This weekend was nothing spectacular. We didn’t do anything extra special. However, I ended up taking a lot of pictures. It just felt different; sunny, fun, relaxing, lovely. I love, love, love living by the water! So, rather than blow up Instagram (which I am not beneath doing), I figured I would post them here instead. Family, if you want any, just text me. :)
“Mama! You wanna see his owie?” The first words I hear a couple of days ago when getting Solace up from her nap. I knew exactly what she would show me. She was sitting in her new big girl bed with her Jesus Storybook Bible. She flipped through the pages until she landed on the picture of Jesus hanging on a cross. She sadly showed it to me and said, “See his owie, Mama?”
I had been struggling lately with my lack of discipline in teaching the girls about Jesus and even more how I lacked in showing them Jesus through my own words and deeds day-to-day. “How can they possibly grasp the concept of Jesus at this age anyway?” I said this to myself every once in a while. They were so young. They barely acknowledge understanding me on basic disciplinary aspects and why can’t we go to Mamie’s house right now? How could I get them to understand Jesus? God? The Holy Spirit? Even I don’t get it sometimes.
I sat down on her bed and asked her if I could tell her about Jesus’ owie. She handed me the Bible and we began:
We sinned, Solace. And right here, in this picture, is Jesus dying on the cross for our sins. You see, he loved us so much that he didn’t want us to be separated from him forever because of our sins. So instead, he died in our place. You see those owies? That’s a crown of thorns on his head and it hurts so much. And this is where they beat him. He loves you sooo much that he was beaten for you. But guess what? He didn’t stay dead! He proved that he is God and came back to life to show that even death has no hold over him. He’s alive now! Yay! He showed all his friends that he was still alive. Then, he spread out his arms and went up into the sky to be with God, his Father. He left the Holy Spirit for us. Mama has the Holy Spirit, and so does Papa, and Dan, and Lisa, and Randy, and Mamie, and Nana, and Grandpa, and Pappy! That way we can talk to him whenever we want! Isn’t that wonderful?
She asked me a ton of questions as we read each page together but for the most part, she listened, entranced. How do I know she listened and retained? Because later, she and Belle were sitting on her bed together with the Bible open between them and I hear, “They beat him, Belle! But look! He came back to life! He’s not dead. He loves me and he loves you so much. Yeah!”
I was floored. Didn’t Jesus himself say “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” (Luke 18:16-17) Solace, a child, has grasped the Gospel with an open heart because her faith is like that of a child. That day, I understood the gravity of what Jesus did for me on the cross. I saw it through her eyes; eyes that were hearing it for the very first time and I wept. I, to my shame, haven’t wept over the Gospel in too long.
God didn’t need me to teach Solace about himself! He had that under control. In fact, I probably wouldn’t even had tried to explain it to her in the first place but because she was reading it on her own and came to me about something she saw, I got to share the most beautiful truths with my daughter at the age of 3. I am a vessel, here to guide my children toward Jesus but he doesn’t need me to do that. That gives me way too much credit. His Spirit is alive and here, doing It’s work. Without me. In spite of me.
The Gospel is simple. It is true. This Easter, that is what I am learning. I’m trusting in Jesus with the faith of a child. Today, on Good Friday, I will be thinking about what Jesus did for me. How He took all my sin on himself, was turned away from his Father, beaten by men, scorned, humiliated, and killed, all for me. Because He loves me. Not because I deserved it. I far from deserve anything. This was the greatest gift any of us has ever been given. And then on Sunday, Easter, he rose from the dead. DO YOU GET IT? He conquered the unconquerable! He IS GOD.
Amen and Amen. Thank you Jesus. Thank you for showing me anew, through Solace, what Easter is all about.
My friend and photographer’s view of Roman’s birth. It’s amazing. Thank you, Chelsey, for capturing this truly miraculous day.
