Tag Archives: baby

A Place for Karsten

Lake Geneva, December, 2009

I looked up from my book; “Bob, this says that it’s dedicated to his son, Karsten.  Isn’t that a cool name?  Hey, if we ever have another child and it’s a boy, could we talk about that name?” 

Bob looked at me, and then 2 week old Chase sleeping next to me; an incredulous look on his face …“Sure … uh-huh … uh, we haven’t slept in like, a year and a half … and you’re talking about another?!”

“I know, I know … I’m just saying … it’s a cool name.”

Inspiration and creativity carried my train of thought a step further …

“Hey, Bob …”

[a deep sigh from across the room]

“What?”

“You know what?  We should use your grandfathers’ names too … Karsten Robert Charles … doesn’t that sound amazing?”

“Sure, Love … whatever you say.”

 

I am not a good pregnant person.  I like to be in control and being pregnant means being totally out of control for me.  After being pregnant twice in two years, it had only gotten worse.  After Chase, I fearfully and desperately wanted to be done.   But still, I couldn’t shake our Lake Geneva “conversation” from my mind.  I loved the name “Karsten”, and though I tried, I couldn’t get the idea of another little boy in our family by that name out of my head.  I just couldn’t figure out where to put those feelings or how to deal with them.  We had always talked about four children, but knew that any addition after Chase would be several years away.  … yet, I couldn’t shake it … this place in my heart for a Karsten. 

Lord, what are you preparing me for?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Out on some errands with Bob and the kids, we decided after a week of wondering that we couldn’t wait any longer and so I ran into the nearest drugstore, and then the Starbuck’s next to it.  Who takes a pregnancy test in a Starbuck’s?  Someday; I thought, I’ll think back on this moment and laugh

A few minutes later, I was back with Bob.  Not wanting to share with the children yet, he looked at me, and I nodded back:  Positive.

Winter 2011

I lay in bed too sick and weak to move.  My fever was high; too high for someone with a nine week old fetus.  I no longer wondered why they make a vaccine for influenza.  Then the bleeding started.  Was I really just coming to accept another pregnancy only to have it end?

Lord, help me walk whatever road you have for me …

In the Office, Two Weeks Later …

The doctor looked up from the ultrasound machine, a smile on his face; “There’s a nice, strong heartbeat.”  My baby was alive.

October, 2011

Being weak is humbling.  I don’t like being humble almost as much (if not more) than I don’t like being pregnant.  Yes, I’d made it through the year to a full-term pregnancy, but I was weak.  Always tired, anemic and unable to lift anything of significance due to a bad back, I chafed … I want to be strong, Lord, and instead, I have to depend on others to do my work for me or deal with it not being done at all!   The only way out is through.

Lord, teach me and  prepare me …

Sunday, October 9th, 2011

It’s been almost 48 hrs already.  So tired, I’d gone to the hospital to be checked on Saturday afternoon when my contractions were 5-7 minutes apart, and then everything stalled so I was sent home.  …and then again, after waiting several hours through Saturday night and into Sunday morning, labor stalled and again, I was sent home.  I don’t think I’d slept since sometime on Friday, and more than my bodily exhaustion, I was emotionally exhausted.  I was weary from the condescension of the nurses … the “Is this your first baby?” question … the continual and even painful contractions … the thought of something being wrong for all of this going so long and not progressing … and the thought that actual labor (the hard part!) was still ahead. 

That afternoon, I called a friend and as she prayed for me over the phone, I sobbed.  Lord, prepare me for whatever you have for me … I’m so tired, Lord.

I sat on my bed with my copy of “Calm My Anxious Heart”.  If ever I needed reminders of comfort and peace, it was now.  Reading hungrily, the Lord helped me to focus and re-impressed lessons and verses on my heart …in particular, this passage:

I know of no greater simplifier for all of life.  Whatever happens is assigned.  Does the intellect balk at that?  Can we say that there are things that happen to us that do not belong in our lovingly assigned “portion” (“This belongs to it, that does not”)?  Are some things, then, out of the control of the Almighty?  Every assignment is measured and controlled for my eternal good.  As I accept the given portion other options are canceled.  Decisions become much easier, directions clearer, and hence my heart becomes inexpressibly quieter.  A quiet heart is content with what God gives.”

[Elizabeth Elliot on Psalm 16:5]

 

9:00 PM:  “Bob, I think I want to go again.  I don’t know what I’ll do if they discharge me again, but I need to go.  Hey, if they discharge me, can you just deliver the baby at home?  I can’t handle it anymore.”  We laughed at the thought of him delivering the baby.  It felt good. 

Later: The nurse removed her gloves, “Oh Honey, you’re at a 5 or 6 …let’s get you into a room.  You’re going to have this baby tonight.”  Such relief.

Sometime after 10:00 PM:  …waiting on the anesthesiologist, we prayed.  Lord, prepare our hearts for whatever lies ahead.

11:30 PM:  It’s funny how hours feel like minutes at times.  The doctor was there and speaking to me: “Let’s get set up here and in just a few minutes, you won’t be pregnant anymore.”

Peace.  I feel such peace.  You fully supply all my needs.  You restore my weary soul again and again and lead me in your righteousness and peace.  You are my shepherd.  I shall not want.  I will dwell in your house all the days of my life.

12:04 AM, Monday, October 10th:  My arms reached for the warm and moist towel holding the bluish infant.  “Here he is!  He’s beautiful!”  Voices were talking around me.  The nurses arms reached out and began massaging and drying arms and legs as his mouth opened; letting out a first, strong wail.  The breath of life began to spread and he was turning pink as I heard myself repeating “It’s okay, darling, it’s okay.  Mama’s here.” 

