Monday, August 24, 2009

Meet Lucie Ferghana Gill!!

Here's our little Lulu princess! Her name is Lucie Ferghana Gill. Lucie means "light" and Ferghana is the ancient name of the valley in Central Asia where we feel called to live and work. The two names are related; Lucie is a light in the darkness and Ferghana is a fertile oasis in the desert. Both bring life. Let me tell you the story of how she came to join the Gill family (already in progress).

I was really, REALLY hoping she would be born sometime last week; I was sore and tired of being pregnant. But I didn't have reason to complain, because my due date wasn't even until Sunday, August 23. But I was having trouble with my attitude. I kept praying that God would give me patience and endurance. I looked up every verse in the Bible about those two attributes and closed my heart around one that everyone is familiar with: Love is Patient. I went to church Saturday night and we sang a song that both Jon and I knew God had sent for us. One of the verses talked about "light in the darkness" (Lucie!) and "the coming dawn." The chorus proclaimed that "Joy comes in the morning." I was trying not to get my hopes up, but both Jon and I knew independantly that our little girl was coming in the morning :) We got home and went to bed. As I was laying there I decided to use the time I had left being pregnant to focus on Abi and have special mommy/daughter time. It's okay God, I said in my heart. I'm finally at peace. Bring the baby in your time.

Fifteen minutes later, my water broke!

The contractions didn't start right away, but I called the after-hours nurseline anyway, to let them know that I'd be coming in later. I was all excited - this is the day I'll meet my little girl! But after going through 2 1/2 days of labor with Abigail, I knew I needed all the rest I could get. So I stuffed my excitement into my toes and tried to get some sleep. Around 1 am I woke up; the contractions had started. They were close together, but short and not very strong. The midwife on the phone advised me to wait until I had gone through about an hour of longer contractions that "you really have to breathe through." Those started around 2:45. Jon woke up around 3 when he realized that I wasn't snoring, but having really strong contractions. (haha) I advised him to get the rest of the bag packed, the list is on the fridge. He pulled on some shorts. "Where's the list with the rest of the stuff that needs to be packed?" He asked me as if I hadn't said anything just five seconds ago. "On the fridge," I answered in the midst of a contraction. He came back with the list and some of the items on it. "Camera," he muttered looking at the list and leaving the room. "Jon," I call him back and point to the camera hanging on the door. "Oh, right," he responded. Afterall, it is only 3 am and he hasn't had coffee :)

Things began moving along more quickly after that. I called the midwife again and told her we were on our way. Jon navigated the construction on 35W through the dewy morning fog like an expert even while I was breathing and fogging up the inside of the windows :) After we meandered through the construction of our hospital (taking two elevators and following the "yellow tape" for a quarter of a mile) we finally arrived on the labor and delivery floor! I was so happy to see the nurse greet me by name and show me into a room where everything was set up and ready for me! I almost cried when I saw the baby warmer all set up with blankets and little diapers - SHE'S COMING SOON!!!!

The midwife, Michelle, checked me out and informed me I was 6-7 cm dilated and 100 % effaced. Oooh, I thought. I have a ways to go, and the contractions were already pretty intense. After one of my contractions I informed Michelle that "they hurt like the dickens." She gave me liberty to use stronger language. I thought "the dickens" was stronger language. I was hoping to go through this naturally like I did with Abi, but now I wasn't so sure. But Michelle started the tub and I thought, okay, we'll try the tub first. IT FELT SO GOOD. I stayed in there for an hour while Jon sprayed my belly :) When I got out I informed Karen the nurse that I was ready for an epidural (since I was starting to claw at the tub like a cat). But then the midwife informed me it was too late, I was at 9 1/2 cm. A couple more contractions and I'd be ready to push! I prayed outloud, "God I need you! Jesus please help me!!!" And He did! Eleven minutes of pushing later, my 'little' girl corkscrewed her way out and wailed with the rising sun. She was born at 6:06 am, weighed 9 lbs 8 oz and was 21 1/2 inches long. My joy had come in the morning :)

Anyway, we're both doing great; she's got lots and lots of cute rolly chubs and curly dark hair. She has Jon's thighs and crooked toes. She looks very different from Abi, except her mouth. We thought she looked a lot like my dad. Lots of Westerbur. Westerburs have big cheeks and squinty eyes, but so do all newborns ;) We'll see if that sticks around.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Transforming Mommy-saurus

2:30 a.m.