All images Chelsey Hawes Photography©
I knew from the get go that my midwife and friend, Jessica Rowan, would not be there to deliver my son that Saturday. It was hard to wrap my mind around. She had been there for me since before Belle was born and not having her there to deliver my next child was painful. She is such a rock to me; calm, collected, informative, and encouraging. I did find out later that she seriously considered skipping the wedding she was going to just so she could be there for me. I’m glad she stuck to her plans because I know it was important for her and her husband, but I love that she loves me. In a nutshell, someone I didn’t know would be delivering my baby.
In the birthing room I decided to try a birthing ball. It was ok. I ended up standing and bending over the bed when I would have a contraction but sat on it in between which felt nice.
I was so tired. Giving birth is no joke. I met the midwife who was going to deliver my baby; Erika. I also had another midwife in there, Peggy, who was there to help Erika since she was new to their practice. They were both very kind. A bit civil and straightforward, though. They weren’t in the room a lot. They came in to check on me and then would leave.
Lisa asked me if I wanted to keep pacing the room but I was wearing out and wanted to lay down for a bit.
Lisa left to feed her son, Nathaniel, around 9:30am. I can’t stress enough how tired I was. Physically, emotionally, mentally. I really wanted to do this naturally again like I had with Belle (that was a surreal experience). However, I felt done. I started considering getting an epidural. I pulled Nick close in between a contraction and told him what I was thinking. His words? “I think you should do it. It will keep your mom and I from crying anymore while watching you in all this pain.” I don’t know why I felt ashamed to do this but I did. Eventually I felt brave enough and I asked the nurse how far was too far along to get an epidural. She said if I wanted it, it would be best to act on it quickly. I made the decision. I was done. I was tired. I got an epidural around 10/10:30am. I was almost 8cm dilated.
Now I was freezing. They piled heated blankets on top of me. My midwife asked me if I wanted to take a nap. Um. No. I was there to have a baby. Just because I had an epidural didn’t mean I was bowing out! It felt so weird to labor without feeling my labor. My midwife said I was having very regular contractions. The rest felt nice though. I got to talk to my support team and close my eyes to build back up my strength. Around 11ish (Lisa was back now), Nick called Alex Dunn and asked him to bring food for them all. Lisa asked me if I wanted water, to which I said yes, and she proceeded to pull out her phone and take pictures of me instead. Apparently I found this hilarious. Yes, that’s a laugh face not a contraction face. And look at my IV hand…oh my gosh I hate IVs.
I started missing my girls. Nick decided to FaceTime with them before the baby boy was born so we could explain what was going on and why we weren’t there. It was such a sweet time. Soon they were going to have a baby brother and it wouldn’t be just “the girls” anymore! Solace kept saying “the baby’s comin’!”
Around 11:30 or so my midwife came in to tell me that she and Peggy would be assisting a c-section soon. She said she was going to check me to see how far along I was. I was 10cm. She asked me if we could do a “test push” to determine how long it was going to take me to deliver. As I pushed she says, “oh wow ok yeah. This is probably gonna be a 2 pusher. Can you just hold on for a second? Yeah, we have to get ready.” Bizzare. That’s what I remember saying right after. Not only was I not feeling my contractions, but apparently I was far enough along in my labor that they had to stop me because they weren’t ready yet!
During that first push, my nurse said they noticed some meconium so they were going to have another nurse on hand when I birthed him just in case anything went wrong. I think my heart rate dropped. That made me really nervous. She was so comforting though and stopped, looked me in the face and told me to be calm and they were going to do everything in their power to make sure my baby was fine.
In the end, I pushed 13 times over the course of 7 minutes. He was born at 12:08pm. (9 hours of labor) When the laid him on my chest, he wasn’t crying and I wanted to cry. They cleaned out his mouth and nose and rubbed his back vigorously. I talked to him and told him I was there and would he please cry? When he did finally, there were huge cheers from everyone and I felt myself relax. My boy. My sweet boy was here. Nick cut the cord and I got to hold him closer to my face.
