Friday, November 27, 2009

Flashback Friday: Welcome to the World, baby Jude!

'Flashback Fridays' - I know many of you are anxious to hear Jude's story. But, I have to be honest, the idea of telling it and going back to those first days and weeks is overwhelming to me. I don't think we've completely processed everything that happened during that time. So, rather than try to go back and recap everything, I've decided to take one day a week and go through that time bit by bit. We have been so thankful for everyone's prayers and support and know that YOU are just as much a part of Jude's story as we are. My hope in sharing these 'flashbacks' with you is to encourage you in your faith as you see and hear the amazing ways in which God answers prayer. And also, selfishly, for us to remember and process a difficult and scary time which God carried us through. So, without further ado, here's the beginning...

Wouldn't you know? After a pre-term labour scare in June, a month of early contractions and doctor's orders to 'Stay put!' because he was on his way the second week of September, little Jude graced us with his presence on none other than his actual due date - October the 4th! I firmly believe that it was solely because of the incredible amount of people praying for Jude that he stayed safely tucked away, and growing like a stinkweed :) , until then. The Lord knew he would need every last ounce to prepare for what lay ahead...but I'm getting ahead of myself here, let's start at the beginnning!

Jude enjoying a couple last days of bliss inside Mommy's tummy.

After a very grumpy Saturday (Peter was convinced it was 'time' because I was so annoyed all day ), I woke up at 12:30am on Sunday to a nice strong contraction. This was nothing new as I had been having nighttime contractions for a few weeks already. I went back to sleep. An hour later I was woken up again, this time the contraction took about a minute to subside. Again I went to sleep, only to wake up again, half an hour later, to another big contraction. At this point I figured I might as well get up, as I apparently wouldn't be sleeping well until these contractions stopped! I spent the next hour puttering in the kitchen, checking facebook (just in case other people were hanging out there at 2 in the morning...) and watching the Food Network (what else is a pregnant woman to do?). During this time I only had a few contractions, but Peter knowing how fast these things tend to happen, got up, had a shower and made some nice strong coffee. I was starting to get that nervous/excited feeling in my tummy, knowing that our time was finally here. I mean, when the husband gets up and joins you during the nighttime contractions, it's 'time', right? At about ten to three we headed to the hospital. My contractions weren't bad yet but they were about 5-6 minutes apart, so off we went! We had a short but fun drive to Palmerston remembering our past trips to the hospital (Gracie Jo: Peter speeding like a madman the whole way to MacMaster -- Silas: Listening to some quiet worship on the way to Grimsby, only to have a certain song come on which I wasn't fond of. Normally I don't mind this song, it's just not my favorite. That night I HATED it. Poor Peter was valiantly trying to drive while catering to my inane demands to 'shut that stupid song off!!!' LOL!!! -- And Levi: Since Silas was born in the bathroom at the hospital because we didn't make it to the maternity ward on time, we were determined to be a bit more proactive with Levi, especially since we didn't want a baby born in the truck in January! We left while I was still feeling comfortable, took our time manuvering the unplowed winter streets,went through the Tim Horton's drive-through and still arrived at the hospital a record two hours before he was born!) After our quick little jaunt int0 town we arrived at Palmerston District Hospital a bit after three. We were the only ones delivering that night and so, after changing into the my hospital gown, we quickly settled into the routine of baby monitoring and getting to know each other. We had two lovely nurses who were a lot of fun and my doctor showed up around quarter to four. The hospital, knowing how quickly I had delivered in the past, called my doctor as soon as they knew I was coming in. This would be the first time I ever had my actual doctor deliver me! On the way to the hospital things had really slowed down, and for the first half hour I actually wondered if this was just a false alarm. But when they checked me, I was dilated 6 cm already and so we were going to have this baby! My doctor broke my water and then things really got going. It was so funny, because it felt like a little reunion going on in the room, not at all like I was about to have a baby. Pete and the nurses were talking about all kinds of random subjects and Dr. P was just perched on the end of the bed (I should mention that she is a tiny little black woman and she was wearing a t-shirt, sweat pants and a huge, crazy wrap on her head) - it didn't feel like I was at the hospital at all. Around ten to four, I got tired of standing and so crawled onto the bed. At this point I wasn't taking part in the conversation anymore. I had gone from 6 cm to 10 cm in just over half an hour - wowzaa!
At quarter after four I was given the go ahead to push during my next contraction...and at 4:19am, within the space of that one contraction, we welcomed Jude Willem into our world!
What an awesome feeling. I was so excited and happy.
We had been waiting and waiting to meet this sweet little bundle.
What a joy to finally hold him in my arms!
Turns out, our 'sweet little bundle' was a whopping 9lbs 10oz.!
I was shocked! I had been guessing that he would be around 8lbs...ha!
Within a week of finding out we were pregnant, Peter had asked me what I thought about the name Jude. I really liked it, but wanted to know what it meant. I looked it up and found out that it means 'praise'. I loved it! We were so excited to be pregnant again, and really felt full of praise for such a precious gift. That night my devotions came from Psalm 139. As I read the familiar words of verse 19, "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.", we knew this was the name for our baby. And, from the moment we discovered Jude's missing kidney, we became certain that God had given us this name and these words, for our precious son. And God knew exactly what He was doing, because we would need the assurance of those promises for Jude's life in the hours, days and weeks to come...


