In the early morning hours on March 14th, I awoke to tightening of my sides and a baby ready to begin it's journey of birth. I knew intuitively that it was to be the day we would meet our little one. My eyes glanced to the clock and I watched the minutes tick by in an attempt to find a pattern to the contractions. I felt my insides warm at the thought of what was ahead of me and anxious flutters kept my mind too alert to relax. Getting up, I walked to the nursery to check my bags and pack some toiletries; snacked a bit watched the clock some more and felt restlessness settle in. It was only about four in the morning and contractions were not very regular. I had to find a way to find some peace and get some more rest before morning. My Bible caught my eye, with hope I sought out rest within the pages. I was flipping through the pages of Psalms and at the bottom of a page my eye caught this particular verse:
"Be of good courage, and he will strengthen your heart, all you that hope in the Lord."
I knew in that moment that Jesus was speaking to me the very words that I needed to write on my heart, the words of strength that would take me through the hours ahead. This is what He'd been preparing me for in the previous months, through the prayers of so many friends, women who encouraged me to move beyond the anxieties I was feeling. I wanted so badly to experience the birth of a baby without fear, to really feel the miracle that it is. It resonated with me after reading that verse, that Jesus knew my heart's desire, the hope I had for this delivery but I would also have to act my part in order to receive the strength from Him that I needed. The choice to be of good courage was mine and I could only make that happen by laying aside the fear and placing my confidence in His love. Just days before I read that There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear - 1 John 4:18. Jesus loves us perfectly, He desires to cast out fear so that we may feel His immeasurable love.
I whispered that verse until I peacefully dozed off for a short while.
At six-thirty we decided that Wayne better stay home work, made plans for the children and off we went to the hospital for about ten o'clock. On the way I shared the verse I had learned, I felt joy in knowing that I wouldn't be coming back this way until there was a newborn baby coming home with us.
After feeling a little too comfortable at the hospital in the first few hours I began to wonder if this would end up being false labor but upon the doctor's arrival at noon I was assured to know that I was already halfway there. Again the next couple hours were relatively comfortable. I was so hungry by this time and remember saying to Wayne that this baby will be born by supper time because I intended to eat a big supper! Sure enough by five o'clock a screaming BIG baby boy filled his lungs with air. At 9 lbs 1.5 oz and 20.5 inches long. I couldn't believe how big he looked and how deflated my belly felt. My feeling had been right along that he was all baby in there and that I would probably give birth to my biggest baby yet. We enjoyed skin to skin time for the next hour, an hour I savoured so thoroughly after the ease of the delivery. By six o'clock I enjoyed a big supper! For the next few hours we just sat together in our room, Wayne, I and baby Peter, sharing in the joy of the hours behind us and so thankful for how our prayers had been answered. Graciously, He had given us inner strength and through this labor of love I'm thankful to have seen the faithfulness of God, the miracle in the midst of pain, and the power of prayer.
Peter Ivan Doerksen. He is such a sweet, snuggly baby and so far my most content baby. After two quite sleepless first nights at home he has settled into his own routine of waking, nursing and sleeping, a repeated routine every three hours. Tommorrow he will be two weeks old, the jaundice almost cleared and I can feel his weight has increased considerable after a slight loss. He reminds us so much of Hanna and we already imagine what kind of personality traits he may have.
The look on Hanna's face when she came to the hospital the next day was so precious. Her eyes lit up the dim hospital room and I could just sense the anticipation she was feeling. She adores her baby brother. She had been telling us for weeks already that we would be having a boy and her guess was right. Her help comes in very handy here at home with diapering and getting things for me while I'm nursing. She faithfully comes around with hugs and kisses and holds Peter for long stretches of time.
Jake has had a little more adjusting to do. At first he was a little timid to come toward Peter but after watching Hanna he made his way closer and even tried out his name which came out as 'baby Peeler'. The first night at home he was determined to go back to Aunty Susie's house and had a rough time accepting that he couldn't. Each day has been getting better for him and now he has hugs for 'Peeler' and is often concerned about where the baby is. As for me, the emotions hit me a few days later when I realized that Jake was no longer my little baby and that he was transitioning to a new stage in life as a big brother. It seems so early in a child's life that a mother's heart has to start letting go a little bit at a time and the pangs hit me hard that day. His hands and body seem so chubby now, his eyes so full of expression and adventure. He's morphed into such a 'boy', playing hockey, driving tractors all day long and tagging along behind daddy whenever he can. Thankfully though there are many moments where he just wants to crawl on my lap with a need for some mommy love in those soulful eyes. I've even caught him on the couch clutching a doll close to himself or he's been standing and rocking his baby to sleep.
So thankful for the man who walks beside me. He was the best support I could've asked for in the delivery room, his antics, love and presence encouraging me each step of the way. It didn't take long in the delivery room for Wayne to find his place in front of the monitoring machine and figure out all the mechanics of it. He followed the chart faithfully and kept me updated on how things were looking! The newborn days are a big adjustment too for dads, a time when we have to resolve to be patient and understanding with one another as the hours are consumed with baby needs, wavering emotions and not much time just for each other. Those days will come again and for now we find moments to laugh, talk (mostly about our kids) and dream out loud about the future ahead.
Peter is the perfect plan for our family, we love him so much. Psalm 127:3 says "Behold, Children are a heritage from the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward."
Thanks again for all prayers and notes passed to me through my pregnancy.
Psalm 71:5,6 "For you are my hope, O Lord God; You are my trust from my youth. By You I have been upheld from birth; You are He who took me out of my mother's womb. My praise shall be continually of You."