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.