I am reminded that I am 38 weeks pregnant when I try to turn over in bed and can't. Parched, I force myself onto all fours, slither off the bed, and clumsily make my way through the dark into the bathroom to get a drink.

4:15 a.m.

I am reminded that I am 38 weeks pregnant when I bolt out of bed with sudden urgency for the bathroom, then double over in pain as my ligaments protest against said "bolt." All the adrenaline must have scared LuLu who gets a case of the hiccups. Hiccups persist until after 5 a.m. Mommy doesn't sleep.

7:00 a.m.

Alarm goes off. Decision time. Abigail will be awake in a half hour. Do I wake up and have my quiet time and breakfast in peace or snag an extra half hour of sleep that I missed during the night? I turn the alarm off and close my eyes. Apparently I've made my decision.

7:21 a.m.

My dream of praying with the apostle Peter is interrupted by my mommy senses kicking into gear. Someone is watching me. I open my eyes to see Baby Einstein hair floating above a large armload of stuffed animals and blue eyes peering just above the edge of my bed. "Mommy wake!" Abi squeals with glee and throws her animals to the ground. She reaches for my hand dangling over the edge of the bed and lifts it up, her way of helping me to get into a sitting position.

I'm so.......t...i.......r..............e....................d.

Am I in a good mood? I ask myself. I can be, I guess. I waddle out of the bedroom and stop short as we enter the living room. TOYS EVERYWHERE. I glance at the kitchen. DISHES EVERYWHERE. I didn't clean before I went to bed last night. Suddenly, I am NOT in a good mood. I need a good 15 minutes to regroup. Some mommy alone time. But Abi is hungry. I attempt to think quickly. If I give Abi a waffle she will finish it in 5 minutes. If I give her cereal, she'll pick at it for ages, giving me more time.
"Abi, do you want Kix or Cheerios?" I ask her.
"No cereo. Waffa bwekass!" Hmm. Waffle breakfast.
"No Abi, Kix or Cheerios."
"NO CEREO!" she screws up her face in protest. I don't blame her. I know I'm being unreasonable. She ambles to a pile of books and begins picking through them. Maybe we'll just forego breakfast for a while. Maybe she'll read to herself. I bend over to pick up some toys and am reminded I am 38 weeks pregnant when I can't reach the floor. I'm starting to get sick of being pregnant. I pick up the toy I was reaching for with my toes and transfer it to my hand. Abi brings me a book. "Book? Book?" she asks sweetly.
"No book. Mommy isn't going to read this morning." What kind of meanie am I?
"Mama, book! Book! BOOOOOOOOOK!"
"No Abi." I take the book she's handing me and put it on the shelf. Of course she starts stamping her feet and whining. With my eyes only half-opened I take her hand and lead her to her bedroom. I just can't deal right now. I know I have to put her somewhere safe before Mommy-saurus eats her for breakfast. I put her on her bed and shut the door. I silently thank God that I had trained her to stay in her bed when she's put there. I begin a rampage through the apartment like a giant mama ape, picking everything up off the floor with my feet and flinging them into their respective homes. I start crying, feeling crappy, knowing I'm "exasperating my children" and finding it hard to change my attitude about the day. Just as I am about to go wake up Jon and ask for help, I hear him fumbling down the hallway. He finds me and hugs me. Oh that is sooooooooooooooooo what I need. I cry and cry. The past few days have been building up to this moment. I just need a break, but I can't seem to get one. I'm merely at the end of my rope.

I make my breakfast and sit down. At least the toys are picked up now. I read a bit from Philippians: "he who began a good work in you WILL CARRY IT ON TO COMPLETION UNTIL THE DAY OF CHRIST." I'm just a work in progress, no need to get flustered that I'm not perfect. I go retrieve Abi from her room and she finds another book and brings it to me: Dr. Seuss's "I Am NOT Going to Get up Today!" Jon laughs hysterically. I can't help but crack a grin. This is God being ironic and trying to cheer me up. "I sincerely need you today, God," I pray.

I come to the realization that a half hour of sleep is not more important than sanity and a chance to connect with God in the morning. I need that time of peace in order to fill up on the Prince of Peace and reflect that peace the rest of the day. Sleep is seriously overrated. In order to avoid mommy-saurus in the future, I need determine my attitude and not let it be swayed by circumstance. Even if in the future I don't get my half hour of peace, God's graces are new every morning, specific for each day. I just have to choose to take it.