Archive for January, 2011

Look Before Crossing

What do you do when crossing the street? You look both ways. Everyone (unless they are stupid) looks both ways. Why? Well, to make sure there are no cars coming. It is just common sense.

Does it mean you lack faith in God if you look both ways? The Bible does say to trust in the Lord God. So why look both ways if you are trusting in God to take care of you? Why brush your teeth? Why eat well? Why exercise?

Why? Because God created man so He could have a relationship with him. From the very beginning God walked with man. Yeah, we screwed it up, but all along it has been God’s plan to be in relationship with us. Christ died so that we could have a relationship with God.

When my husband and I began talking prior to conceiving Nehemiah about whether or not we wanted to have any more children. We were using a method called Natural Family Planning. Basically it is a method where the woman knows her body’s symptoms of ovulation. (I highly recommend every woman know what is happening when she is ovulating.) Being that I always know when I am ovulating, it was easy for me to avoid pregnancy.

As we began 2009, we knew that we needed to make some decisions as to our long-term plans regarding children. I was 35, and would be 36 by the time a child came. Also, our youngest would be 3 by then…the largest age gap for us. So we decided that if God wanted us to have another child we would try for one month only. No, I shouldn’t say try. We wouldn’t prevent.

So needless to say, Nehemiah was conceived…yep, I am that fertile. So the plan was that after the one month or after the birth, we would seek sterilization.

So a couple of months after Nehemiah’s birth, Joe had a vasectomy. This was not an easy decision and one we didn’t make alone.

We made this decision in partnership with God. I believe completely…fully…that I am not to have any more biological children. I am at peace about that. But even though I am a peace, and I know God can and does heal, my husband and I still chose to have a vasectomy. Does this mean I lack faith? NO! I know that I am a very fertile. I know my husband is fertile. Man has come up with the tools to make a couple sterile safely. So my husband and I used those tools to ensure that we not have any more children. I know God can still work around that. But like I said…I believe completely that I will not have any more biological children.

I know God can also stop a moving car. I know God can heal me if I was just slammed to the pavement since didn’t look both ways. But even though I know those things, I still use the crosswalk. I still look both ways. And even with my precautions, if God were to allow me to be hit by a car, I know God would still be in control.

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Number Eight

This post was originally written in Nov ’09 on another blog of mine, but I wanted to include it here for my series that I am working on…

From 2008 to late 2010 my family was in a season of waiting. My husband lost his job in May 2008. Since then we began to wait on many things to happen in our lives. We waited on the foreclosure of our house. We waited on an income opportunity. And we waited on the arrival of our 8th child…Nehemiah Oliver Becker who was born on November 23rd of 2009.

*****

I had been having strong but painless contractions since the previous night, and now knew that this was the real deal. There was no turning back. Our little joy would be making his or her appearance in the very near future. I was excited. I was determined to do whatever it took to bring about a wonderful labor and delivery. I had invited my mom and my two oldest daughters to be there for my birth along with my husband, Joe, and my midwife. I had envisioned helping out this labor by walking, staying upright, and squatting during the contractions. I wanted to be as proactive as possible. I guess in a way I felt I needed to take charge, stay in control of the situation.

So I decided to take a shower and see if things might progress more rapidly. After all, the water might stimulate things and the standing could only help the downward progression of this little life. I had Joe turn on my music and play one of my favorite songs of the moment…”While I’m Waiting”. As I listened and sang the song with my husband, I was overwhelmed by the words and started bawling. Joe stuck his head into the shower to see what wrong. I said how this song reflected the season in which we were in. And here I was again waiting for our newest addition.

I soon got out of the shower. My midwife checked the baby’s heart rate and it was 180. She was concerned but figured she would check again in 10 minutes. When she checked it next, it was down to normal…around 140.

I think I wanted to prove what a “supermom” I thought was. So whenever I had a contraction I would go down into a squat. I refused to sit down and relax, so different from my approach in my other labors. I walked and sang. I leaned on my husband (boy, is he strong!). I squatted. I used the restroom. I did everything, but sit and relax. My midwife checked me and I was at 8 cm, but there was still some cervix left.

I had read how other women had labored on the potty and it helped tremendously in opening the cervix. I labored there for a little while and eventually got an urge to push. Not a huge urge but an urge. I started bearing down, but did not feel any progress. Actually it felt like I was pushing up against a wall. My midwife was next to me on the floor and decided to check me between contractions. She said that I was pretty much fully dilated but there was still a lip to the cervix. Another contraction came as she was checking me. It became so incredibly uncomfortable. I started screaming over the pain of her checking me. I screamed at her. She said this is not a good position for the baby. I agreed and got up.

As I got up, I felt very weak. I knew another contraction was coming. I also knew I was in transition. I didn’t know where to go or what to do. I felt like I was going to pass out. My husband was trying to help me along, but I pushed him out of the way and made a beeline for my bed. I got there just in time as a contraction was starting. I had flopped down on my right side and started breathing to make it through. My midwife decided to give me oxygen.

My midwife couldn’t find the baby’s heart rate while I was laying on my right side, so I had to roll over. I made my way to my other side and my midwife checked on the baby. The baby was doing much better than it had in the bathroom. And I was starting to not feel so light headed. The contractions now were coming on so strong and very often. My back was hurting tremendously. The only relief was for someone to press on my lower back while I had a contraction. I continued this way for a while.