Remember that food everyone ordered for lunch? Immediately after Roman was born, there was a knock at the door. It was Alex with lunch! Haha. We all completely forgot about it. Nick got the door and food, thanked Alex and told him Roman had just been born so he couldn’t come in! Oh my…thanks Alex!
I held Roman under my clothes, on my skin, for the next 2 hours before we weighed him or anyone else held him. He slept so sweetly and smelled so good. They stitched me up during this time because of course I tore. However, they didn’t tell me how badly it was. (I found out 6 weeks postpartum from Jessica that I tore about a 2 on a scale of 1-4.) Then I nursed him. They said he would probably get in a good 10 minutes which would be great. He ended up nursing for half an hour! We were all shocked and so happy. They finally weighed him and measured his height and he came in at 8 lbs 10 oz, 19 1/4 in long (my shortest baby!). Nick finally got to hold his son then.
Some of the sweetest memories of Roman’s birth was that my mom got to be a part of the whole thing. She had always arrived a day or two after the girls were born. Also, my dad got to the hospital straight from the airport (thanks Andy Wambem! That’s the second time he has visited after one of our babies was born) only 3 hours after Roman was born. He was actually the 3rd person to hold Roman! I will always cherish the fact that they were there. He also brought me Chick-fil-a :).
We had kept the middle names a secret from our parents the entire pregnancy. You see, August is Nick’s dad’s middle name and Clark is my dad’s middle name. We wanted to honor our dads (with a twist) but didn’t want them to find out until he was born. It was so special to surprise them with that.
Everyone one had left (my parents went to take care of our girls) and it was just us with Roman. They moved me to my postpartum room and we rested and ate and stared at our son. We also FT’d with Nick’s family and introduced them to their new grandson and told them his full name as well!
The dazed “what just happened, why am I in pain” look:
We had some visitors later in the evening. First being our girls :) They were so, so, so excited to meet Roman, that they fought over holding him and Nick had to take Belle out to calm her down!
Dan, Emily, Abby, and Randy + Lisa came afterwards with Met Market pizza and treats. Then Randy prayed over Roman. It was beautiful. What an amazing day.
I love you Roman August Clark! I loved my experience with you.
When they finally came to get me, I had had several more painful contractions and was no longer worried that this was a false alarm. I know my body. I knew this was it. Unfortunately they didn’t allow me to walk up to the 14th floor of the hospital (if they had, I’m sure Roman would have come much faster). Wheelchair bound, they took me up to the triage room with my mom, Nick, Chelsey, and Lisa following behind.
Nick kept timing my contractions for me which were getting closer and closer together. Once you get to having your third baby, those sweet little contractions that get you so excited that your baby is coming don’t last very long. Your body goes headlong into the intolerable.
In the triage room they again asked me to pee in a cup. I get that they want to check for infection but it’s so annoying. They began to ask me tons of questions which I answered as well as I could in between contractions. I now had to bend down practically with my head between my knees and breathe in and out loudly while swaying back and forth.
They asked me this time before I was pushing my baby out if I wanted to touch his head and I got to nip that in the bud pretty quickly. I will touch his head when I’m holding him in my arms for the first time.
The view from our room was beautiful!
I was drinking lots of water after every contraction. Lisa held my cup for me and practically kept forcing water down my throat. Which I am thankful for. :) The nurse asked me to get on the bed so she could check how far dilated I was. It was really difficult to get on the bed. My belly was so large and my contractions were so painful. However, as soon as I laid down on the bed, my contractions slowed waaaay down. This was common throughout the rest of my labor. Any time I would sit down or lay down, my contractions would lessen significantly. It was nice to give myself little breaks when it seemed unbearable.
I was 6 cm dilated now. I had been laboring for about 4.5 hours. It felt longer of course and I was already getting impatient. So when they asked if I wanted to sit in a wheelchair to get to the birthing room or walk, I chose walking. It was a slow go, but my support team was incredible. Every time I would stop to have a contraction in the hallway, I could hear everyone encouraging me and telling me how great I was doing. My nurse in the picture below was amazing.
