Thursday, August 30, 2012

Welcome Audrey Isabella

I am not sure why I continue to be amazed by God's provision and faithfulness. Audrey was not due until August 9, but she is a third baby, only a year behind her closest sibling and her mama was showing signs that she would probably deliver early. 
My family had an All Church Camp-Out planned for the first weekend in August and I was pretty sure that the baby would make her entrance as well. 
This would not have created any type of problem except that I had zip, zero, zilch in the way of cell reception at Silver Lake Campground. It is not acceptable for a Doula to be out of contact with her client and totally not fair to the children to cancel the trip for something that might or might not happen. So I prayed. I prayed for an answer to the quandary I found myself in and God once again proved Himself faithful.
Audrey Isabella and Me
I decided to go ahead and go to the campground and check in with my client throughout the day then return home in the evening, so that I would be available by phone. This also allowed me to care for our animals and, even better, get a wonderfully refreshing shower.
It was a lot of extra miles on the car but was the best solution. I didn't mind having the house to myself, sleeping in a nice bed, and using a flush toilet.
We were in contact throughout the day on Friday and Saturday (I had to ask for help using the pay phone, did you know it costs .50 to make a local call!?) Sean checked in via cell when he was out on a bike ride and they were able to leave a message for me at the ranger station if needed.
Saturday was one of the hottest days of the year so far and when I got up Sunday morning the animals did not look good. In fact, I was pretty sure the rabbit Taylor was planning on taking to the fair had heat stroke and was not far from death. I made a frantic phone call to Taylor's rabbit supervisor and performed bunny First Aid. It consisted of giving the bunny fresh veggies, lettuce, and carrots w/tops and a frozen water bottle. That and another prayer of protection. It would be devastating to have worked so hard then have your animal die a week before the fair.
I was not feeling great about leaving phone service so I again prayed that God would make it blatantly obvious weather I should go back to the campground or stay put. I specifically prayed that I would know by 8:30, when I planned to leave. At 8:30 exactly my client called and told me that her water had broke and that her contractions had not started yet. She said she would let me know when she was ready for me.
I knew that was exactly what I was looking for and said a prayer of Thanksgiving. I wasn't sure how long I had so I enjoyed the time at home alone (this was the first time ever!) I read the Sunday paper, drank some coffee, made an amazing omelet. I was starting to get antsy when I got a call from my client's husband. He was on his way to the store and thought I should call. I called at 10:15 and her mom answered the phone. She said, "We think you should come, NOW!"
I arrived at their house at 10:35 and found them trying to fill the birth tub and her on a birth ball having some very intense contractions. I moved into place giving her some massage. We prayed together and I attempted to connect the hose to fill the tub but was very much needed for other things. She was fighting her contractions and I talked her into working with her body, trusting herself, and remaining calm. It was apparent things were happening much faster than she expected and we made a few phone calls to her husband to hurry home. She got off the birth ball and leaned back into me. I was holding her shoulders and she looked at me with a small tear coming down her cheek. She said, "I really wanted a water birth." It broke my heart. I wished I could fill the tub faster, and make her husband home sooner. I encouraged her to work with her body and trust God.
I was against a dresser with a very sharp corner digging into my arm and fully supporting her. I was not in a position to catch and yet I knew she needed me right where I was. She said she felt like pushing and then the midwife walked in, set her bag down and assessed the situation. Mama gave a small push and the baby crowned. After the second push Audrey was born at 11:19! She was a small baby only 19" long and 5 lbs. 12 oz. Such a sweet little peanut. Daddy got home at 11:23 and cut the cord and gave mama and baby love, support and kisses.
This was my first home birth to attend and it was amazing! I loved watching the mom trust herself and get into the position she liked the best. I loved that big brothers were right there to welcome their new baby sister and grandma was supportive, encouraging and available.
After all the weights, measures, charting, nursing, photos, cleanup, laundry, and prayers, mama and baby settled down for a nap and dad was ready to celebrate! We had pizza, coffee, cinnamon rolls, fresh fruit, veggies, and so much more I might have gained what the baby weighed! We talked and prayed more and had a birthday party.
I am once again humbled by God's very clear answer to my prayers. A reminder that He does care, He cares about timing, and about bringing delight to His children. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Where Did Summer Go?

