--Lesa's Take --
Friday-- God is Funny
On Friday morning, I went by myself back to the baby drs. She checked me and did the routine stuff, but then she told me that she was going to
Strip my membranes to sensitize the uterus to begin contractions. She told me that after she did this--the natural way of inducing labor-- that I would either begin to go into labor... That night or the next day... or it wouldn't be enough and he would stay in there.
I was scared it was going to hurt. Was I ready for Labor? I wasn't ready at all. Jamie and I were going to the James River Women's rally in the evening and I was looking forward to it. I didn't want delivering a baby to ruin our time together. I was being selfish.
All these Selfish thoughts in my mind and before I knew it Jamie was done and I didn't feel a thing. How was I going to be selfish when God had been making all the "painful" things so easy on me.
I was going to have a natural labor--not a c-section. I wouldn't have a scar with no baby. God had planned for me, even before I was born, that my body would be able to deliver a child naturally. I should be joyful. I should be content.
I listen carefully to what God the LORD is saying,
for he speaks peace to his faithful people.
Psalm 85:8 NLT
I left the Drs feeling good, but tired. I had started school and was so excited. I had one class to attend.. A humanities class. It was over at noon. I sat in the back row not wanting anyone to see me. I didn't want them questioning me... At least time flew by...
When I got home I really wanted to take a nap. Instead, I got on my computer and downloaded a bunch of Christian Jams to Put on my IPod so I could listen to it while I was in the hospital.
Music can hold my interest all night... Especially if I am downloading songs... So when I realized what time it was... I needed to get ready to go. I hadn't even showered yet!
Not wanting to be late by trying to find an outfit to fit my huge body, I just kept on a blue t-shirt and my white Victoria's secret sweat pants. What?! I was comfy! ;)
I drove up to the Church and there were so many cars and women everywhere. I didn't want to be stared at like a "leper." I was getting antsy. I was texting Jamie as I tried to find a parking spot and I looked up just to see about ten girls cross the parking lot-- all dressed up. I knew I was going to stick out like a sore thumb.
I parked and continued texting Jamie. I walked in the closest door and stood and waited for her to find me. I didn't want to wobble around all the people and I didn't want very many people to see me. I was ashamed and embarrassed....
Then I saw Jamie. My confidence started to build as she walked toward me. I knew God had chosen this for me and in the midst of Gods people... I should feel welcomed not abandoned.
She smiled at me and touched my belly and as i told her about the dr's appointment that morning. We sat down outside the door, drinking coffee and she handed me a present. A little black necklace with a key on it. I loved it... When we were finished with our coffee, we walked off to go find a seat.
The place was packed. We found a seat in the middle of a row. When the rally began, they played games, and then did a back rub to "get to know" the person next to you. It felt awesome! After the back rub, worship began. Jamie had been making jokes about praising the baby out. I wanted to stand the whole praise and worship time, but I felt so heavy. I had to periodically take a seat and watch everyone else lift their hands to the heavens.
As I was sitting, I started to realize that my stomach kept tightening and then being soft and squishy again. I hadn't felt anything like it. I thought it was just gas (gotta b honest) because it kept going away. I ignored it and continued to stand up and sit down and praise!
When the singing stopped, we greeted each other and then we all sat down again to listen to the message. Jamie and I couldn't sit still. I told her that I thought I was having contractions, but I wasn't sure. She was so excited.
I told her the next time I had one she had to to feel my belly. It was Rock hard... We were trying to pay attention to the message, but in the middle of the sea of girls, we were having our own message.
"If any man has ears to hear, let him be listening and let him perceive and
comprehend. "Mark 4:23 AMP
I asked Jamie to time the contractions on her phone. I told her when I began my first one and we times about 5 of them before she asked if we needed to go. I didn't want to get up and leave in the middle of everyone.
A video was playing on stage... And while Jamie and I had been Talking.. We overheard the woman on it say "like a woman with labor pains." At this moment, we just lost it! Laughing so hard-- almost crying. Totally distracting everyone Around us.
