Category Archives: Baby

DEDICATION PRAYER FOR JOSHUA

My heart rejoices in Yahweh;  in Yahweh my strength is lifted high.

My mouth boasts over my enemies, for I delight in your deliverance.

 

There is no Holy One like Yahweh;  there is no one besides you;  there is no Rock like our God.

 

Yahweh is a God who knows, and by him deeds are weighed.

 

The bows of the warriors are broken, but those who stumbled are armed with strength.

 

Yahweh brings death and makes alive;  He brings down to the grave and raises up.

Yahweh sends poverty and wealth;  He humbles and He exalts.

 

He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap;

He seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor.

 

For the foundations of the earth are Yahweh’s;  upon them He has set the world.

He will guard the feet of His saints, but the wicked will be silenced in darkness.

 

It is not by strength that one prevails;  those who oppose Yahweh will be shattered.

He will thunder against them from heaven;  Yahweh will judge the ends of the earth.

 

He will give strength to his king and exalt the horn of his anointed.

 

Psalm 127

 

Unless Yahweh builds the house, its builders labor in vain.

Unless Yahweh watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.

In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat –

For while they sleep He provides for those He loves.

 

Sons are a heritage from Yahweh, children a reward from him.

Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth.

Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.

They will not be put to shame when they contend with the enemy in the gate.

 

Psalm 128

 

Blessed are all who fear Yahweh, who walk in his ways.

Joshua, may you eat the fruit of your labor;  may blessings and prosperity be yours.

May your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house;

May your sons will be like olive shoots around your table.

Thus is the man blessed who fears Yahweh.

 

May Yahweh bless you from Zion all the days of your life;

May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem,

May you live to see your children’s children.

Peace be upon you and upon Israel.

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Joshua Thomas

Our fourth baby is here!  You can link to my wife’s blog for the whole story, but the important facts are that my second son was born at 1:30 a.m. on Tuesday, July 14, 2009.  He is healthy, although he gave us a few scares in the first few days, and aside from his big nose, is a very cute boy.  We feel incredibly blessed to have been allowed this additional arrow in our quiver.

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Grand Announcement

Once again I am behind in making the great announcements and keeping any readers I may have left aware of what is happening in our lives.  I apologize for the delay, but my youngest has been wanting to share something for a couple weeks.  In fact, she shared weeks ago on my wife’s blog and on my son’s blog.

Unfortunately, many people did not initially understand the importance of what Abby was trying to communicate.  So take a moment and consider what she is trying to tell you here.  Remember, she is my youngest.  And we aren’t trying to say anything about size.  And she is almost one year old. So if she isn’t saying anything about how plump she is, she must be saying …

Okay, if you don’t have it yet (or even if you do), Abby is a big sister to a baby that is developing inside Gina.  We hope to all meet Abby’s younger sibling in late June 2009!  Stay tuned for more late updates.

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Abigail is 8 weeks old

Princess Abigail is 8 weeks old as of yesterday.  She is such a sweet girl and she has stolen the hearts of all who have met her.

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Sick & Tired

Gina is recovering nicely from her C-section two weeks ago today.  And Abigail is just the perfect little baby.  She rarely cries and seems content to just be with us.  We love it when she opens her eyes and looks around.  What a princess!

I, however, have been sick for the last week.  I think the stress of dealing with Abby’s birth and caring for both Gina & Abby caught up with me.  Hopefully I will get better over the next two days, before I have to return to work.

Tomorrow we will be heading to Omaha for the day to meet with Abby’s doctor for her two-week appointment and to visit with Gina’s grandmother.  I also plan to stop in with some attorneys that Dale knows and see if they can tell me anything.

Work has been going okay.  Normally it is fairly quiet and I don’t have much to do all day, but the last week has been very busy for me, including a few serious rules infractions that I have uncovered.  It has been exciting, although it hasn’t led to many accolades or anything.

We got the bill for Abby’s birth, and it was a little over $12,000 for Gina and about $1500 for Abby.  The Abby expenses were ridiculous, including an amount for the nursery, which we rarely used, and an expensive hearing test, which we never wanted nor authorized.  Obviously, the expenses for Gina were bloated as well.  This whole ordeal has really called into question how I feel about insurance.  I had been thinking that health insurance was an unnecessary expense that we could drop.  My insurance premiums are $3300/year, with a maximum out-of-pocket of $8000 for the family.  I had been thinking we are all relatively healthy and rarely ever want to go to the doctor’s.  If we discontinue insurance and pay on a cash basis, surely we could save money.  Plus, insurance doesn’t cover alot of the non-traditional healthcare approaches we would like to try, like chiropractors and midwives.  Then this C-section hit us.  I never thought I would be looking at a $16000 bill for this delivery;  I always thought I would only be paying $2000 for a midwife.  I wonder how much that bill would have been if we weren’t insured.

