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Follower of Christ. Wife to Adam. Mama to Joshua (9), Abigail (8), Esther (7), Hannah (6), Noah (5), Joseph (3), Peter (2), James (9 months), and Blessing #9 due late August. Soli Deo Gloria!
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Adam and Laura

Adam and Laura

Joshua Addison

Joshua Addison

Abigail Lauren

Abigail Lauren

Esther Rebecca

Esther Rebecca

Hannah Ralene

Hannah Ralene

Noah Evans

Noah Evans

Joseph Patrick

Joseph Patrick

Peter Edwin

Peter Edwin

James Emil Robert

James Emil Robert

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Friday, January 27, 2012

Art Museum

We made a trip to a local western art museum this past weekend. Joshua, Noah and Joseph are really into cowboys, Roy Rogers, and everything western right now. We were very impressed with the museum. It was huge and very well laid out and they had a hands-on area for children, which was great! We definitely plan to go back.

This life-sized horse was a favorite! See the little heads waiting their turn? :)

Flash photography was not allowed except in the childrens' area, so this picture is a little dark.

Making some food at the chuck wagon.

They even had a rocking chair...perfect for Mamas and babies!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Sweet Baby

Peter is 3 weeks old today. He's such a sweet and easy baby! He is a big eater and is about to grow out of his newborn clothes and diapers. He has little rolls on his chicken legs now. :) Peter usually wakes up to eat twice at night and eats every 2-3 hours during the day with some cluster feeding in the evenings. He is so quiet and content! If he's full and dry, then he's happy. He does not cry very often, and when he does he'll usually quiet down as soon as I pick him up.

I am feeling so much better than I was! My headache is completely gone and the dizziness is almost gone. Being outside makes me slightly dizzy for some reason, but I was able to drive for the first time last Thursday and had no problems at all. I'm thankful to be feeling better. There's nothing like feeling awful to make you grateful for good health!

The other children are adjusting really well to having Peter here. Joseph had a hard time for the first couple of weeks, but it was due to me being in bed and unavailable. Once I was up and was able to establish a semi-normal routine during the day, he was his old self again. He loves his new brother! If Peter cries, Joseph gets agitated and runs to me yelling "Peeetaaa". :)

We were blessed to have Audrey stay with us for almost a week. She was so helpful and we miss having her here! The children love her and she's a great role model for them, which is a huge added bonus.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Little Boy Thou Gavest Me

Dear Lord, I bring to Thee my son
Whose tender years have scarce begun.
In this wee frame I know full well
A living soul has come to dwell
Who needs Thee now at childhood's gate,
Ere he shall grow to man's estate.
I covenant through hours apart
To pray for him with fervent heart,
To teach Thy Word with winsome voice
By day and night until his choice
Be but Thy blood for sin's deep stain,
And my small son is born again.
Then onward shall I pray the more
And teach Thy precepts o'er and o'er,
That he may grow, each boyhood hour,
By Thine indwelling risen power,
Lord, some small boys with none to care
Will never hear a mother's prayer;
Prepare my son with love aflame
To reach them with Thy saving name.
And make him, Lord, a polished tool,
A learner in Thy highest school.
A mother's part seems, oh, so frail!
But Thy strong arm can never fail.
To teach, to pray, to stand are mine;
Expectantly I yield to Thee
The little boy Thou gavest me.

Louise B. Eavey

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Peter's Birth Story

Peter (means "rock") Edwin (after my Dad, means "rich friend")
January 2, 2012
7lb 3oz, 19in
Yes, he's our smallest baby yet!

My due date was this past Sunday, January 8th. I was so sure that the baby wouldn't arrive until mid-January because my pattern has been to go a week or so past my due date. I was a bit surprised when my water began leaking right when I woke up exactly a week before my due date. We started our normal Sunday morning routine and went to church hoping that labor would begin on its own. We planned to head on into the hospital after church either way. If I was in active labor, I knew that I would be much more relaxed and comfortable having already made the 30-minute drive and gotten settled in. If I wasn't in active labor, then we knew that we needed to get things moving since my body takes a long time to respond to Pitocin and the hospital likes for the baby to arrive within 24 hours or so of the water breaking. When we got checked in, I was having some regular contractions, but they were weak and barely noticeable. I was 1cm, 40% effaced, and the baby was very high.