Two ladies in front of us, turned around and in a snarky tone said "can you guys be quiet!"
Jamie, quick to snap back replied "No, she is in LABOR!"
It was so nice for her to have my back and for her to stick up for what was happening.
We got out of our seat-- many eyes followed as we squeezed our way out of the row. We were still laughing and to me, for the first time, non of those eyes mattered. We were about to be having a baby!
"My antagonists are too many to count, but I don't swerve from the directions you gave. "Psalm 119:157 MSG
We walked out the door to the arena and We walked over to some men standing by the outside door. Jamie had to ask them if it was okay to leave her car here while she took me in mine because I was having a baby. They looked at me and congratulated us after saying I was in Labor about ten times out of excitement, we turned around an raced toward my car.
We called my mom to meet us at the hospital. I had been texting her at the time when my contractions first began.. So she was already prepared. She had to grab my little brother and she would be right there.
We got to the hospital and checked in. I was still laughing when the nurse came and got Jamie and I. We headed up to one of the smaller rooms that were used to check me, the baby's heart, and my consistency of contractions. My mom joined shortly after.
The baby's heart beat was amazing. Steady and fierce. I was only dilated to a 2... And because I was still laughing they said that the contractions weren't where they needed to be. My mom agreed.
The dr's told me to walk to see if anything would happen.. To see if baby would move at all or my dilation would increase. So Jamie and I took off walking around the hospital.. Talking about how ironically funny God is and how we were so excited for baby to be here. We couldn't wait to meet him.
I wanted to see the little boy that I'd been carrying. I wanted to bad to hold him and hug him. I wanted to see his smile and hear the noises he might make!
"For out of His fullness (abundance) we have all received [all
had a share and we were all supplied with] one grace after another and spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing and
even favor upon favor and gift [heaped] upon gift. "John 1:16 AMP
We looked at all the newborn babies and wondered what Pax would look like. There was a baby that was like 9lbs with a perfectly round head and all the other babies had funny shaped coney heads. We laughed more! The big baby was a c-section baby. I couldn't imagine anyone squeezing that melon out!!
After walking, we arrived back at the room. They checked me again and told me that nothing was going to happen tonight and that I should go home and try to get some rest. They told me that my contractions were going to stay about 2-3minutes apart and that they would get worse, they would intensify.
The pain scared me. It was going to get worse? I was suppose to try to sleep?! I didn't want to go home: what of something happened. I wanted Jamie to be there.
We left the hospital and Jamie drove me home. I started feeling my contractions beginning to get stronger. I wanted to be strong though, so I just kept a smile on my face.
When we got to my house, We said our goodbyes and i told jamie i would let her know ehen we were going to head back to the hospital... I watched as Jamie pulled away in my car to go to her house and it made me sad.
I wanted her to stay the night. I wanted her to experience all of what was going on. Every contraction, because if our world didn't have suffering, she would be able to get pregnant and even though the contractions were the worst part, I would want her to feel them.. To know that a blessing would be coming from all the pain she would be enduring. It was a blessing to know, I would endure this... What I was about to go through... For the sake of another. God humbled me as I laid down in my mom's room and around 7am--the strong smile on my face became pain filled tears.
"I'll write the book on your righteousness, talk up your salvation the livelong day, never run out of good things to write or say. You got me when I was an unformed youth, God, and taught me everything I know. Now I'm telling the world your wonders; I'll keep at it until I'm old and gray. God, don't walk off and leave me until I get out the news Of your strong right arm to this world, news of your power to the world yet to come, Your famous and righteous ways, O God. God, you've done it all! Who is quite like you? You, who made me stare trouble in the face, Turn me around; Now let me look life in the face. I've been to the bottom; streaming with honors; turn to me, be tender to me, And I'll take up the lute and thank you to the tune of your faithfulness, God. I'll make music for you on a harp, Holy One of Israel." Psalm 71:15, 17-22 MSG
Sometimes, in order to sing... You have to find your voice. God will call us accordingly and through the learning and blessings, we must also go through the hard things. It humbles us and we get the gift of knowing that no matter what... When we go through Things we can't handle: GOD CAN.