Ah, well, it’s too late now, anyway.  I already signed up for health insurance through 2008.

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Thanks Giving

The only truly American holiday, and I have much to be thankful for and many to whom I want to publicly express my thanks.  There is obviously much that has happened in the last year of our life.  We bought our pastureland last December and we bought our home in March.  God has graciously led us out of the desert and into His bounty.  But most recently and most on my mind of late is the tremendous outpouring of blessings we have experienced in relation to the birth of Abigail Ruth.

I am thankful to God for his calling us to continue to grow our family.  In the past we acted selfishly and decided we didn’t want more children because we wanted to be able to enjoy a measure of prosperity and get the kids out of our home.  Incidentally, I am not saying that all folks who don’t want more children are being selfish; I am merely accusing myself of being selfish in my motives.

I am thankful to God for allowing and orchestrating all the following thanks that, in coordination, led to our blessing.  In addition to the thanks I am about to express, I don’t doubt that there are many more that I should be thanking, but I have neglected to thank them either out of ignorance or forgetfulness.

I am thankful to Dr. Cary L. Leverett in New Braunfels, TX, whom we visited last October for a vasectomy reversal.  He was a caring professional who, through God’s richness, has returned to us the ability to make babies.

I am thankful to the midwives in Arizona who would have legally assisted us in our childbirth if we had stayed in Arizona just a few months more.

I am thankful to our midwife and her assistant here in Nebraska for their competent care.  I know that they are disappointed that the homebirth didn’t happen, but they did precisely what we wanted them to do.  They assessed the situation and gave professional and competent advice, which we followed.  They were very caring and we would not have wanted to labor with another team.

I am thankful to our wonderful neighbors to the South once again, for their continuous unflagging support.  Mother and oldest daughter came to our house during the labor and mother stayed with Gina while oldest daughter stayed with Caleb and kept him occupied.  When we realized we would have to transfer to a hospital, they unhesitatingly undertook the task of watching our children for us.

I am thankful to my two older, dear children, Caleb & Meagan, for their support throughout the pregnancy.  I am especially thankful to Meagan for her desire to be there throughout all stages of the birth.  Of course, she is just six, and she had some trouble staying awake, as evidenced by the following photograph of her during the labor process.  My greatest disappointment is that she was not able to accompany us to the hospital to be present for Abigail’s birth.  She is precious.

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I am thankful to Dr. Brian Finley and the entire team at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha for their exceptional care for Gina during her hospital stay.  Dr. Finley was a caring professional who shed his own tears when he told us that our only option was an emergency caesarian section.  His care for us throughout was filled with sympathy and he allowed us to leave the hospital on Thursday evening, even though ‘normally’ a mother would not have left until Saturday morning.  We did not want to continue to recover in the hospital.  We wanted recovery to occur at home, where Gina could be cared for in a comfortable environment with the whole family around her.

I am thankful to Gina’s Uncle Rick & Aunt Mary for watching our children during our second night away from home.

I am thankful to Gina’s dad, Dale, for his awesome support throughout our hospital stay in shuttling the kids around and taking care of our every need.

I am thankful to Dale (again), Carol, Kelli, Terry, Tate, Kaia, and Eliot for visiting Gina & Abby in the hospital.  It was a sacrifice for them that demonstrated their love for us.

I am thankful to Rod & Caleb for giving Abby her first dollar.

I am thankful to our neighbors (again) and Kelli (again) for providing meals and assistance in caring for Gina after we returned home.

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Baby Pictures

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Here she is:  the new princess in our house!  She is just so beautiful and wonderful!

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The obligatory pic of baby sleeping on Daddy’s chest.

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Grandpa and his third grandchild!

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Abby and her older brother Caleb

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My two daughters

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And, of course, the most important picture of them all — my beautiful recovering wife and her baby

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The Story of Abby’s Arrival

Cliff Notes Version: Abigail Ruth was born by emergency C-section at 5:31 a.m. on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 in Omaha, Nebraska. She weighed in at 9 lbs, 6.6 ozs (4269 grams) and was 21.5 inches long. She and Mama are both doing well and were discharged from the hospital about 39 hours later.

