Our First Daughter ~ Alyssa Grace

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I remember when when we first went to have a sonogram done to see what we were having.  I was sure number four would be a boy.  I mean, I have had three already.  I know how to do boys, so this was sure to be another, right?  October 2002, lying on the examine table and as soon as the transducer was placed on my tummy there "SHE" was.  My reaction...

"No.  It can't be.  I don't know how to do girls.  Check again."

Well, there was not doubt.  It was most definitely a girl!  A girl!  How would I do pink?  God is the giver of all gifts and His gifts are good and perfect, so although I was surprised and not sure how I would do pink, He knew pink would be a beautiful color added to our family.

Pink would not be the only change in our family.  With the addition of a girl, we decided it was time to add on a "girl's bedroom".  We converted our open screen room into a girl's room and an office for my husband.  The final days of pregnancy we had a crew of roofers come to frame the roof.  They were to come back the next day to dry it in.  Unfortunately, the next day would not be soon enough.

That night we had a terrible DOWNPOUR and I had water coming into our home from the french doors.  My husband was at the church plant, setting up the cafeteria for service to be held the next day when all this water starting coming in!  UGH!  I {my 9 month pregnant self}, only saw a need to act.  A quick call to my husband and I threw down every towel I could find.  SOAKED in a matter of minutes!  The carpet was wet and only getting wetter.  I moved the couch and end table to avoid them getting ruined.  Not long after, my husband arrived home with a fellow church member, who happened to own a carpet cleaning business and had large fans and a water extractor!  They got to work and thankfully no damage was done to the drywall, wood work or furniture!


Well, all that commotion {and probably the moving of furniture} triggered my water to break...at 2:45am I awoke to what was the onset of labor and my membranes springing a leak.  We notified Michelle, our midwife, and waited for her arrival.  She arrived at 4:30am and to our dismay, I was not effaced and was only 1cm dilated.  {Can you say crushed?}  When things did not progress, she decided to return home.  She left a Doppler for us to keep an eye on Alyssa's heart rate throughout the day.  When the sun rose, activities in the home began and leakage was minimal, so thus began my day.  We prayed. We monitored my temperature and Alyssa's heart rate.  We waited.


Contractions started up again around 11PM Friday night (3/8/03).  They became stronger and more regular.  We called Michelle again - fully expecting a birth.  I was tired seeing that the night before I did not sleep and had a full day with the boys, plus the excitement of thinking, "this is it".

Michelle arrived in the wee hours.  She checked my temperature, blood pressure and Alyssa's heart rate.  All things looked good but NO indication of delivery this morning.  We waited.  Morning came and again the contractions and leakage all but ceased.  Michelle went home.  Another full day of caring for children and trying to rest as I could.


The final countdown and trying to rest in the Lord's providence (not an easy task at this point), my contractions began again in the late of night.  Again they came and stayed regular, intensifying.  Around 2am, they were intense so Michelle was en route again.  She checked and again to my disappointment I was only 4cm.  I was feeling discouraged.  I was feeling tired.  I knew that I could not go another night without sleep.  I was coming to the end of myself...exactly where the Lord wanted me...and begged God for Alyssa to be born, yielding 'my control' to Him.  Around 6:30-7:00am, I was ready and apparently so was Alyssa.  

BUT...NO!  The sun was on the rise!  As the previous days held, my fear that contractions would stop and I would shut down, knowing the boys would be up and the cares of the day would begin.  I couldn't.  I told Mark to draw all the blinds, cover the windows, make it DARK...fool my mind into thinking it was night {since that's how all my births had been up to that point}.  I asked him to call my mom, down the road, to come get the boys so I could focus on giving birth and not be distracted with needing to care for them.  Continuous prayers were being lifted...

ALL my inhibitions were let go.  I battled for her to come.  It seemed like every time I would push, she would bungee back.  It was exhausting WORK and I was exhausted.  No position was comfortable and the only one that relieved a minute amount of pressure was on my hands and knees.  This was NOT what I had expected.  I mean the last birth we had, our 1st home birth, was QUICK and only three pushes.  Why was this not the same?  A bit more work and FINALLY Alyssa was here!  Born in the daytime...8:00am with much rejoicing and thanksgiving at our beautiful blessing.  

The delivery provided an explanation for that bungee process.  Her cord was shorter than normal, apparently.  She had a little vernix present at delivery; she was 5 days early based on her due date calculation.  After a little time was spent making sure we were both good, I took my shower.  Mark made a pancake breakfast for me, Michelle and himself.  We marveled at the life so peacefully resting  beside us...apparently it was hard work for her, too.  I couldn't wait to send out our email birth announcement and was ready to be back to normal.  I always feel so good after delivery and because of this, am up resuming sooner than my midwives prefer.  It does drive them crazy, though I do try to be actively mindful NOT to do TOO much, even though I feel great!

What a blessing to have this sweet little girl!

Alyssa Grace
May 10, 2003
8 lbs 6 ounces
19 inches long

May our sons in their youth be like plants full grown, our daughters like corner pillars cut for the structure of a palace;
Psalm 144:12

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