It all started on the first sunny day of our slow-to-come Spring.
It took me some time to dig out the "mud season" clothes and help all the little ones
into their shoes, jackets, hats...
Then I found a spot in the sun to watch from and to sip frothy chocolate from my red mug.
Over a largely rounded belly I watched as the kids, all dressed in varying pieces of camouflage,
scurried into the woods armed with buckets and shovels.
"We're prospecting for worms!" Susanna tells me.
And they were.
Imagine if you will, six-gallon buckets full of dirt and a mother lode of worms.
It was impressive. And entertaining too!
There was much talk of Summer time fishing, while Bryce in his last day as baby
scouted for sticks and bugs...
...and talked Tractor with Daddy.
Carolina had an ambition to climb a tree.
This was as far as she ever got,
but that's okay. I think that watching her made my hot chocolate taste even better!
One of my favorite things to see from that sunny spot was this precious man
meeting my needs in such a gracious, tangible way.
Here he builds my co-sleeper (a crib to set up next to our bed) and tells me when I thank him:
"I have little choice when I start getting bashed on the blog!"
He loves me ;-)
I think he has reverence for the good opinion of all you - O' friends of mine - who know the
joys, pains, and hearts desires of a mother. So be complimented, and I thank you too
for contributing to the timely arrival of my coveted co-sleeper :-)
Then there were little people who getting into the spirit of things,
built a table and bench...
It was a VERY productive day - for every one!
A week and a half ago I predicted having this baby on Saturday night, the eve of Easter Sunday
(which is April 24th this year - my due date being April 26th)
because I think babies like to double up on special dates.
Remember Bryce was born on our 12th wedding anniversary? A Saturday night labor nonetheless.
I thought I'd better make the special Easter dinner preparations ahead... just in case.
So after soaking in the sun for a sufficient spell, and sipping the last from my red mug
I made jello, and hard boiled eggs for the Clayton-requested deviled eggs.
Carolina helped me mix up the egg yolk filling, and there was no indication of not being able
to complete the rest the next day.
It's amazing though, how quickly things can go from this "my baby":
to this the newest edition of "my baby":
Now I will recount a few details of the hours between making jello and smooching on these chubby cheeks
but first I warn you, that this is for the posterity of our blogging journal
(which I hope to one day have made into a book).
If you will feel a strong desire to throw tomatoes at me or boo me out of the house where labor horror stories are told
because you shortly find I went into labor at 9:00pm on Saturday, and was holding my darling three and a half hours later...
you've read far enough-and-thank-you-for-visiting this post. Come back next week :-)
For those who look for reasons to rejoice, and for those who love a story that gives hope...
Although I had been having more frequent Braxton Hicks contractions during the early evening hours,
they were not abnormal for me.
It wasn't until 9pm when I felt that first "real" contraction that I knew it was time to buckle up for the ride.
(Up 'till that point, I was still hoping to be one of that minority who goes through an entire
labor and birth pain-free. Haven't you heard those stories? One can dream anyways.)
AJ called Uncle Char and had him come pick up the kiddos for a slumber party with the cousins
so I didn't have a deadline to accomplish my work by
(morning light and the pitter-pat of little feet, in this case).
With the Bugletts packed off AJ called the midwives; and I posted briefly on my blog divulging my fears
for the upcoming unknown.
I asked the Lord to help me worship Him.
I held close the knowledge of His death and power over it; His resurrection and the fact that death to myself was bringing forth life.
I wanted to receive this work as a privilege and accept it with joy for His names sake.
I was fearful.
I am not proud to say it, but it was very difficult not to wander into the future, to predict how long
I'd be fighting to relax through painful contractions.
To resist anticipating Transition - that place where there is no hope of backing out!
I found my laboring groove, sat on my birthing stool, and heard the midwives arrive and set up.
My face was in a pillow as I leaned over the back of my chair.
I had large breaks in between contractions with time to relax and regroup. It was fairly peaceful.
Amazingly, my water broke at 12:05am.and after that I turned to the midwives and said
"Okay. Another couple good...bad...hard...contractions to bring the baby down and I'll need
to move to the bed on the floor to push baby out."
I am convinced that I was fully dilated when my water broke, even though I hadn't been checked
at any point prior to that.
It was at this time that I became excited! I got my second wind and knew the end was near.
It went just as I had predicted to the midwives.
12:10am I moved to a reclining position,
a couple pushes and a head;
A lusty cry.
Another couple pushes
and then a baby.
12:20 am AJ caught her beautifully -
he announced with a laugh "We have another GIRL!"
I was just so relieved. SO relieved. SO thankful, so grateful and so thrilled to be holding that wet
slippery, vernix-covered little girly, who soon quieted once she was handed up to me.
I didn't hear an unhappy squeak out of her the rest of the night and she latched on beautifully
shortly after her cord was cut.
To be completely honest (and humble here), I could not BELIEVE it went that quickly without
being a furious labor. I mean... I STILL can't believe it.
I really didn't think we could top Bryce's labor and delivery, and then... O' marvel of marvels,
to see this baby for the first time - we hadn't any ultrasounds this pregnancy - and realize that
everything I saw appeared perfectly formed and health-filled.
To realize that the Lord God had blessed me above my wildest hopes in the mercy of His grace!
His unmerited favor has been great upon me and AJ.
We were confident even before-hand that He would faithfully glorify Himself in whatever form
our labor, our child, our story... took.
I just did not expect that glory to be in such a manner that would make our lives so filled
with ease and uninhibited joy once again!
So... a couple hours sleep for my Fella, and I lay sleepless beside him, Aloria nestled into the crook
of my arm - close enough to my face that I could bury my nose in her hair.
Breathing in that sweet new-baby-smell I waited for the morning light
and watched the first rays of sun touch our south hill treetops, then break over the landscape little by little
proclaiming the resurrection of our Lord!
Proclaiming new life FOR us, and proclaiming our own new life. Glorious!
That calm spring sunshine spoke all the volumes in my heart without me ever saying a word..
And that is the story - our story of how Aloria Mercy came to join this clan -
short, sweet, and with a happy ending;
which actually, is only the beginning of other wonders to be opened to us as we watch God
write the rest of our Aloria's story.
We are confident we will watch Him weave into that account
many many evidences of His wonderful Majesty and grace!
My heart wells up with Hallelujahs! Thank you LORD, for your mercies. I am in awe.
4 years ago