Abridged: Tuesday afternoon, the midwife came over to check on Gina to determine whether it would be okay to finally break Gina’s water.  Everything seemed okay, so Gina’s water was broker at 4:54 pm.  It was at this point that the midwife recognized that Gina had polyhydramnios, a condition involving too much amniotic fluid.  When Gina’s water was initially broken, over 2-1/2 pounds of amniotic fluid came out.  Several more pounds would follow over the course of the labor.

Throughout the evening, Gina labored, but the labor was not all that intense.  The midwife and her assistant were constantly telling Gina that she wasn’t hurting enough.  However, Gina continued to progress in dilation and effacement.  As evening turned to night, the midwife recognized what felt like Abby’s elbow was presenting first.  The midwife talked to us about what an elbow-first presentation might mean.  She did not want to attempt to move the elbow because she was afraid that the arm might be holding back the umbilical cord, and the midwife definitely didn’t want the cord slipping down first.

By the time Gina reached full dilation and effacement and should have been ready to push, the midwife could not locate Abby’s head.  Not a good sign.  It was at this point, about 1:00 am, that the possibility of transferring to the hospital was first discussed.  We talked about going to the hospital in Syracuse (only 30 minutes away), but we felt like all they would do was immediately perform a C-section, without any discussion of alternatives.  So we decided to drive to the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha (90 minutes away), to have an ultrasound performed and see if there was any alternative to a C-section.  The midwife was unable to determine where Abby’s head was, and she obviously had no clue where the umbilical cord was.  She didn’t want to attempt any maneuvering without verifying these things, and for that we needed an ultrasound machine.

We hastily packed, called a doctor we had met with in September, and quickly left the house slightly before 2:00 am, leaving our two children with our beloved and gracious neighbors.  Gina’s labor had largely subsided by now and the drive to Omaha was uneventful, except for the one large buck deer standing in the road.  We got to the hospital around 3:30 a.m., Gina was admitted, and the ultrasound machine was hooked up.  Dr. Finley came and performed the ultrasound.  Abby’s presentation had gone from bad to impossible.  She was laying with her spine across her exit.  Dr. Finley told us there was nothing that could be done that would ensure the safety of mother and baby;  we had just one option:  caesarian section.

Dr. Finley was very understanding about our situation.  We had obviously labored a long time at home, intending to give birth at home.  We were already very emotional about being hooked up to so many monitors.  We never intended to deliver in a hospital, much less have a c-section birth.  We talked with our midwife and there really were no options, so we authorized the c-section … and cried.

Gina was prepped for surgery and I was able to sit in the surgery with her.  Abby was delivered at 5:31 a.m. and whisked off to the neonatal specialists in the next room.  I left Gina shortly and went in to watch them care for Abby.  Abby’s assessment scores weren’t that great.  I remember Caleb’s scores had been 9 & 10 (out of 10).  Abby scored 6 & 8.  We were told that much of this was because she had not been through the experience of a vaginal delivery, which tends to wring out the baby and prepare them for a life of breathing air.  When I got there, they were still administering oxygen and she was still quite purple.  But she did pink up a bit shortly thereafter.

The next day-and-a-half were spent in the hospital recovering.  Abby had no medical concerns, so it was really just Abby & I waiting around for Gina to be ready to come home.  Gina was initially very weak and slightly anemic, so her recovery has been rough.  We were able to beg our way out of the hospital 39 hours after the c-section so she could continue her recovery at home.  She did receive an infusion of blood while she was in the hospital, something I am now ambiguous about.  Had you asked me before I would have said there were no issues, but if you ask me now, I would have to respond after thinking about it some more.

Dr. Finley allowed us to leave the hospital Thursday evening and we were home on Thanksgiving Day at 10:00 p.m.

Pictures will be published shortly!  She is so cute you won’t believe it.

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Water Broke

Need I say more?  Gina’s water broke at 4:54.  Here comes Abby!

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Okay, Maybe not

The day started so promising, with regular contractions.  But as the day wore on, not much/no progress was made, and the process has pretty much tapered off now.  No regular contractions.  We are a bit tired and are looking forward to hopefully getting some rest and maybe starting the process again tomorrow.

Sorry for the false alarm.

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