I went to bed around 10:00, only to awaken at around 12:30, feeling a bit under the weather – my throat ached (which was likely from teaching the preschool class – I hadn’t talked that loudly, that much in awhile :)) and I just generally felt a bit sick. At any rate, I couldn’t get back to sleep, so I spent some time putzing around the house. At around 2:00 am, I decided to get back into bed and give sleep another go…I tossed and turned for about a half an hour, before a particular toss (or was it a turn?) especially caught my attention. I was lying on my left side, flipped over to my right side, and two things happened:

1. I  noticed that the baby “stretched out” rather oddly in my belly. I was about to laugh at this strange contortion, when suddenly…

2. I heard/felt a “pop”, and felt what seemed like the baby punching a hole in my abdomen! My first thought was that something dreadful had happened, so I quickly woke Mark up. At first, he was a bit groggily irritated, thinking I was awakening him to tell him about some minor issue (“I feel the baby kicking me!”, etc). Soon, however, the truth became apparent: my water had broken! The instant I shared this realization with him, he flew out of bed and I had his full attention!

We called the midwife, who told us that unless contractions started coming at 5 minutes apart, I should try to get some sleep and could wait until 8:00 am to go in to the hospital.  No sooner had I hung up the phone, however, than the contractions started to hit…slowly, at first…

From that point on, all systems were “go”, and we began scrambling around the house making last minute preparations. Mark ran to his computer to pull together sub plans to send to school the next day; I ran (er…walked) around the house, collecting last minute items for the hospital bag. I also straightened my hair (still not sure of my rationale behind this one. It was late.). The contractions steadily progressed, increasing in intensity, and far more painful than I ever realized they would be! Ouch! They got to be between 7-9 minutes apart, and I began to get nervous. Just two days earlier, the midwife had told me that the baby was at +1 station (low) and that I was 90% effaced – meaning that once I went into labor, it would likely go fast. So, wanting to avoid an unplanned home birth, I called the midwife again, and she gave us the OK to come on in to the hospital. So…we were off!

The car ride there is a bit of a blur – I remember pain, darkness, and…Mark eating a banana (more on that later :)).

We finally arrived at the hospital, where we headed straight for the admissions desk, stopping every few minutes for a contraction. By this time they were around 5 minutes apart. While were were standing at the admitting desk, I had a contraction — followed just a couple of minutes later by another one, as we sat down in the waiting area. This was the first time they had been 2 minutes apart – it was really a fluke – but the receptionist observed this and must have panicked, because we heard her pick up the phone, say something like “Code _____…you better hurry, they’re 2 minutes apart!”. Within seconds, a nurse ran down with a wheelchair, seated me in it, turned to Mark and said “Keep up!”, and…we were off again, running down the halls, ER style.

As Mark & I reflect on the labor experience, there are a couple little vignettes that come to mind that make us laugh. One of them happened during this time. There we were, speeding down the corridors, turning corner after corner, panicking at the thought that perhaps I was going to give birth in this little triage area of the hospital, when suddenly we were stopped by two older gentleman, moving in front of our path at a turtle’s pace (insert the cartoon sound of screeching brakes here). “Excuuuuse meeee”, one man slowly said to the nurse “my faaaather herrrre is supposed to have kneee surgery this morniiing, but there’s nooo one at the admitting desk….where shooould wee goooo?”  “Well, you’ll just have to wait at the desk for someone to help you,” the nurse quickly replied, eager to move on. But the gentleman was not satisfied with this answer. “But, you don’t understaaand,” he said with a puzzled expression, “his suuurgeryyyy is supposed to start in a few miiiinutes….”. The nurse seemed at a loss for words; helpless, somehow torn between helping this gentleman find his way and getting me to the care I needed before the baby popped out right there. Thankfully, my hero of a husband stepped in at this point “We’ve got to go,” he said directly to our old friend, then pointed at me and said “She’s in labor!”. The old man’s eyebrows raised, and he looked at me as though he hadn’t noticed me (and my obvious condition). “Ohhh dear, yes you must go on your wayyyy”. And just as quickly as we stopped…we were off again.

…to be continued (you’re all in suspense, I know)… 

The Power of Encouragement

Isn’t it amazing how powerful of an influence the eye of another person can sometimes have on us? I admit that, for me, it is far too often a weakness. Today I found myself in a situation where I was trying something new — a challenge that I had worked hard to prepare for and took on with great excitement, if not a bit of trepidation — but found myself being watched, scrutinized, critiqued, and clearly not supported. The person watching me obviously was not in full agreement with my approach, had their ideas of how my job should be done, and wasn’t afraid to make it known in a somewhat demeaning fashion. So how did I respond? I’d love to say that I stood strong in the face of discouragement – that I stuck to my guns and was able to continue my job confidently – but I didn’t. I withered. I don’t handle that type of scrutiny too well, I’m afraid. Flustered and discouraged, I floundered through the rest of my task, constantly and quietly wondering if the person watching me would approve of my work. Essentially, I became a slave to their opinion.
I don’t even think what made my job today so difficult was this person’s opinion alone. If she would have supported me as I worked and approached me later with some constructive criticism, I think I can honestly say that I would have done a far better job while I was working and later embraced the criticisms wholeheartedly  (Heaven knows I probably needed it!). No, what made things difficult today was that feeling of mistrust…of “you’re just not good enough”…of being scrutinized and torn down…of a lack of grace and support. Ever felt that way?

All in all, I’m probably making it sound far more dramatic than it actually played out – it really isn’t a big deal in the grand scheme of things. But it did get me thinking about how powerful of an effect we can have on one another. How many times have I looked down smugly on someone else as they were working and thought “If I were doing their job, I’d be SO much better…”. How many times have I tried to “step in” and make things “better” — probably only making the person feel 2 inches tall in the process? I find myself challenged to take a look at myself — the spoken words and implications I express — and examine how I might become more of an encourager.

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear”. – Ephesians 4:29

Late Night with Nikki

OK, so it’s not really “late night” as I post this…but recently I’ve had a few late nights (err…early mornings?). This pregnancy thing sure has thrown off my internal clock! It’s been a long time since I’ve had a full night’s sleep,  but the pattern for the past two nights has had me waking up (WIDE awake) between 3:40 & 3:50 and unable to return to sleep until 6:30 or so. No real reason for waking up – both times I was actually quite comfortable when I awoke (which is not always the case!) – I just woke up and could not for the life of me get back to sleep. I have managed to accomplish some small tasks during these odd hours…I’ve done some reading and put some finishing touches on my nursery closet organization plan…but still, I’d rather sleep like a normal person (although I’m not sure that normal people sleep in a carefully positioned mound of 3-4 pillows each night anyway! :)). I can’t help but predict that God is preparing me for the wonderful new job ahead of me…which I do look forward to. 🙂

I am SO excited to have this baby! It’s amazing to wake up each morning and wonder “could THIS be the day?”. I realize it’s still not likely to happen for another couple weeks (I have to keep reminding myself that he’s not due until the 21st!), but still – it COULD happen today, and that brings me such joy — joy to be finished with this pregnancy (I think I’ve hit the peak of the discomfort part of it :)), but FAR above that, the joy of finally being able to just snuggle with my baby boy!!!

Anyway, I have some tasks I must get to…