Saturday, October 10, 2009

Introducing Autumn Glory!

Meet our Autumn...

For from him and through him and to him are all things.
To him be glory forever. Amen.
-Romans 11:36

This is one of the verses I've been meditating on leading up to and now after little Autumn's birth. Everything is all about Him. Not me.

If you read my husband's take on Autumn's birth, you probably got a sense of the excitement we felt on Monday. But shortly after posting that we found out Autumn Glory had to be admitted to the NICU.

It could be a long story but the short of it is:
- Autumn's B+ and I'm O+ and there was an A/B/O incompatibility. She tested Coombs positive.
- Autumn became jaundiced as a result of the incompatibility and required phototherapy.
- Her bili rubin levels (related to jaundice) finally declined and they were able to end the phototherapy and stop her IV Friday.
- She came home today but will still need to have some follow-up appts to check her hemoglobin count as she could still need a blood exchange due to the incompatibility.

This experience has helped me see a bit more of how all things works together for His great glory. Though we have limited vision and often don't see accurately, He sees and knows everything and He will receive the glory. And in His great kindness He has allowed this experience to be used for my good as well! Oh what a King! Oh what a marvelous Maker and Sustainer!

So, today, we are rejoicing in God's glory for we see more of His sovereignty, His perfect care and provision, His strength, His awesome power to save, His love.

Lord, You are over all and through all and all things are held together by You. You reign! Your ways are not ours. We exist for Your glory. Receive the glory! Receive the glory!

And now for some pictures!

Me taking a break from walking the halls. (By the way, you wouldn't believe the comments we got just walking the labor and delivery hallways! People say some of the most unhelpful, stupid things to people! Our favorite was, "Don't wear yourself out!" followed by "Looks like you're walking your way into labor!" But, we can't forget, "You're walking too quick to be in labor.")
The labor just about killed me but I think it made my recovery even quicker than my previous ones. Plus, this little baby girl was worth it ten times over!
A short 4 hours after welcoming her arrival we saw our little gal like this. Bili lights shining, goggles on, and that IV on her right hand/arm.
Don't you love those smiles newborns flash? I can't help but think of that passage that says something about the secret things of God. I like to think God is speaking to little babies, drawing their hearts to Him.

I love this picture of my man singing to God. This captures his heart of worship as he led the kiddos in songs of celebration and thanks to God for bringing Autumn home.The kids so love their "newborn baby" sister. Saraina keeps calling her "the newborn baby." The boys (thanks to Daddy) are already talking about needing another boy since they are outnumbered by girls.
Little Paloma's hand carassing her baby sister's head. (Note: this looks tender but Paloma is a bit stubborn and had to be kept from hurting Autumn!)
Joshua is such a wonderful big brother. It is amazing the things he does all without being asked or prompted. That coupled with his tenderness and care make my heart swell with thanksgiving!

Kadin has been the most timid with Autumn. He talks about her a lot but kinda keep his distance. He certainly keeps tabs on Lady Loma though. He alerts us on her whereabouts as she approaches Autumn.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Labor: Meditations on pain, childbirth and breast pumps. "Introducing Autumn Glory"

"William, hurry, come here." It was 4:30 this morning and the urgency in my wife's voice could mean only one thing: some type of illegal activity was occuring outside our window. I braced myself ready, for the worst. Was someone's home being broken into? Maybe ours? Was a brutal homicide under way? Maybe the police were billy clubbing Javier into submission?

As I quickly ran down the hall, or rather stumbled, I realized the acrtivity must be right outside the "clothes" room - ooh my curiousity and fear peaked! But as I arrived at the bathroom I realized my wife was sitting on the potty - this was a strange development. Kia quickly whispered, "Paloma's on the changing table alone, my water broke, change her diaper."

Her water broke. My heart started to calm down - at least nothing illegal was going on. I made my way to Paloma and saw her laying there on the changing table. Jammies unzipped with a bright green 'cloth' diaper exposed around her midsection. As I found out later, Mommie had decided to check on Paloma's cloth diaper. The house was cold and a wet midsection would be rather unpleasant. As she was preparing to change the diaper - boom, come thou fount.

And that's how the day started! How exciting.

After some frantic prayer and struggling thinking, we decided to call Aunt Jenny and ask her to take the train from Chicago to Aurora. Shortly after 5:30am I phoned and Jenny answered. She would be out with Hamilton on a train to arrive at 8:00am.

A good start! If only we could postpone delivery till then. Kia was not getting many contractions and it seemed that maybe we could wait till Jenny's arrival.

At 6:00am I called my Mom and requested she make the trip from Chatham to Aurora. She didn't answer the first call (late night partying) but did call back promptly. She assured me her departure would be within the next 45 minutes to 1 hour. Wow, that was one fast moving Grammy!