There were no midwives on call over the weekend, but I liked the doctor that was there and had seen him just a few weeks before. I was fairly certain that I wouldn't deliver until the next day though, since my Pitocin-induced labors have all been long, and it turned out that the midwife that I liked was there on Monday. They got the Pitocin cranked up slowly as usual, and not much happened. To make a long story short and skip many hours of waiting, I was checked at 3:30 in the morning and was 3-4 centimeters. I wasn't checked again until around noon (I think...it's all a bit of a blur with everything that happened!) and was 5cm. Thankfully the midwife believed me when I told her that I would go from 5 to 10cm quickly once the Pitocin really kicked in. I don't remember exactly when I got my epidural either, but I waited until I felt like I couldn't handle a whole lot more...as opposed to my previous inductions where I got it quickly since I knew that I didn't want to attempt Pitocin without an epidural. I did that once with Joshua's labor, and never, ever intend to do it again! Once I got the epidural I was able to rest and get a little bit of sleep.

So now back to noon on Monday. I was 5cm and, as I mentioned, I usually go from 5 to 10 very quickly once they turn the pictocin up high enough.  I started feeling some pressure around 12:40 I suspected that I was fully dilated.  We called the nurse in to do a check, and I was indeed complete!  The baby was still very high, and I could tell that she thought it would take a while to push him out.  I told her that I usually only have to push a few times, but she obviously thought this time would be different.  She asked me to push once and immediately told me to stop so that she could run and get the midwife.  Two pushes later our sweet baby Peter was born!  He is our smallest baby at birth and thankfully I did not need any stitches.  I was so thankful that he was born safely and without a c-section!!

That's where the drama begins. The placenta did not come on its own, and after a little while the midwife decided that it needed to come out since the uterus was starting to close up shop. She massaged my belly and applied some gentle traction on the cord, but the cord and membrane were all that came. After a little while longer she decided to go in after it. Not fun. My epidural had started to wear off before the birth, so I was about half-medicated at that point. Ouch! Anyway, she was unable to get the placenta to detach and had to get the doctor on call. In the meantime, they offered to give me a little more medication in my epidural, which I gladly accepted! The doctor got there and was able to retrieve the placenta (ouch, again!), which I was grateful for since the next step was a trip to the operating room. I was losing a lot of blood at that point. My blood pressure dropped suddenly, I started vomiting, and my pulse shot up. I'm not sure if it was from the extra medication that I got, or from losing a lot of blood, or from the pain, or a combination of everything. But it was an out-of-body experience and something I'd rather not ever go through again!

After all of that was over I felt pretty good and was on track to be discharged after 24 hours. I started to get a headache a few hours before we left the hospital, but didn't think a whole lot of it. We signed the discharge papers and literally as I was gathering up my things to leave I started to get dizzy. By the time we had made the 30-minute drive home I couldn't walk without putting most of my weight on Adam, and pretty much as soon as I got in the door I started vomiting. After a few hours of feeling awful and not being able to do anything but lay in a certain position on my right side, we called the midwife, got back in the car and made the 30-minute drive back to the hospital. We spent a ridiculous 5 hours in the ER, during which time I got an IV and two bags of fluids. They tried to give me morphine twice, but we refused it. We knew that I needed a blood patch for the spinal headache. What we didn't realize is that they don't do that in the middle of the night at this particular small hospital. The midwife very graciously "pitched a fit" and had us re-admitted to labor and delivery, for which I was very thankful. We were able to get some sleep and finally had the blood patch done around 1:00. I immediately started to feel better, and after about an hour we were able to go home.

Unfortunately, the blood patch didn't "take" and my headache and dizziness came back, though not nearly as bad as it had been. An anesthesiologist friend in our church recommended that I lay flat and stay very well hydrated for several days to try to give the spinal fluid leak a chance to heal on its own. I did that for 3 days and I'm very thankful that it seems to have worked! I have been up for a good part of today and have only had a minor headache and dizziness.

Having the spinal headache and the placenta issue was no fun, but looking back, I don't think that I would have done anything differently except pray harder that my membranes wouldn't rupture prematurely. :) I knew that spinal headaches can occur with an epidural, and statistically speaking, I was overdue for one! Peter's birth was not ideal in my opinion, but God is sovereign and His hand was on this birth just as much as any of my other births. Next time around I'm going to pray that I go into labor on my own, and if I do then my plan is to skip the epidural. If an induction is necessary next time, then I imagine I'll opt for the epidural again. In the mean time, I plan to do a little research to see if there's anything I can do or eat to help keep my water from breaking early!

