God was so awesome! Miracle after miracle and in His perfect timing!
Laura Cate was born at 6:11pm on Thursday, 20th August. (Today is her EDD; 2 weeks later!) She weighed the same as Declan - 10lb 1oz (4565g), is 52cm long, has soft, velvety light brown hair (so far), a very pretty little face and is content and cuddly:)
Most of the photos in the collage (click on them to make them bigger) were taken straight after her birth while I was still in the birthing suite! I felt like it was the closest thing to a home birth because I laboured at home for so long and then had family and friends there an hour or so after (I only laboured in hospital from about 4:30pm onwards).
How we saw God's Hand at work:
* My waters started breaking Tuesday night at 10pm - ish; the hospital told me over the phone that I had 72 hours from that point - however, when I arrived on Thursday, they said it should have been more like 18 hours - had I been told this initially, intervention would have been more likely or else Iwould have had to fight to keep to the natural birth plan - stress I'm glad to have avoided:)
* The contractions were spread over time - 4 hours a week and a half before; 6 hours the weekend before; about 21 hours Tuesday until Wednesday morning, then nothing while we all rested and recovered including a good night's sleep Wednesday night, and some family time for us and for Saminda's family Thursday morning, then sudden active labour beginning at 1:20pm Thursday, just as Mum arrived from Brisbane, Mrs B went home after spending a few days here on call to watch the other two children and I had just finished talking with Saminda's midwife, Claire, who had helped us so much with pregnancy and birth plan and prayed for us.
* When Saminda asked me if I thought I could make it to the hospital (taking a few steps at a time in between long and strong and close contractions), I asked God directly and was told "you're safe to go to the hospital" and we made it, complete with contractions and breathing while Gary drove the Fern's comfy big car, and Saminda helped me breathe and focus - God's Peace was with us.
* On arrival at the front of the hospital, we were greeted by a young man who I later met in the special care nursery with his wife and newborn son. He offered to help me get into the wheelchair in between contractions. It also turned out he is a Christian - his wife used to go to the Nazarene church and recognised Gary - what a small world and an encouragement to each other with our babies in SCN.
* Pulling up in the wheelchair at the nurses' station in maternity, we were told that Angela was going to look after us - the same midwife who helped Declan be born 5 years ago! I remember actually coming out of contraction-focus and saying something like "YES! THANK-YOU" and Gary or Saminda commenting that that'd been the first smile on my face all afternoon! Angela was again very respectful of my birth plan and basically just let us be; I think she was in the background a fair bit but also attending to other things cause she was in charge that shift.
* Initially, Angela couldn't find Laura's heartbeat through my tummy. Thankfully, I was lying with my back to the monitor cause Samindsa said it was quite scary seeing SILENCE coming up on the screen. Even so, the 2 contractions it took for it to be found were the most excruciating ever; I was only aware something was amiss because Angela asked me if I had felt bub moving that day and she was asking me to move (ugh!!) into a different position - I felt like a lead log so this was a momentous task at that stage! Once she'd found Laura's heartbeat, though, I felt God's Peace despite the pain and continued visualising her coming down the birth canal.
* I had just verbalised "How much longer?" (I don't remember Angela's reply) but audibly (inside) heard God say "this is it - she'll be here with this one!!" And just as He said, she came in one contraction. I wasn't breathing slow enough until Saminda uttered the words (she felt from God), "breathe like you're asleep". Instantly, I felt my whole body relax and it was as though I was asleep - I knew God was bringing her into the world at that moment and I could completely trust Him and let Him bring forth life!
* After a few moments with her, realising that she was indeed "Laura" and not a boy (we didn't have a boy's name; although Chloe and I liked "Samuel - heard by God"), she needed some oxygen to help her light breathing along (her hands were turning pale). So Angela and Saminda (and a paediatrician lady) took her to the corner bed, with Saminda praying audibly over her just like I did with William, wondering where the words and confidence were coming from. We didn't know it at the time, but Mychel had been urged to pray specifically for Laura's breathing that afternoon; all this and I had perfect peace that all would be well- afterall, God had already declared we would have victory, hence Laura's name was such a good fit.
* Laura was returned to me for some skin on skin connection as we looked into each other's eyes for as long as we could, held hands and I stroked her face and head and she had two really good "feeds" while still in the birthing room - what a champion! Gary held his baby girl tight; Saminda marvelled as she held Laura after waiting and praying with me so long; Helen arrived for a relieved cry and a cuddle of this long awaited blessing; Mum arrived with Chloe and Declan, fed, bathed and dressed for bed; Chloe had her much anticipated nurse; Declan had his question answered about whether Laura would hold fingers tightly in her hand (though he was too shy to find out himself at that stage and in that environment)... and at about half past eight, with two older children falling asleep, and Saminda and Helen already gone, Gary went with Mum and the kids. Laura went to be checked in the Special Care Nursery for infection, etc and I gratefully accepted Angela's help to shower and refresh (after being in the same spot for 4 hours!).
* I asked Angela if I was going to a shared or single room. She said she wasn't sure but that she was just rearranging rooms... she returned shortly and announced I had a single room - something I'd dared not even hope for, but that I cherished, especially as I spent a lot of the night awake, getting to know our beautiful Laura and marvelling at God's Hand at work - again.
* After a sleepless few days, God sent my favourite midwife so far, Marion, to look after us, do Laura's hearing test (after her shift had finished!), and to discharge us - she's so caring and understanding, even to the way she touched my shoulder - it was like having a hug from a friend and made me feel like I was more than a number/ patient. I met her first when she was just finishing her training after Chloe was born - I remember the caring, gentle way she explained how to hand express when I was extremely sore, learning to feed.
I am a thirty-something :) Christian who is constantly amazed at the journey God is leading me through. I am excited about my growth and the possibilities that He has for me in the future. I am fully dependent on Him for everything and I absolutley love the blessings so far: I'm very happy to be married to gorgeous Gary who has an unlimited supply of love, commitment, faith and a healthy dose of larrikan-ism! We have 3 children. Chloe, our strong, capable, encouraging, sensitive, loving and giving 8 year old, and Declan, 5 years old who keeps amazing us with music, cuddles, wonderful logic and tigger-like bouncing. Laura, born in August, is our grinning, giggling, sling-worn, content, sweet baby girl.
This blog is a pictorial peek of our family highlights.