Welcome to my little corner of bloggy land. Here you will find a glimpse into our everyday lives as we are truly happy in the service of the King!

17 March, 2015

Abigail's Story

Our little Abby has turned 5 years old today.  It seems like it was only yesterday that she was born.  I woke up this morning to hear the rain and the wind and it took me back to that morning 5 years ago when we were headed to the hospital to have her.  That morning it was raining and the wind was gusting.   That day was the day I got to hold my precious baby girl in my arms for the first time.  For a long time I have tried to forget everything that happened that day.  It is a day that holds a lot of pain for me, physically and emotionally.  So I have decided to share Abigail's birth story in hopes that by getting it all out my emotions may begin to heal from that day.

Like I said, the morning started out rainy and windy.  We were headed to the hospital at 7:30am so I could be induced.  I was 10 days over my due date and so ready to be done being pregnant.  My mom had flown over to New Zealand to be here for Abby's birth and the time was quickly approaching for her to return back to the States.   So that morning my husband and I had a quick breakfast and went to the hospital.  

When we arrived we met the midwife that would be with me for the delivery.  She was a new midwife so she had a more experienced midwife checking in on her as well.  They got me all set up in the labour and delivery room and she did her checks on the baby.  After a few minutes she called the other midwife over and they talked for a few minutes and she said, "I think your baby is breech."  I had seen at least 555 midwives over my pregnancy and none of them had noticed this.  The more experienced midwife couldn't tell if the baby was breech or not, so they tried to get a hold of the doctor to come in and do an ultrasound.  The doctor was in a meeting and told them to just induce me and he would come and check when his meeting was over. (He didn't believe the midwife because she was new.)  The midwives came in and told me what was going on, but that it was my decision.  Looking back, I wish I had just told them not to induce me, but I can't change any of that now.

Because I had seen so many midwives and none of them had thought the baby was breech, we decided to go ahead with being induced.  The midwives decided just to give me a half dose and see how that went.  I started having contractions only a few minutes after I was induced.  

After the doctor's meeting finished he came in and did an ultrasound.  Guess what?  The baby was breech!  I had already started having contractions, but the doctor didn't seem worried and as he put it, "Babies just don't fall out."  After talking with him and hearing all the risks involved with trying to give birth to a breech baby naturally, we decided to have a C-section.  This was about 9:00 am.  We were told then that I would be going in for surgery at 3:00pm.  Surgery sounded so scary to me.  It wasn't even something I had thought about.  I had never even spent the night in hospital before, let alone had surgery.

After the decision to have a C-section the midwives started to prep me for surgery.  I had to have blood drawn.  I do not like needles and needles do not like me.  A nurse tried a couple of times to find a vein and decided to call in another nurse to help her.  The second nurse finally found a vein and I was relieved that at least that part was over.  About half an hour later another nurse came back and said they had to draw my blood again because the last nurse had put her name where my name was supposed to be.  So again they poked and prodded until they found a vein.  All the while they were doing this I was having contractions.

The day went from bad to very, very bad rather quickly.  The contractions started getting more intense, but because I was waiting for surgery and they were concerned about the baby I had to be strapped to monitors and couldn't get up and walk around or anything.  I was stuck in bed, flat on my back.  I tried to use the gas for the pain, but that made me nauseous.  Finally they gave me morphine and that helped for a while.  After the morphine wore off they couldn't give me more because it was getting close to the time to go in for the C-section.  By this time it was after noon.

During one of the contractions we heard a loud "pop" and my waters broke.  

3:00pm came and went.  More and more contractions.  We heard nothing from the doctor.  The midwife was getting anxious and was pacing the room.  I was in pain and scared.  My husband was so strong for me.  He was there the whole time holding my hand and trying to comfort me.  

Finally they said it was time to head for surgery.  I think it was around 4:00pm by now.  They wheeled me from the maternity ward to the surgical ward.  The whole way there I was in such agony from the contractions.  When I got to the surgical ward the nurse came up to the bed, looked at me, saw I was in labour, and said, "Why are you here?"  

I lost it.  

That poor nurse.  I yelled, no, I screamed, "BECAUSE THE BABY IS BREECH!"  She quickly walked away and started doing some paperwork.  We waited and waited.  We found out later that they couldn't find the anesthesiologist.  More and more contractions.  By this time I couldn't control myself any longer and I was screaming in pain with each contraction.  My husband was so great.  I don't know how I could have handled any of this without him by my side.  The midwife was starting to look more and more worried as time went on.