Our Portion.  Our Karsten

Lord, prepare us for whatever lies ahead …

 

Friday Five as the Saturday Six

I was thinking about the “Friday Five” yesterday … I really was!  Somehow the day got away from me though. 

This week, it’s a picture kind of Friday Five.  It’s in the air or something.  And because I’m such a blog-crastinator, I give you the “Friday Five: as the Saturday Six edition” …

Bob: this is how you’ll often find my husband.  Deep in news, political, and/or theological thought; even while watching the kids.  The man’s brain is a sponge.   Don’t believe me?  You should check out his blog

Ellie:  because it was a crazy week, and because I was behind the camera and didn’t think about it, and because I’d really love for you to think of me this way and not as the crazed, pony-tail and glasses wearing, covered in throw-up, spit-up or some other kind of body function person … here’s my picture for the week.  This is what I really look like.  Every day.  As a I keep my immaculate house and cook my husband 5-course dinners every night.  [stifling maniacal laughter]  By the way, this is me with my cousin Emily – a gorgeous woman inside and out.  Sorry to wrangle you into this post, Em … I couldn’t find a picture of just me all dolled up. 

Darcy:  On Friday, Darcy’s accomplishment was undoubtedly dressing herself.  Let me just say … she does this by herself with great success in normal wardrobe choices all the time, but yesterday, something happened.  I don’t know what, but it was so completely clothes-tacular that I couldn’t resist documenting it here.  Darcy, I apologize to your 18 year old self in advance.  Here’s the front …

Note:  Yes, those are Christmas socks.  They’re actually adult socks that her grandmother gave to her to use as sock puppets or something and she loves them so much that she wears them year round, hiking them up to her knees with little “this is the place for your ankle” bubbles halfway up the back of her leg. 

And the back …

Truly a proud parenting moment. 

Aidan:  Aid hates the camera.  He loves looking at pictures after they are taken, but he has totally disconnected from the concept that you need to stand in front of the camera if you want to see yourself in a picture.  Which is why over 90% of our pictures look like this …

I *can’t wait* for the Christmas card picture. [please sense the dripping sarcasm]  In other news, Aidan is obsessed with ants.   I could grow a beard walking down the average sidewalk because we have to stop and look at EVERY. SINGLE. ANT.  He especially likes to try poking at them or picking them up.  Although, last night, he informed Bob and I that he was “petting the ant” -wait for it- “with his shoe“.  We laughed even as we heard the sound of future college scholarships getting flushed down the toilet. 

Chase: the big news for Chase is that he had his first hair cut this week!  [you should be both proud of me and relieved that I didn’t subject you to the “my baby’s first hair cut” blog as I’d originally threatened]  As cute as the old-man-hair-over-his-ears-meets-the-mullet look was, it was time … it was time. 

And since it’s the Saturday Six edition this week … here’s a picture of the youngest: clearly just chillin’.  Blissfully unaware of the crazy family he’s about to inhabit …

Have a great picture that defines your week?  Feel free to link to it in the comment section below.

Have a great weekend!

Child of Grace

March 5th: The baby could be anticipated with joy

And what is left of this story?  The baby

Darcy (“the one who dwells in the stronghold”) Charis (“grace”) was born at 6:59 AM on Tuesday, April 18th, 2006.  My prayer for her has always been that she would live to fulfill her name: that she would dwell in the shadow of the Almighty and forever be a testimony of His Grace.  She was and is a child picture of my grace as well.

And so I began … raising my daughter while working full time to provide for us both, trusting God to meet our every need, and feeling completely led to stay single and reach others for Christ with my story of God’s faithfulness.

More than once, I was told with well-meaning intentions (or so I choose to believe) that others were praying for a husband to “rescue” me, but I really didn’t consider myself a person to be rescued.  God loved me and provided for me more and better than any human husband could and between that and the many promises of the Word to the fatherless, Darcy and I felt incredibly covered in this season.

Yet …

“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps” ~ Proverbs 16:9

This was not the end of a story, but the close of another chapter.

 

**Missed the rest of the story (so far)?  It’s right here!**

Another Stone, Another Memory

“…When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’ then you shall tell them …” Joshua 4:6 

Never tell God what you are and are not willing to do.

In the Christmas season of 2008, I told God that I (in no uncertain terms) would be happy to birth the baby boy I carried ANY day except for Sunday, December 7th. My husband had a rather large Christmas concert scheduled for that day and was taking a rather large portion in it (conducting, soloing, etc, etc) … ie: the kind of thing at which he might be missed if he happened to be at the hospital instead.

December 7, 2008
12:07 AM: I looked at the glowing digits on my clock beside the bed. Really? Only midnight? Sighing, I decided that now was as good as any time to get up for one of what would undoubtedly be a hundred or so runs to the bathroom this night.  As I stood up, I felt the now familiar tightening. Labor?! Are you kidding me, God? We talked about this!  Maybe it’s false labor, early labor … something other than having-my-baby-today labor!

3:00 PM: Apparently this labor wasn’t false. However, it was slow, and knowing that there was much to do for the concert that night, I dressed in my holiday finest, and went to the church.

Sometime after 8:00 PM: Okay, now labor wasn’t quite so slow. The sounds of Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus” wafted faintly into the library from the sanctuary – the final piece to this concert … It was done and it had been good. Thank you, God.

8:45 PM: Begging my husband to both drive faster and NOT hit every bump in the road.  

9:00 PM: The charge nurse’s face in my vision: “Honey, if I sit you up to give you the epidural, the baby’s going to come out! You can do it! Just don’t push yet! The doctor is on his way.”

9:24 PM: A son is born. He is beautiful.   

Dear Son, This is just one of many crazy and beautiful stories of God’s love for us/you that we will rehearse with you as you age. 
Happy Second Birthday!  Love, Mom