"The Labored Irony" - Jamie's Take
February 11th, 2011
"Enlarge the place of your tent,
stretch your tent curtains wide,
do not hold back;
lengthen your cords,
strengthen your stakes." Isaiah 54:2
The Lord was certainly enlarging our territory. He was giving us a baby. An heir to carry the Ward name. A child that will one day give us grand babies. He was giving us a young woman to add to our family as well. A woman who would need our tender love and compassion, not to save her, for she was already in the Lord, but a young woman who needed the love from her Lord's bride, the church, to continue to press on in victory even after her baby was born.
God was not skimping on any details either. Legalities were coming along, the home was finished and the day before we had just gotten our car seat. Bring on the baby.
Tonight we would meet after I got off work and attend the James River Women's Rally. We both needed some Jesus refreshment and I was eager to attend a service, to worship next to her and my baby. Lesa had an appointment before the weekend was to start and was told she was dilated to a 2. They stripped her membranes (whatever that means, yuck!) to induce labor and told her she should probably expect contractions but it wasn't guaranteed. Lesa had planned on working that weekend. The woman was crazy - she started her first set of classes today and was planning on working the weekend and having a baby. The woman was a crazy lady. Made me love her all the more.
During lunch at work I ran to the mall to get her a necklace because the necklace I ordered had yet to come and she was due any day and I wanted to give her something. I left work a bit early to insure I could get decent seats at the rally. When I got to the church the sanctuary doors weren't open yet so I headed to the rally store to get a t-shirt and something for us to drink. Man I was hungry, it had been several days of fasting. I even froze my piece of baby shower cake. I was determined this baby would be thoroughly prayed over and that Lesa's delivery would be amazing. I was a bit fearful for her that since she was so small she'd have a c-section. I wanted God in every part from delivery to hospital favor, to being able to see him, to being there when he was born to Lesa saying good bye. So I prayed specifically and I blended it with fasting..and as soon as we were checked in to the hospital I was gonna get me a Big Mac and extra fries!
Lesa texted that she was there and was waiting in the hallway near one of the sanctuary enterances. Once I finally spotted her, I was captivated and at the same time I felt so sorry for her. She looked pathetic, slumped on a bench against the wall...she was gonna have this baby soon!
I sat down next to her and gave her a hug and my gift. She was grateful for her drink and necklace and she caught me up on her first day of classes and how she was feeling.
The doors opened and we headed in. Lesa moved slowly and as we sat down we started to joke about having the baby that evening. Lesa was tired and just wanted him out. We took some pictures and worship started. I felt bad because I wanted my mind to be on Jesus but all I could think about was Paxton. I was undoubtly thankful for the Lord's hand on it but I felt convicted that my mind would only press in to thoughts of Pax.
Worship was over and we greeted people around us. Lesa had immediately sat down after worship and had to push herself up to say hello to people. Something was up. Lesa looked at me and giggled.."I think I'm having contractions." My face started to hurt from my huge smile. Now this is what I’m talking about. This was really truly happening.
We remembered what Dr. Jamie said about coming to the hospital when the contraction were 3-5 minutes apart. So we waited, timing them, Lesa giggling then I. She'd let me touch her belly every time. The speaker for the evening was sharing her testimony - how she got into drugs and became pregnant - how in her labor pains God was radically changing our heart. Lesa and I laughed, you have to be kidding me, is God serious right now. The speaker continued that at the very same moment her labor was happening, her pastor father was preaching and the Lord told him to stop and pray for his daughter though he had no idea she was pregnant - only lost and a run away - the speaker then showed the audience the video of her dad's service. She then began talking about labor pains again - and Lesa and I lost it.
Lesa was having contractions every 3-5 minutes and we were giggling every time it happened or at the mention of labor pains. The ladies in front us were less than impressed, and I'm pretty sure were unsaved, looking back at us and rolling there eyes. Finally one of them turns around as we decide to leave and asks us to be quiet, and tells us that she's trying to listen. I manage a passive aggressive response," Don't worry we were just leaving, my friend here is having contractions, we're heading to the hospital, we'll be out of your way."
