Every year I’ve taken not-back-to-school photos of the kids. It’s so neat to see how they’ve grown and their personalities shine through. I’m a little late this year but here they are!
And here are our past photos:
It’s been over a week since Malachi was born, and I’m finally sitting down to write up his birth story! Labour was very quick so there isn’t too much to tell really, but I thought that maybe his story could maybe encourage others, as we weren’t able to do the birth we’d planned.
On August 9th, around 10:30pm, I was laying in bed trying to sleep when I felt the strangest sensation…a thump *pop* in my pelvic area. And then the gush. I
hopped clumsily rolled out of bed and grabbed whatever I could reach to try to avoid a mess on the bed and floor. My sudden movement woke up up husband and I told him my water broke. This was the first time in any of my pregnancies that my water broke on its own so this was brand new to me.
I noticed that the fluid was a bit yellow tinged and asked my husband if he thought that was normal; I’d never looked before. He said he thought maybe so, but wasn’t sure. It was hard to tell the true colour against a coloured floor.
We went downstairs and Louis called the midwife while I went to the bathroom to get cleaned up a bit. The midwife said that it sounded like there could be meconium so she was going to come by and check. Contractions hadn’t started yet so we just started getting things ready for either a home or hospital birth. We let our neighbour know that we might need her to come if we were sent to the hospital and waited.
My midwife arrived shortly after 11 and contractions were just starting. She listened to the baby’s heart rate, which was good, and confirmed that there was definitely meconium in the fluid.
There went our ideal home birth plan.
We let our neighbour know that we did indeed need her to come, and within about 10 minutes we were on our way. Thankfully our hospital is close; less than a 15 minute drive. I truly feel for anyone who has had to be in a car during labour for any amount of time, especially for those who need to drive an hour or more. So uncomfortable, and I wasn’t even very hard labour yet.
I’m not sure what time it was when we got to the hospital. Probably somewhere around 11:30 or 11:45. I went straight to the bathroom and ended up spending most of my labour in there, with my body cleaning itself out. Labour progressed very quickly with contractions only a minute or two apart and very painful. After a while my midwife checked my cervix and said I was about 6 or 7cm. I felt very discouraged; it was so intense and I really didn’t want to have to deal with it for a lot longer.
Thankfully, God had other plans. Maybe 2 or 3 contractions later they were more than I could handle quietly; I only get to that point when I’m pretty much ready to push. My midwife had me go to the bed (with the meconium being present, she wanted to make sure it would be easy to take care of the baby if he was struggling in any way once he was born) and next contraction, I was pushing. I think it was only a few minutes and a few pushes before Malachi came into the world, screaming and healthy. He was born at 12:43 AM on August 10, less than an hour and forty-five minute since contractions started and sharing a birthday with my mom, his grandma.
He went up on my chest immediately and after the cord stopped pulsing, I cut the cord for the first time in any of my pregnancies. I had no tearing, just swelling, and Malachi was doing fine. He latched on to nurse without difficulties; in fact, I had a harder time with it as I was still too sore to sit or lie comfortably.
We had to stay in hospital for 3 hours after the birth to be monitored before we could leave, so I got some rest while Daddy got some bonding time with his new son.
As soon as we could, we were headed out and on our way home.
We got to the parking lot and discovered that the pay gate wasn’t working. We paid, and the arm didn’t move. So that set us back about 10 minutes while the ER staff tried to free us.
Then we got home to discover we were locked out. We hadn’t thought to grab our house keys and our neighbour had locked all of the doors before settling to sleep on our futon. But eventually we were in our home again, with our neighbour (who is like an adopted Oma to the kids) snuggled and cuddled Malachi. We were home by 4:30.
We went to bed for a couple of hours before the kids got up to discover that Tobi’s prayers had been answered (he’d prayed for the baby to come that night before bed) and that they had a new baby brother!
They were so eager and squirmy to meet him that I couldn’t get a clear photo.
Josiah and Gabriel especially can’t give him enough kisses.
And Tobi is loving being a biggest brother once again.
There were several things I’d been praying about regarding labour and delivery throughout the entire pregnancy. Some things were answered with a ‘yes’, other things were answered with an “I have other plans.”
I’m thankful that even though the birth didn’t go quite as we’d planned and hoped for, it wasn’t traumatic in any way like many women experience. I was still able to deliver naturally, there were no complications, and we were home before the kids woke up. But we still had to deal with the sudden unknown if there would be problems because of the meconium, with having to leave our children in the middle of the night without knowing if we would be home before they woke, and with having to trust that God’s plan might be different from ours, but He sees the big picture and He will take care of the details to get us through.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Jeremiah 29:11 ESV
Anything that happens in life, that jumps out at us unexpectedly, is only a surprise to us. God isn’t surprised by it! And He’s got his own plans already set in place to deal with these situations.