Between contractions I tried very hard to slow down my breathing and relax as much as possible. As I laid there, I would become so rested that I would forget for a moment what was going on. I would enter a dream like state. It was very peaceful. These moments, however brief, gave me the strength to get through the next contraction.

Now the baby, all throughout this time, had been moving around tremendously. So much that it was causing me great pain and discomfort. I have never had a baby move so much during labor. This movement wasn’t out of the ordinary though. All throughout my pregnancy, I had major discomfort due to the abrupt and strong movements of this child. But now as I labored, it made me think that maybe he was in distress.

My midwife again checked me and said that I could go ahead and push. She said to do what my body wanted to do. Honestly, I have no idea what my body wanted to do. But I really wanted to get it over with. Since getting on my hands and knees worked so well with my last birth, I decided to give that a try. I got up and started pushing. Again the wall! And because the baby was moving so much, it was so painful! My midwife reached in as I was contracting/pushing. I have never hated someone so much as I did at that moment. Any sort of downward progress I, might have had, was now up in my neck. Everything in me tightened. I was in so much pain. My midwife said that there was still a lip and I could not push. It was not good for baby or me. I cried out that I promised not to push.

I now had nothing. I couldn’t do anything, but get through one contraction and then another. I had been in this transitional stage for quite a while. I was weak, worried, and didn’t know how I could continue on. My body had begun shaking starting with my legs. I was so cold. My husband, my dear husband, had tried to breathe with me, but I couldn’t open my eyes to see him. I was too exhausted. I had been off of the oxygen for a little while since it was almost empty. I was trying so hard to just make it through each contraction. Joe prayed for me. I prayed and prayed. As I breathed, I just said “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus” or “while I’m waiting”. After a contraction ended, I prayed that I would get through the next one. I saw no end in sight.

My midwife talked to Joe about calling the squad. She was concerned about the fluctuating heart rate and the fact that the cervix didn’t seem to be going anywhere. She said we needed to pray and talk about it. Joe talked to me between contractions. I told him that I wanted him to call the squad because I just didn’t see any end in sight. I thought that maybe the baby needed to be taken by C-section. Joe had my mom come talk to me to make sure that is what I wanted. I said it was. Joe left to call 911 and prepare for their arrival. My midwife also left the room. She had wanted to give us time to talk it over and was consoling my girls. My mom was still there. I didn’t know it though. I started having another contraction and I had thought everyone had left the room. I felt a hand on my back. I asked if it was my midwife. I heard a female voice but didn’t know what was said. After the contraction was over, I looked back to see who it was. It was my mom. I was so glad someone was there with me.

Another contraction started. I started my breathing. Just as it was waning, another started…and then another…all with no break. I prayed for a break, for my rest. My mom screamed out to my midwife that she better come in because the contractions weren’t stopping. Finally it stopped and I took a few relaxing breaths. My midwife had come in and sat at the corner of the bed. Then “POP”! My water broke…everywhere. I, not realizing that they could all see this, said, “My water broke!” My mom yelled out to Joe, “You better come in here, her water just broke!” Joe, who had been moving things out of the way for the squad, came in quickly. I immediately needed to push. I was still on my left side. As I pushed, I finally felt that head moving downward and quickly. I knew in that moment that this baby had to be born RIGHT NOW! My midwife encouraged me to keep pushing. I was kind of rolled onto my back while pushing. Joe and my mom were lifting my right leg up to make a way for the baby. I had such a severe cramp in my right leg and right hip. It was excruciating. I was screaming! I was completely flat on my back and not even able to lift my head. But I pushed like I have never pushed in my life. It was so hard to push that baby out, but I did in just a few seconds. I was so weak. Someone yelled, “It’s a boy!” The boy was placed on my stomach. I didn’t have the strength to lift my head to see him. Everyone kept saying how cute and how big he was. I was given some oxygen.

After a few minutes, I was able to have my head propped up so that I could at least see the top of his head. Joe told us the name for the baby…Nehemiah Oliver Becker. I was so overjoyed. Exactly the name I wanted! Someone was crying at the foot of the bed. Someone was crying out in the living room. I was too weak to do much of anything. Joe called the squad and told them they weren’t needed. They were so very kind and said congratulations. They had never made it to the house. It all happened so quickly! Everyone had been so scared. I didn’t realize that. The girls came in and saw him and were crying. My mom took a picture of Nehemiah and showed it to me so I could see what he looked like. Within a short while, I was able to sit up more and was told I looked a lot better. I asked what I had looked like before, but they said I didn’t want to know. I still don’t know.

This was my most difficult labor ever. This confirmed in me that this truly was and is my last child. I have cried many tears over the labor. Even now this is hard for me to write. I found out later that when my water had broken, there was meconium in it. So my instinct was right…He had to be born right away. I also found out: My midwife had gone out into the living room to pray for me as well. My son had posted on Facebook to have people pray for me. My husband was updating my dad, who had all the other kids, on what was going on.

Shortly after Nehemiah was born, he was weighed. He weighed a whopping 10 pounds even. I thought this was going to be my largest baby. I was right. Nehemiah Oliver Becker was born on November 23rd, 2009 at 8:31 PM.


*****

God was with me each and every moment of my labor.

There is one thing I think God taught me in this labor. That sometimes He doesn’t want us to be taking action, but to wait. But waiting doesn’t mean doing nothing. Waiting may entail some of the hardest work you have ever had to do. But even in this time of travailing, He gave me rest, be it ever so briefly. Waiting is something I am still trying to come to grips with.

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