Things were starting to line up nicely and I was confident the baby would be born by 9:00am. I speculated I would be able to make my meeting scheduled for 7:00pm that night. I would probably even have time to go by the house and put on "business casual" clothes. Assuming, Kia would be okay with that, of course. My confidence grew when Kia, down in the basement doing laundry, called up "I think you better call."

I knew what she meant - call the Dancas. In other words...she couldn't wait till 8:00am, the baby was moving quickly and was ready to party.

So I phoned and again Lidia Danca saved the day. I tell ya that Danca clan is unbelievable. Lidia was at the house within half an hour. Strangely, the contractions weren't coming, so we decided to pick up Jenny and Hamilton at the 8:00am train, drop them off at 301 Fifth, and then make our way to the hospital. Maybe this baby wouldn't be born by 9:00am...

So that's what we did. Except we also made a pit stop at Philip's Park to try and "walk up" some contraction action. The walk didn't go so well (note to self, by adult sized diapers before baby #6 goes into labor) so we decided to head over to Rush Copley. The only thing I could think of was, "would it be selfish to get a starbuck's coffee on the way?" I decided it was so I didn't mention it to Kia. I'm here to serve!

We checked into Rush Copley around 8:30am and they confirmed the obvious, Kia's water was broken. Strangely enough, contractions still weren't coming very often or very strong. For the next six hours we walked the halls, Kia sat on "the ball", hooked up the breast pump and did whatever else she could to bring on labor (I had a grand time making all kinds of jokes and strange comments). The latter worked the best and after about 3o minutes on the super charged breast pump (for those who don't know, a pump that uses a motor to draw out breast milk, conveniently stored in a bottle), some serious labor was setting in. (Ealier in the day I had seen the breast pump in the hall and tried to convice Kia it was an outboard motor for small pond worthy vessel).

At this point I must confess, I was a bit worried about my wife. She has an incredible pain tolerance, but this labor was taking longer than the last 3 and she was pretty tired. She seemed to be intimidated by this intense pain wasn't sure if she could handle it. We discussed pain meds and I assured her that it was fine with me. But I knew she wouldn't like the side effect. Kia decided to press on! Go Black Beauty!

About 3:00pm she was curled on the bed and in the middle of an intense contraction. She managed to say "I think you better call someone I feel like I need to push." Ooooh, this was a good sign. I glanced at her privatels to see if a head was sticking out, nothing yet so I pushed the little red cross button and told the nurse, "she's ready to push."

Within a minute the midwife, Noreen, and a nurse were in the room.

My wife then proceeded to demonstrate that she is hands down the toughest person alive today on planet earth or any other planet for that matter (take that you alien wusses). In the past I've seen her pick up red hot pans and as they sear into her flesh simply say "ouch." I've observed her three times push out a baby like its the side effect of eating way too much really cheezy pizza - constipation style - "ugh" and its out.

But today, she became my official hero. She is so tough.

Friends, family...this was some serious pain, so strong, I even felt it three feet away. The contractions were super heavy and long and the body was weak after wrestling with labor for the previous 8 hours.

But my wife, gripped down hard on my hand and rode them out olympic style. Noreen told her to do what her body was telling her to do, push. And she did. Two, maybe three pushes and there she was. Gold medal all the way, yeah!

Our sweet Baby 5 had arrived!

Autumn Glory Whitney, 5 lbs 14 oz, 181/4" in length. Good job Momma, good job baby #5!

Baby #5 Coming Soon!

Well, last Monday I thought my water broke. This morning I KNOW it did! Contractions are weak so we've been getting ready. The kiddos are starting to wake up so... we'll update as we are able!

Please pray for this little one arriving shortly!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Words to Remember

Our house gets cold quickly. We have zero insulation! (Seriously, William has drilled some holes through the wall from outside and there's nothing there!) All that means is we dress much warmer inside than many folks do walking past our house.

This morning we all had our robes on because it was so cold. The kids wanted Paloma to wear a robe so I got out cousin Celeste's old red robe which has been worn by each of the bigger ones at some point. The size on the label reads 4T so you know our skinny-minny Loma was drowning in it! I rolled the sleeves up and bunched it up so she could walk without tripping. She got a kick out of us laughing at her tote her little but padded self around. (She had the enormous robe on as well as an enormous heiny thanks to a cloth diaper!)

We're laughing watching Paloma and Joshua smiles and says,

"She looks like a prophet in that big robe!"

Then Saraina and Kadin laugh in agreement and keep saying it over and over. (Not sure they even knew what they were laughing about!)

Oh, Joshua! No one else may think that is funny but it so tickles me. Definitely words for this Mama to remember...