People have asked me before what advice I’d give to someone preparing for her first labour and delivery and usually I say something along the lines of “Have a plan, but be prepared to be flexible about it.” Malachi’s birth was a great reminder to take my own advice!
This has turned out a lot longer than I expected, so if you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading! And all of this to say, welcome to the world Malachi! May the Lord bless you and guide you through all of your days.
7lbs 15 oz.
August 10, 2015
Josiah has taught me a lot in his 4 years. He was a very difficult to please baby. To the point where, I actually had someone tell me that I must be doing something wrong, not giving him enough attention, because normal babies didn’t cry as much as he did.
He met some major milestones early, like when he pulled himself up standing at 5 months old and was fully walking at about 7.5 months old. We even caught him climbing about 3 feet off the ground up a bookshelf when he was only 10 months old. He’s always kept us on our toes!
Other milestones, however, have been a bit slower to come. Josiah didn’t really talk..at all..until he was 3 years old. Before that, his vocabulary was restricted pretty much “uh-oh”, “ow”, and sometimes “no.” He could say all of the letters of the alphabet by the time he was 2, and most of their sounds as well, but communicative vocabulary just wasn’t there. Around the time he turned 3, he had a word explosion and started really communicating. His speech is still behind that of most peers his age, but I care more about improvement than comparison. He’s also been a late bloomer, socially speaking.
Potty training has been another struggle. I learned with my eldest that pushing to potty train just doesn’t work. I pushed and pushed, and he resisted and resisted. Of course, he eventually potty trained..several months after I gave up on trying, and he just decided on his own that he was ready. From that time on, he was dry day and night. He was about 3 years and 10 months old.
I had expected Josiah to potty train before he was 4 but that didn’t happen. He turned 4 this past March. He resisted any attempt I had to get him to sit on the toilet, and the rare times he agreed to, he either wouldn’t or couldn’t get anything out. So, I let it go. And I tried not to feel judged that my 4 year old was still in diapers.
However, with baby #5 being due any time now and still having 2 in diapers, I started bringing it up more. I’ve had 3 in diapers before and hoped to avoid it again. I started talking to Josiah about how he’s a big boy and will be ready for underwear soon, asking him more often if he wanted to try out the toilet. If I tried to let him go around bare-bum in the yard, he’d be asking for a diaper about 5 minutes later. His interest was pretty much nil; he just didn’t care if he was sitting in a wet or poopy diaper.
Then I tried potty treats. At first, he didn’t really care. Then, he would just sit on the toilet and try to squeeze out a few drips in order to get a treat. I rewarded every success, no matter how minuscule. Eventually, he got a full pee out and was so excited and proud; Bing! There was the interest he needed to proceed.
I let him go bare-bum in the house, and voila! He did great! The first day he had no accidents, the second day just one accident. It’s been almost 2 full weeks now and he’s had maybe 3 or 4 accidents in total, all of them just being a tiny pee from waiting too long. Sometimes he wanted to try by himself, other times he wanted someone to come with him. I let him lead. He even started trying to go pee more often so that he would finish his small jar of potty treats because that would mean he was officially potty trained.
And he is!
By the end of the first week he loved counting down the treats until the jar was empty, and eventually showing off the empty jar.
We haven’t gotten to the point of wearing underwear yet..we’re slowly going from bare-bum to wearing loose shorts so he doesn’t get that familiar cozy and close feeling, but we’re getting there!
Oh, and what have I learned in this?
That if you let a newly potty training child go bare-bum at home all week, he might go streaking through church come Sunday. 😉
Take heart, potty training Mommas! Don’t stress! Don’t compare. Don’t let other moms make you feel like you or your child is failing or behind. If your child isn’t ready to potty train (both physically and emotionally) it will not be worth the stress and frustration of trying. It will happen, though!
Just wanted to take a minute to share a Bible art journaling entry I did today for Psalm 127:3-5. I know many of you will be familiar with these verses.
3 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the children[a] of one’s youth.
5 Blessed is the man
who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame
when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.
This entry was super easy. I just had each of my children pick a colour of ink pad and make a fingerprint in my Bible. I drew in the arrows using a Micron pen. Done!
I look forward to adding in our 5th arrow’s fingerprint in a few weeks. 🙂