When we got to the birthing room, everyone was hungry. I was too but not enough to actually want to eat. I think I remember someone asking me if any smells would bother me but I never answered. Lisa went down to the cafe in the hospital and picked up breakfast sandwiches + coffee. We found out later that she totally forgot to pay for the food! Haha. But she paid for the coffee! Once back in the room with the food, I labored to the smell of eggs. I didn’t think it would bother me but yuck. That was hard to tolerate. I didn’t want to complain though because c’mon, I was the one having a baby and couldn’t eat, not them! I needed everyone on top of their game for me. This was around 8am.
There’s no easy way to say this. We had sex the night before Roman was born. We didn’t do this with either of the girls in order to induce labor, but it totally worked this time. Uncomfortable and awkward? Yes. Even more awkward that my mom had encouraged us to try this and she was downstairs at the time? Yes, please. But it worked! -_-
So in the middle of the night around 3:00 am I woke up feeling kinda crampy and was very confused. Marley was laying on my huge pregnant stomach, because that’s the perfect place to sleep. I thought it was because he was on me and just ignored it. I closed my eyes and felt crampy again and finally said to myself, “duh, Beck. You’re one day overdue and you had sex last night. You’re having contractions!” I rode it out for about 2 hours. I figured if this was the real deal, I had better get as much rest as I could. At about 5:00am I called Nick on the phone (he had been sleeping downstairs on the couch for 6 weeks because I needed the whole bed to sleep at night!). He answered super groggily and I asked him if he could make me some pancakes. Haha. He says, “Sure babe, are you ok besides that?” I said yep and I’ve also been having contractions for the past two hours. And then Nick turned into “I’m about to become a father (for the 3rd time) Nick” and promptly started freaking out. I love this about him.
Pancakes arrived and I ate them in bed in between contractions. He started to take over timing my contractions for me.
We began to find childcare because we’re awesome and already had that planned out. Not. Paige was out of the country and Dan was working! I texted Lisa to let her know what was happening. We also let our birth photographer, and friend, Chelsey Hawes know that she should get ready to head to the house (or hospital, which ended up being the case).
I got up and went to get myself ready to leave. Very slowly, I might add. Every time I would move I would have a contraction. Brushing my teeth was essential. Nick said Monika Scheffe was coming to watch the girls until someone else could come. (Andrew & Annalea Cirillo and then Bryan Green took over after until my parents came back home.)
I was still talking in between and sometimes during contractions when Lisa got to my house. We were all hanging out in our upstairs bathroom and I was still just in my underwear which was very funny to me. However, Lisa was like seriously, Becky, you need to go to the hospital. Always the voice of reason. :)
I still couldn’t believe it was happening. My hospital bag was actually packed. I hadn’t forgotten my boppy. Nick threw crap in a bag and got it all in the car. The hospital is about 8-9 minutes away. I did not have a contraction the whole drive there. I was panicking. What if this was a false alarm? What if I was going to stay pregnant forever?? We arrived to the emergency room around 6:15am. We checked in and I started walking around the ER in an attempt to keep my contractions going. That sounds so bizarre. It was at the time too. Lisa, Nick, and my mom just stared at me while I walked and would tell me to keep walking when I would stop. Obviously, everyone wanted this baby to come today!
The girls’ hair was getting pretty nasty. Belle had Hobbit hair and Sol’s looked like a bird’s nest. It was time. So we took them to our own stylist, Drew Elquist (whom, by the way, you should hook up with if you’re in Tacoma. She’s the best!) The girls did so wonderful. They sat still and didn’t cry. I was so amazed. We were in and out in 30 minutes!
Nick got a video of Belle getting her haircut. I took a bunch more videos over on Vine!
Look how adorable they are with their little girl cuts now (proud Mama moment).