We head out and decide to take her car to the hospital. During contractions Lesa had texted her mom to let her know we were headed to the hospital, she would meet us there. I, texted Ben and my best friends. I drove, we laughed, Lesa labored. She didn't seem phased by them - seeing my mom labor, I knew we were in for a night and it was just the beginning...but I was hopeful.
We got to the hospital and unofficially checked in. Lesa asked if I could go back with her and the nurses didn't seem to mind. They had her dress down and hooked her up. She began the process of seeing if she could be officially admitted. She was dilated to a 2 still but was having contractions. I could hear the heartbeat and see her contractions register on the computer and printer. It was becoming realer than real, Lesa's mom still wasn't there yet.
The nursed asked if I was a friend and Lesa proudly introduced me. We shared a bit about how we just met but that we just adored each other. The nurse then checked the baby's position. Baby was -1 effaced and didn't seem to have any hair. Lesa's mom arrived with some of Lesa's things, expecting that Lesa was going to be admitted, but still hadn't. Ben waited at home till we were sure. After a few hours we were given water bottles and instructed to go walking. Lesa's mom had to leave and make arrangements for Lesa's younger brother in the case that Lesa did get admitted. We walked an hour which seemed so much longer. Lesa was still laughing through contractions and seemed a bit cocky that she could handle this delivery. We headed back where Lesa was now dilated to a 3 but was insured that if she is holding a conversation through a contraction she was still a long ways off. After an hour or so of no change, Lesa was asked to go home. We were both disappointed, however she needed sleep and was advised that laboring at home is much more comfortable than in a hospital.
We headed back to her house at about 3 a.m. I dropped Lesa off at her home and kept her car. I wanted so badly to stay with her, be at her beck and call, just be around her. I just didn't want to pry, I didn't want to seem needy. She looked more uncomfortable and I wanted her to be able to just get some sleep without distractions. I hated leaving her. It felt wrong.
I headed to a friend's house that Ben and I were staying with due to just finding out our water to our shower was not working. I was okay with that because it was Heather’s home, we’d extended stayed before and it was 3 minutes from Lesa's. If baby came, we were gonna be there till our water was fixed, which Heather loved, and I thought was pretty perfect since she's the one that told Lesa's mom about us and she’s an incredible mother of four boys - she knows her stuff. I knew my baby and I would be in great hands even when Ben would have to go straight back to work after his birth.
I got to Heather's and I surprisingly crashed next to my husband in the spare bedroom. Ben was incredibly thorough, he had packed for both of us and baby while also managing to put in our car seat. His downfall, in his hurry to get the car packed and potentially head to hospital, he backed out of garage with one of the back doors still opened. Poor guy, I thought it was more cute than anything. The door stayed on but was forbidden to be opened.
God was undeniably good.
That moment before you receive your promise is so memorable. You remember smells and sights. You're focused and feel so alive. That's the beauty of being under the lordship of a Holy Creator. My encouragement to you though, is to keep your heart fastened on the Promise Giver more than the Promise. For as soon as you receive your Promise, you must remain humbled under the loving direction of the Promise Giver - that you may receive the clearest and most ideal instructions on how to nurture the Promise that was given. (Please see my own blog - her-keys-typed.blogspot.com - "Glorifying the Promise Rather than the Promise Keeper").
"My mouth will tell of your righteous deeds,of your saving acts all day long—though I know not how to relate them all. I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, Sovereign Lord;
I will proclaim your righteous deeds, yours alone. Since my youth, God, you have taught me,
and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds. Even when I am old and gray,
do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation,
your mighty acts to all who are to come. Your righteousness, God, reaches to the heavens,
you who have done great things. Who is like you, God? Though you have made me see troubles,
many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth
you will again bring me up. You will increase my honor and comfort me once more. I will praise you with the harp for your faithfulness, my God; I will sing praise to you with the lyre,
Holy One of Israel." Psalm 71:15-22