Tuesday, October 28, 2008

In Love...

It's hard to find the words to communicate what I am feeling, but I wanted to try, because when I look back, I want to have written down somewhere what it felt like during these days that are going by so fast. 
In the quiet moments of the night, it is just Ezra and I.  Sometimes when I am nursing, the thought occurs to me that I could be doing some multi-tasking... accomplishing more while I feed him (even if it's just checking e-mail or something).  And then my heart reminds me that these moments are over too fast.  So instead, I drink in deeply the details of my God's handiwork, I praise Him, as my heart overflows.  I hear the chorus of the Chris Tomlin song over and over as I stare in awe, "You do all things well!!"
Yesterday, instead of our usual "schoolwork", Emma and Caleb wrote stories.  They told them to me, and I wrote them out, and then they drew pictures to accompany their stories.  I marveled at their creative ability.  I am listening to them giggle as they make play-dough Oreos, and I am so thankful for these amazing kids.  
This afternoon, while Caleb and Emma and Ezra were quiet (well, sort of) I got to just sit and play puzzles with Noah.  Then as he ate his lunch and made silly faces at me, I thought, "How can one person be so blessed?"  
I am the mommy to four.  There will be many times when just that thought alone will overwhelm me.  But right now, I am in awe.  I am so honored to be entrusted with these ones, and I pray that despite my failings and mistakes, I will be found to be as faithful as one sinful human can be.  These amazing ones are in my care.  My husband is at work, providing for us, and can't wait to come home to us.  I can't wait for him to be here either.
It is our great God who has given us all this.  He most certainly does all things well.  I am reminded of how God loves us just because we are, not because of what we have done (as if we could do anything of worth!!) and in spite of our sin.  Thank you seems so small compared to all that God has done on our behalf.  And yet my heart cries it out, over and over... Thank you!
I am in love.

Birthday Boy...

We celebrated Noah's 2nd birthday.  Nothing fancy, but everything that was really important.  Family and cake.  Good times!  I can't believe how big he is... and he loves puzzles just like his big brother.  He can already do all of his puzzles, but he loves doing them over and over and over.... =)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

About the castor oil...

Some fun details I forgot:
1.  Ben has his EMT Certification... just in case you were all wondering.  It does make a big difference, because he did know what to do and didn't even freak out about the cord being around Ezra's neck.  As far as I know (but I really can't be sure), this is the first time that one of our kids had the cord around their neck.  (Ben just informed me that this is not the first time!)
2.  Ben tied the cord with dental floss.  Although our pediatrician's office seemed to think that not clamping the cord was a big deal, when they saw it, they were pretty impressed.  Maybe all hospitals should use dental floss???
3.  I had two friends of mine who had tried castor oil to induce labor.  I was scheduled to be induced this Friday, the 24th.  I was not too keen on this idea of castor oil, so I decided I would consult with the two people I knew who had tried it.  They both said it wasn't too bad, and they weren't in pain on the toilet for hours.  One of them said that it was definitely what worked (although she did take multiple doses, maybe four total).  I decided that desperate times called for desperate measures.  And, I thought, they are going to be pumping me full of pitocin soon anyway, might as well give it a go!  I was afraid, though, because I haven't had much trouble HAVING contractions, it was just keeping them that was the problem.
We actually happened to have some castor oil (for another purpose), which is what had started me thinking of trying it anyway.  The internet recommended dose for inducing labor was 2 oz., or 4 Tblspns.  Being as scared as I was, I decided to try 1/2 of a teaspoon.  I have no idea if that is what did the trick.  But, man, if it was what did it... it really worked.  If it is not what did it, then it's just a funny story.  
4.  I had secretly been wishing for a home birth.  We even consulted with a midwife, but since our insurance wouldn't cover it, we decided on the hospital.  One of the nights when my contractions were really intense, I started getting scared that the baby might come at home.  And I was terrified!!  I thought, "Oh no, we have to do this at the hospital!"  This is how I knew God was so close to us the whole time... when we actually WERE having the baby at home, I was not scared... I was at peace, but desperate for His help (if that makes sense).

I am sure I forgot many other things, and they may or may not come to me during the night when I am up with Ezra.  But, it was an amazing experience, and we are so thankful for God's provision and care.  

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Reader's Digest Version...