Thanks for visiting and sharing in our story.
I'll be back next week to continue our journey on 'Flashback Friday'.
Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

We're back...

I can't believe it had been over a month since I had last posted...and what has all happened in our lives between now and then. I had been putting off returning to blogging for a couple weeks. Partly because there are so many other things (read: four little people) who were much more demanding and deserving of my attention, but also because the idea of chronicling our day to day life right now overwhelmed me. Where do I begin? How do I return to those first days after Jude was born? How can I share the journey we've been on using words on a computer screen? How do I find time in our crazy days, and in my seriously sleep-deprived state, to put together something that would be worth while to share? And so after thinking about it, I decided that instead of trying to go back and recap the past month, I was going to simply start with where we're at right now. And I'm glad to be back. I've missed sharing our lives with you. Knowing that this little community of reader-friends has been part of our lives and holding us up in prayer has meant more to me than I even realized. Thank you for all your comments and e-mails. They mean so much to us. I think maybe once a week I'll try and do a little ditty to catch you up on what has all happened...maybe a "Flashback Friday" or something like that. But for now, we will return to our regular scheduled programming :) Thanks for sticking it out with us. And so, without further ado....

The sweetest gap-toothed smile.

Could these two be brothers?

And one happy little guy with, quite possibly, the BEST baby hair ever!

Well, that's all for now. Enjoy your day!!

"This is the day the LORD has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it."
~Psalm 118:24~

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Pairs skating...

2010: Look out Vancouver!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Waking up in the Word...

I woke up grumpy.
I don't know why. I had only gotten up with Jude
three times during the night.
All the other kids slept right through.
I should have woken up refreshed.
But I wasn't. I was in a bad mood.

I did my best to push through the morning.
Getting through the chores and tasks of the day, all made
harder by the weight of my miserable demeanor.
Much too short with the kids,
and too busy being 'in a huff'
to give my farmer husband a moment of tenderness
when he came in from the barn.

Thankfully, God had other plans for the day.

Having some quiet time after lunch, all the kids finally down for a nap,
I came across this video from John Piper about memorizing Scripture.

Words of wisdom for sure, but when do I have time for that?
I continued on, viewing the next segment from Piper.
Six minutes worth of memorized Scripture...

He began with Psalm 1, our Silas' life verses.
I had heard this before
I knew these words by heart.
And I tuned out.

I left the video playing, his voice echoing those ancient words...
and suddenly in the stillness,
while my mind and eyes had wandered to other things,
the silence was shattered with the Word.

Piper had continued on to Psalm 16 and the words slapped me across the face.

"You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore."

I had lost my joy, because I wasn't resting in his presence.
As the Words continued to fill up the kitchen,
His peace and joy transformed my heart.
I was reminded.
How had I forgotten?
How do we all forget?

The Power.
The Peace.
The Joy.

And so now we will remember.

As the Christmas season approaches
we will remember what it's really all about.
And I hope that by hiding His Word in our hearts
during the shopping,
the baking,
the visiting,
the presents,
the tree,
the movies,
the concerts,
the travelling,
the eating...

We will remember.
And I'll work at not being grumpy in the morning...

"I will exalt you, my God the King;
I will praise your name for ever and ever.
Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever.
Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise;
his greatness no one can fathom.
One generation will commend your works to another;
they will tell of your mighty acts.
They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty,
and I will meditate on your wonderful works.
They will tell of the power of your awesome works,
and I will proclaim your great deeds.
They will celebrate your abundant goodness
and joyfully sing of your righteousness."
~Psalm 145:1-7~