Good Morning! It is fabulous to be back.
Enjoying some good books in the laundry shade
Apparently, things have been quite busy here at Small Wonders, thus no blogging. Since I last posted, We had a Church Campout, 2 Births, 2 Date Nights, A Whole Week of the Fair, Grandparent visits, Swimming, Birthday Parties, and some major family changes.
Liberty loves to copy her older sisters. She is usually toting a book around, and reads at any opportunity. 
 Watch for posts on all of those items, coming soon. I guess I don't blame you for not believing me. I will try to earn that trust back!
In an effort to try to save money I started hanging our laundry on the line. That is, when we had sun. We really did have some nice days here in the Beautiful Pacific Northwest. They were just spread out a day or two at a time then concentrated all into 5 days at once. It seemed to really make a difference on our energy bill. But the biggest difference was that one of my children decided not to wash or dry his hands. I discovered it was because he didn't like the feel of the stiff towels and therefore just decided to skip the whole hand washing procedure. I can't say I blame him, I dug to the bottom of the linen closet for the towels that were soft and fluffy. I decided that we would dry the whites and hang the rest. It was a great solution for all. I love the smell of the clothes after they are dried in the sun. I love that I fold them right as I am taking them down, and I have to take them down to make room for more to dry. No more piles of needing to be folded clothes. I don't love having to touch each individual  item so many times. I love catching each stain and eliminating it before it's permanent. I don't love being gone and getting home after dark when the dew has settled on the laundry so you have to wait for the next day for it to dry again. I also don't love that my daughter, trying to be helpful, hung out a whole load of intimates; not something the neighbors need to see or know. I love love love how fast the clothes dried when they were on the line.
Ruby has taken off in her reading abilities and is even working on trying to teach Liberty. 
It has been a bittersweet summer for me, realizing that my children are growing up(we have no babies in the house). My goal is to raise independent, responsible children who love Jesus, have integrity, joy, and perseverance. I am seeing fruits of my effort of teaching and training and couldn't be more proud of who they are becoming.
I have also confronted my own selfish desires, laziness, and anger. I was able to reevaluate  activities that distract me from my goals and come to the realization that most of the things that rob me of joy are my own fault.  My expectations and lack of training are among the top few. I have been praying and seeking God's direction for our family. I am trying to simplify and be more intentional. Blessings on your day, and your intentions.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Blue Cow

Generally, I am a pretty good sport. I mean really, washing a cow every single day. I understand that this is a big job and I am willing to do what it takes to help my children succeed. I have Googled how to get a cow white countless times. This time, we opted to try liquid bluing. Did you know that is where the term Blue Hair came from for old women? This is the product they use to turn their hair white. If it is left on too long, the hair turns blue. Alas, 10 minutes is too long for a cow. Not only are my hands blue, but Jewel's legs are too. Never fear, we have to clip her again on Friday and we will wash her 4 more times before that so we should have a black and white cow by fair time. Maybe next time we will opt for a brown cow.
It really should be OK.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Fair Preparations

Does it get much better than this?
A boy in his barn boots, shorts, no shirt leading his cow around the farm. I think I'm in love.
 As I reflect how much my life has changed in the past 12 months I am amazed. I never knew how much I didn't know.
 We recently joined Country Partners 4H Club and entered a slew of projects in the fair. The biggest project being Erik's Dairy Calf, Jewel. I feel like some of this is an exercise in futility. Did you know that a Holstein has to be white on the white spots? Not, yellow or a bit dirty, but actually white! We have tried bluing, bleaching and just plain old scrubbing. She still has dirty knees. Kinda reminds me of that childhood chant...Never Mind. Good thing I have showed restraint and not taught my children that one.
Just to add to our learning curve Jewel got ringworm. We are now bathing her every day with special medication, then we curry brush the ringworm spots and paint on some used crankshaft oil.
We have 5 of the children registered for the fair. Everything from, Lego creations,  to wooden models, cookies, cakes, pies, cow, rabbits, meat rabbits, charcoal drawings, sewing projects, stitchery, watercolors, horticulture, childcare, and 4H in Action.
We have 6 hours of barn duty daily, dig outs at 4:45 A.M! Potluck dinners, showing, and auctions. Right now I think that ignorance is bliss, I really don't know what I am in for  2 weeks from now. My prayer is that we will have a fabulous learning experience and that our attitudes and actions will glorify God.