Okay, in any story there are many details.  This will be the reader's digest version of Ezra's birth story:
At 4:30pm(ish) I had a contraction.  It was a good one.  But I had been having contractions, and they would get stronger and eventually go away.  Then I had another one.  I grabbed the phone and called Ben, crying.  I asked him to come home.  I told him that these contractions (all two of them!) were really strong, and I didn't know if they would stop or not, but I was alone and I needed help with the kids.  So, Ben started the process of getting off work in order to come home.  Then I called him back to say that I was just overreacting and he didn't need to come home.  (He declined and said that he was, in fact, coming home.)  I went to put a movie in for the kids, and felt a trickle that might be my water breaking??  But I wasn't sure.  Then I got in the shower, which is where I was when Ben got home.  I had stayed until there wasn't any more warm water. =(
As I was getting out, I told Ben that this would be the time we should go to the hospital.  But, I asked him to try and check me, since we had been through this on and off again with contractions and they hadn't been very productive.  So, Ben goes to check me and gets a very interesting look on his face.  I ask, "What is it??"  And he replies, "It's a head."  At this point, we pretty much realize that we are going to have the baby at home, unless something goes wrong.  I didn't quite feel ready to push just yet... But Ben threw down a shower curtain and an old comforter and some towels.   Then, I decide that laying on the bed on my back doesn't feel right, so I go into the bathroom where I am standing/squatting.  My legs got tired, so I sat down on the toilet to rest.  I had a contraction while sitting and told Ben, "The baby moved."  I knew he would be born with the next contraction.  The next one came and I said, "Ben!"  And he asked, "Is he coming?"  "Yes!!"  (Side note: I did have a bulb syringe and a pair of scissors that I had boiled just in case on one of my previous bouts of contractions).  Ben grabbed the bulb syringe, and ran back in the bathroom to see baby's head emerging.  He was trying to get me to move to the ground, but I ended up sort of squatting, and I couldn't move because the rest of baby was coming!!  Ben very calmly told me, "I have to get the cord off the baby's neck."  Then, he suctioned, and handed the baby to me to keep on my chest and get warm.  We made it to the bed and after a few minutes of letting him cry, the baby was nursing.  It took about an hour to deliver the placenta, during which time we called my OB/GYN who was going to have us meet her at the Ojai Emergency Room, but once the placenta delivered, we knew I was okay and baby was already doing great.  So we opted to stay home, and do doctor's visits the following day.  We had a couple of moments that were a little scary-the first being when we realized for sure that the baby would probably be born at home.  We stopped and prayed.  The second was during our wait for the placenta, and we stopped and prayed.  We felt God's presence so strongly, and are overwhelmed by the many ways he took care of us and provided for us.  Ben graciously did the clean-up and buried the placenta in our backyard.  And he even "punched me in the stomach" (this is always what I call the massaging of the uterus) and told me, "You can curse Eve, but I have to do this."
Ezra Lucas Knight Hester was born at 7:35pm at our house.  It was awesome, and we are praising God for His mercy, His grace, His wisdom, and His amazing creative ability.  I am in awe of how God made a woman's body to give birth, and a baby growing inside, and how they work together (like nursing, and how it ever-so painfully contracts a uterus!!) =)
Please continue to pray for us, as we embark on this adventure... It has been a little harder than we expected to get the care we need, and details like trying to get a birth certificate.  We're working on it.
Ezra means, "Jehovah helps"
"For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the LORD, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel."  Ezra 7:10
Lucas means "bringer of light"
Knight was chosen by big brother Caleb
We couldn't choose, so he gets them all!!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Ezra-"Jehovah Helps"

Sometimes, things are just too amazing for words.  This is sort of one of those times, and yet not at the same time because our God is so amazing and His praise must be declared!!!  So, this is not the "birth story" in its entirety, so to speak, but it is a testimony to the amazing Jehovah God we serve, who has most certainly been our help.
Tonight, Ezra (in case you hadn't guessed, that's the baby's name!!) was born at home.  Daddy Ben delivered, and if we could say anything about the whole experience... it would be that Jehovah has been our help, and we are praising Him for the safe entry of Baby Ezra into the world.  We haven't yet decided on the middle name, and we don't know how much he weighs or anything.  But I will post more when I know it!!  Thank you for your prayers... and keep 'em coming.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Birthday Present

Well, it is so exciting.  For my birthday, my parents got me the Shark H20 Mop, and it's even pink!!  I have included a picture because I was so excited.  Most of our house is either hardwood or tile floors, so this comes in so handy.  It only uses water instead of any harsh cleaning chemicals (good for little ones!)  And because it heats the water into steam, it sanitizes!!  And, it is easy enough that the kids have all taken turns (when I LET them!!)  Simple pleasures.  =)

Worn Out...

Evidently, watching me do a workout video wore Noah out.  Poor baby.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Baby Knight's Celebration

The women at my church honored me in such an amazing way... We had a celebration party for this sweet little one.  It was amazing.  I don't have the words to describe it, but I did want to share some pictures.  I am so thankful for this amazing group of women, and am so excited that these are the ones praying for our family.  The cake is my sweet friend Madison's masterpiece!

Family Hike and ALMOST a baby!

The other day we went and hiked Pratt trail, here in town.  The kids had a great time pretending to hunt for tigers and other animals.  Emma was so sweet, she felt the need to hold my hand and "help" me up all steps, since "I have a baby".  It was very touching to see her sweet heart for taking care of mama.  It was a very nice hike, and was successful at producing lots of contractions, which eventually led us to the hospital on my birthday night.  However, once we got down there, the contractions stopped (which was really weird since they had been so strong).  They monitored the baby's heart rate, which was high, and told me that if they couldn't get it down then we might just have a baby even if my contractions had stopped.  After quite a while of trying to get baby's heart rate down, they decided to do an ultrasound which confirmed what I had thought for a while, and the most likely cause of my contractions stopping:  Baby is face up!  So, we are praying for baby to turn over and we are still anxiously awaiting his grand entrance!!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Big Week...

So, not only did Emma lose her first "wiggly" tooth, but then she informed me that she knows how to tie her own shoes.  And sure enough, she does.  They are all growing up so fast!