I love the faces that they make when they're sleeping!

I've had a lot of time over the past week and a half to lay around and think about all I have to be thankful for. I thought I'd list a few of those things here.

1) A loving husband who works hard and takes such good care of me and our children.

2) Our home and the fact that God has blessed us with SEVEN children!!

3) A sweet, healthy newborn son to snuggle.

4) Good health, increasing strength, and the privilege and blessing of being a wife and mother.

5) Our wonderful friends and family that are taking care of us and graciously providing us with meals.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Happy Birthday...

...to our wonderful, selfless, talented, hard-working, handsome husband and Papa!!!! We love you!!

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Quick Update

I'm very thankful to be home from the hospital a second time. I was re-admitted after 5 hours in the ER Tuesday night for severe dizziness, vomiting (and of course the dehydration that accompanies that), and a spinal headache. Thankfully none of the second hospital stay involved Peter...he's doing great! Anesthesia fixed the headache, and the dizziness/nausea is getting better as well. I'm feeling a million times better than I was, but still rather puny. It's going to take some time. Thank you all for your comments and emails! I'm going to reply to them when I am able. For now being on the computer makes me feel worse, so I'll leave it at that and update more when I feel up to it. Our pastor and his wife took charge of the other children and kept things running like a well-oiled machine for 2 days and we didn't worry about a thing! Adam is of course doing a wonderful job taking care of me and keeping up with work as well, and his parents drove from Kansas on Monday and are doing a superb job of holding down the fort otherwise. I haven't had to even think about meals or taking care of the other children, which is good since I'm not capable at the moment. We're working on getting some help lined up for next week, and my parents are coming at the end of the week, so we will be well taken care of. Thank you for your prayers!!

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Peter Pictures

Here are a couple pictures of our sweet baby! I wasn't sure if they'd let us go home after 24 hours since I had prolonged rupture of the membranes and they're concerned about infection, but the pediatrician was very nice and just told me to make sure he's eating well and fever-free. Peter has a heart murmur, which we'll keep our eye on, but other than that he checked out perfectly and is so quiet and sweet. I'm feeling better today, but still not wonderful. It's mostly a bad headache and a sore belly. More on that when I post Peter's birth story...hopefully in the next few days since I plan on doing a lot of sitting around and relaxing. For now we're going to bust out of here and go home and take a nap!

Monday, January 02, 2012

Baby Peter

We are grateful to God for the safe arrival of Peter Edwin!!

7lb 3oz,

He is doing wonderfully! I had a few post-delivery complications and am not feeling stellar. Probably nothing that some food and a nap won't fix :) Photos to come when I'm feeling up to it. Thank you all so much for your prayers.

Quick Update

We're still waiting on baby! I was 4cm at 3:30 this morning when I got the epidural, and I haven't been checked since then. Pitocin is nasty...epidurals are nice! I'm comfortable now and was able to rest for a couple of hours. The Pitocin is currently on 20 (max), but I'm hoping that the doctor will give the nurse orders to turn it up to 22 or 24 soon. That's what it has taken to get me to 10cm in the past, and I usually dilate pretty quickly (like from 5cm to 10cm in 30 minutes!) once they bump it up. We appreciate your prayers!

Sunday, January 01, 2012


So it turns out that I was wrong about the baby arriving mid-January. We are at the hospital now and have been since about 1:00 this afternoon. My water started leaking right as I woke up this morning, but my contractions were wimpy, at best, all morning. It turns out that I had PROM (again...pretty much a repeat of my first labor up to this point) and was 1cm, 40% effaced, and +2 when we checked it. The doctor decided to try to ripen the cervix with Cytotec in hopes of avoiding Pitocin. That has been in for about 3 hours now and there's pretty much nothing going on. They cannot start Pitocin until 4 hours after the Cytotec was inserted, so they'll get that up and running in another hour or so. I honestly don't expect to be more than 1cm since I haven't been contracting to speak of, though I'm hoping to be a little more effaced. We'll see! At this point it looks like baby will probably arrive in the middle of the night or early morning...based on how my body has responded to Pitocin in the past. We would appreciate prayers for a safe delivery and no c-section! I will update (hopefully with pictures!) when I am able.