Kirk and I had known we wanted to have another baby about the time River would be turning five. Once we started at LifeHouse, we also wanted to make sure we could manage ministry and our family before we added another dimension. After our first summer, we knew we were ready, and, with the Lord’s blessing, we were pregnant right away.
We were overjoyed – the timing was going to be perfect. I told Kirk over dinner, and the waiter thought for sure this was our first… he thought we were crazy when he heard it would be our third. Quickly, though, joy turned to distress as morning sickness began at 5 weeks. I was pretty sick with River, but not Danger, so I had hoped I would be safe. Instead, I was almost bed bound for 15 long weeks. I was so exhausted from being sick, from no food, from feeling defeated. I could barely do any work, so Kirk carried both our household and the ministry with the girls.
Finally, the sickness lifted, and a new symptom appeared: fainting. That was a new one, and scary, too. But, after a few days in the hospital and every imaginable test, I was sent home. The worst symptom for me, in all of my pregnancies, is depression. While my hormones run wild, I sink into deep, dark despair. Each pregnancy has gotten worse, and it takes its toll both on me and on Kirk. But God is faithful, and again, that began to lift towards the end. Prodromal labor rounded out my 9 month wait. For 3 weeks, I had contractions for 10-12 hours a day, 3 minutes apart. Each time we would wonder, “is this it?” But it never was. I began to think, like most mothers do, that this baby would never be born.
Every day of that last month I would think, “ This is the perfect day! It’s (the weekend, our day off, someone’s birthday) and the date would be blah/blah/blah! Just right!” But, no baby came. Three days after my due date, we were headed to another midwife appointment. All along, I had been focused on my all natural childbirth, but, instead, we were going to insist that I be induced. My mother in law was going back to work, what would we do with our kids? This baby needed to come now. As we rushed about the house getting the kids ready for school, my water broke. I froze, turned to Kirk, and just praised the Lord! Yes!!! We would be having this baby today!!! We got the kids to school and went in to my appointment. They made sure my water had broken, called ahead to the hospital, but then sent me on my way to walk until the contractions were strong. We headed home, got our bag, set the kids up with my in laws, walked at the store, and then headed to the hospital. It was our day off and the start of our weekend, we would flow right into maternity leave… I couldn’t believe how it really was the perfect day.
The hospital was totally full, but since we had called ahead, they had a room for us. It was absolutely humongous. We calculated as I walked out contractions, and our hospital room was actually larger than our entire first apartment! As the contractions got stronger, we utilized some of the hypnobabies we had been practicing for weeks. It didn’t totally work for me, but it definitely helped. Even so, I was pretty sure I was going to die. But, Kirk and our midwife Debbie walked and talked me through it, and 6 hours after we got to the hospital, Ember was born. I was exhausted. I could barely move, and my arms hurt so much, I kept wondering how I was going to care for our new baby. It didn’t matter though, because I was totally and utterly in love.
We didn’t find out what we were having, and were completely surprised by another boy, but we knew the baby was going to be named Ember either way. We love how it means spark, and loved the idea of this new little person setting fire with their life in a powerful way. Knightly was our boy middle name – for any of you who follow me on facebook, you know we are definitely on a royalty kick. We knew the name would inspire him to be brave, bold, to walk in honor. As a knight, you are an emissary for the king, and we want Ember to walk in that calling, too.
We were so blessed with a quiet season after Ember was born. I am a go-go-go kind of person – I always have a project. In the months after Em was born, though, I uncharacteristically took the time to spend long hours with the baby and the kids, doing nothing but be with them. I am so glad I took that time, that having Ember gave us that special quiet season.
So, now we are five. As our newest family member is already a tiny light, we feel that it makes sense to simply expand ourselves to The Five Lampstands. Stay tuned, as there are more big and exciting changes coming to our family. Crazy – Definitely. Impossible – absolutely, without God. But we know He is with us, and look forward to all that the future has in store.