Elana’s Story, Part 2

So, picking up where I left off… I was 37 weeks pregnant and had just been released from 15 weeks of bed rest.  (Feel free to go here if you missed the first part).

Those last few weeks of pregnancy were so wonderful!  I felt like a new person and it was so good to be able to go out with Kenton & Abigail. After being inside for the past 4 months, getting outside for fresh air and exercise felt like such a gift!

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We were still declaring that I would carry Elana past my due date, to October 7.  My doctor, though amazed that I had carried the baby this far, was still very skeptical that I would even get to my due date.  My last appointment was on October 2nd and at this point I was 5 centimeters dilated, but still having no contractions.  She gave me detailed and strict instructions of what to do if I felt even a hint of labor.  Her fear was that I would have this baby in the car, and she did NOT want that to happen!  Just for the record, we didn’t want that to happen either 😉

Sunday came, and from the moment I woke up, I knew something was different.  I still wasn’t having contractions, but my body just felt different.  We had a restful day at home, took Abigail to the grandparents for the night, and enjoyed frozen yogurt with some friends.

After we got home that evening, I took a nap on the couch and when I woke up at 11:00 I felt cramping in my lower back.  I knew immediately that it was time to go to the hospital and it was on the way there that my contractions started coming every 2-3 minutes.  Thankfully, the hospital was only 10 minutes away and traffic was light, but we still didn’t waste any time getting there!

Up to this point, I was able to talk through the contractions.  While we were finding a place to park I had my first hard, can’t-talk-through-it contraction.  They put me in a wheelchair and we finally made it to the labor/delivery floor.  While signing in at the registration desk, the head nurse came over.  She observed me having a contraction and immediately suggested I do the paperwork later and just get into a bed.  I am so thankful for her timing and insight, because if not for her, Elana would probably have been born in the hallway of the labor/delivery unit!!

They put me in a bed and wrapped the baby monitor around me.  I was still talking and laughing with Kenton and the nurses and everything was fairly calm.  Kenton was amazing and was constantly by my side. He was praying in my ear, holding my hand, and talking me through each contraction.  I had been praying and believing for a supernatural birth. I wanted a labor with no pain.  I did experience one contraction where all I felt was the tension of my muscles, and there was no pain involved.  I remember telling Kenton to keep praying, because it was working!

All of that calm changed in an instant, when the nurse checked me.  Her next words were “Baby’s head is right here!” and immediately there were 8-10 more people in the room moving as fast as they possibly could!  I remember hearing people say that there was no doctor available and that I shouldn’t push yet.  By this time, my body was pushing on its own and there was nothing I could do about it!  At one point, a nurse shoved her finger in my face and said “my finger is a candle and you need to blow it out!  Just don’t push yet!!” It’s funny now, but at the time all I could think was “I’m not pushing!  And why is your finger in my face?!”

But my body and this baby girl were not listening to any of the nurses and she was coming whether a doctor was there or not!  Thankfully, the on-call doctor walked into the room at the perfect time and was able to pull his gloves on just in time to catch Elana.  I pushed one time and then, finally, I could hold this precious miracle in my arms!

Elana Raine, born on October 6, at 11:51 p.m.

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(Yes, my entire labor was less than one hour, with my official time on the monitors being a grand 8 minutes!  Even as I’m writing this, reliving it, I still find it hard to believe that all of that took place in 51 minutes.)

While we were still in the delivery room, Abigail was able to come and meet her new sister.  She was thrilled to finally get to hold her!  All of it felt so surreal!

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We were so grateful to God for allowing me to carry Elana to full term, and even past my due date!  We did wonder why she was 9 minutes “early” and why she couldn’t have waited just a bit longer to make it to the 7th like we believed for.  Well, we had our answer five months later.  That March, we celebrated our 8th anniversary in California.  (For details on that trip, read Part 1 & Part 2.)  We were able to attend a service at Bethel church, where we again had the chance to talk to Bill and Beni Johnson.  We briefly told them about the prayer time, the pregnancy, and the birth date.  Bill said “Well, that’s perfect.  When we pray over couples to become pregnant, our desire is to see that fulfilled within a year.”  So no, Elana wasn’t born 9 minutes “too early”.  She was born with 9 minutes to spare in that time frame of “within a year.”