The anesthesiologist was finally found and I was wheeled into the operating theatre.  My husband got suited up in a gown and stood by my side.  They quickly got everything ready for the C-section.  They had to wait until after I had a contraction and then they sat me up and gave me the epidural.  I was so scared because of how big the needle was, but I didn't feel anything but immediate relief.  My husband said I went from screaming to calm in a matter of seconds.  Within what seems like a matter of minutes they started the C-section, we heard a cry, and the doctor held up our precious little Abigail.  The time was 5:03pm.  They took her off to weigh her and clean her up a bit while they finished with me, and then I got to hold her in my arms.

Even now as I'm typing this I'm overwhelmed with emotion.  Hearing our baby cry for the first time and then holding her in my arms was something that I just don't have the words to describe.  Here was our little girl.  The child we that we had prayed for.  That day did not turn out like I had planned, but our little girl was here and we were in love with her.

12 March, 2015

Baking Lessons (A Recipe for Gluten-Free Bread)

I love baking.  When I had Abby I thought it was going to be so much fun to teach her how to bake as she grew up.  Now that she's older this is usually how it works: I get grumpy with her because she's making a mess and then she ends up not wanting to help.  Not at all the beautiful mother-daughter bonding time I had pictured!  Well, last week I decided this needed to change.  The reason she was making messes was because I had never taken the time to show her what to do.  If you don't know how to measure flour, you are going to make a mess.  After our first "baking lesson" she is doing amazing.  I didn't even get grumpy with her for spilling a bit of flour!  (She honestly isn't that messy, I'm just a bit of a neat freak.  Wait, don't look at my house right now!)
The first thing I'm teaching her how to make is bread.  Because none of us can eat gluten and the children can't eat dairy, we make our own bread.  We can buy bread, but at $6 a loaf we don't do this very often.  A few years ago I posted a recipe for gluten-free bread, but since then I found and developed this recipe into one we all enjoy.  So below you will find a recipe for gluten-free, dairy-free bread (it's so simple a 4 year old can make it!).  This bread is amazing for sandwiches the first day you make it.  After that it's still delicious, if you toast it.

1 1/2 Tablespoons sweetener (we use honey)
1/2 Tablespoon active dry yeast
2/3 cup warm water
1/2 cup + 2 1/2 Tablespoons white rice flour
1/3 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch (also called arrowroot)
1/4 cup corn flour (cornstarch)
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 Tablespoons oil
2 large eggs
1/2 Tablespoon guar gum

First, dissolve sweetener in warm water and sprinkle the yeast over the top.  Let stand to dissolve yeast.

While the yeast is doing it's thing, measure out your dry ingredients into a bowl.

Next, mix your eggs and oil into another bowl.

After the yeast has dissolved, pour in your dry ingredients.

Add your wet ingredients.

 Give the ingredients a bit of a mix by hand.

 Put the bowl on the mixer stand (you can also use a hand-held electric mixer).

Turn the mixer to medium speed and mix for 3 minutes.

Pour dough into bread pan lined with baking paper (I helped with this bit).

Smooth down the top with wet fingers.

Watch out for the baby at your feet! :)

Clean up your mess while you leave the dough to rise for one hour.

After the dough has risen for one hour, bake for 25 minutes in an oven preheated to 190 degrees C (375 degrees F for all you Yankees).  Now, behold the finished product!

Slice and enjoy!  Zacky loves it with peanut butter.

10 March, 2015


Overwhelmed!!!  Ever feel that way?  That seems to describe my life at the moment.  So much to do and so little time to do it all.  Is that really the problem, or is the problem me?  Am I overwhelmed simply because I don't take time to plan things out properly?  In college I learned this saying, "Proper, prior planning prevents poor performance."  When I look back over my day I realize I could have gotten up when my alarm went off instead of sleeping in for an extra 20 minutes.  It's so much easier to get things done while the children are still sleeping.  Then I think, "but I was tired."  Why was I so tired?  That may have been the result of staying up too late. Why do I do this to myself?  Something needs to change.  I need to change.

Maybe this feeling is because my focus is wrong.  Perhaps instead of focusing on all I have to do, I should be focusing on the people in my life.  These three people to be exact!

Lord, please guide me each day and put my focus where it belongs.