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Her story, from the beginning to now, has been so amazing and God-filled!  I’ve heard people say that babies who’s lives were in danger in the womb have a strength and spunk that most other children don’t have.  They had to fight for their lives and that is reflected in their personalities.  That is so true for Elana!  She has a fire and a spunk in her that sometimes makes me want to cry one minute and laugh the next.  But as fiery and determined as she is, she is also just as cuddly and sweet.  We feel so honored and blessed to be the ones to raise her and we’re excited to be on the front lines of seeing how God will lead and use her.

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Until next time…

–Sherri

 

 

 

 

California, part 2

So we left San Francisco Saturday night, driving 3.5 hours to Redding.  We were both so tired, but we wanted to make it to our destination so we wouldn’t have a long drive in the morning.  And we made it!  We found a scary motel and fell into bed.

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We actually overslept on Sunday morning, which was no surprise, considering how tired we were.  We went to the early church service at Bethel, arriving halfway through.  After the service, we were honored to talk with Bill & Beni Johnson.  They played a big part in our pregnancy journey with Elana (more on that story at a later time), and it was so rewarding to show them pictures of our miracle baby and thank them in person for their part.  We stayed for the second service too, and were so blessed by the people and their heart for God!

After lunch, finding a new motel, and some much-needed naps, we met some new friends at the coffee shop, and then had a wonderful evening of celebrating people getting baptized.  This was a baptism like I have never seen before…celebrating and honoring and rejoicing with those who were making a public declaration to follow our Jesus!

And those new friends we made?  Well, after the service we enjoyed more fellowship & food with them 🙂  I just love it, because when God puts people together, there is an instant connection of relationships that defy the length of time.  The neat part was that this couple was from our area…we just had to travel to the west coast to meet!

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Monday was a beautiful day, perfect for our plans.  We drove up to Whiskeytown Lake and hiked up to the falls.
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It was absolutely beautiful!  The weather was perfect for hiking, the scenery was gorgeous and the trail not too difficult to make us ache the next day.

Tuesday and Wednesday we sat in on some classes at the Bethel school, relaxed, spent some time at the Prayer House, relaxed, ate amazing food (thanks to a friends recommendations), relaxed, did laundry, relaxed…Can you tell we had a relaxing time together? 🙂

Wednesday afternoon, after school, we joined a friend in her Revival Group.  We had an amazing time of worship and remembering God’s goodness in our past.  Kenton was even able to share briefly of our journey and how God proved Himself faithful.  The leader of the group felt led to pray over Kenton, speaking life and blessing and prophecy over him.  It was so beautiful & God-ordained!  How else can you explain a complete stranger being able to speak into Kenton’s life about a heart-dream, except to give all credit to God?

It was the perfect way to end our time in Redding.  We still are in awe at all that God had planned for us that week and the many ways that proved He is the ultimate Travel Agent.

Thursday morning we headed south, taking the scenic route to Napa and the Valley.  Beautiful, beautiful country!  We wound our way through the mountains, stopping often to take pictures and stand in awe at God’s handiwork.  I especially, was thankful for the open windows and fresh air…it helped ease the rolling of my stomach as we rode the ups & downs & arounds of the mountains!
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The vineyards were empty of any fruit, but it was still beautiful and I can only imagine how that beauty is multiplied when the vines are lush with fresh grapes.
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We wound our way over to Sonoma (where we stopped for a picnic lunch), up through Santa Rosa, and on to Guerneville.  We stopped at the Armstrong Redwoods State Park and walked through the forest for a bit, marveling again at the what God created.  Our plan was to spend the night in Guerneville, but someone (uh,me.) wanted to keep driving, thinking that surely there would be towns along the coast and we could find a motel for the night.
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So we kept driving.  We found no motels, but we did find a most gorgeous west coast!  “Beautifully rugged” are the words that come to mind.
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We ended up driving down to San Francisco that night yet, and woke up on Friday with two goals for the day: walk the Golden Gate Bridge & get on an airplane.

We parked as close as could to the bridge, but still walked more than a mile to get to the bridge.  We weren’t rushed for time, so we were able to enjoy the scenery and San Francisco for one last time.
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We are on the bridge!
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We knew the Golden Gate Bridge was big, but when we got up close and personal, we realized just how BIG it really is!
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We ended our time in San Francisco with another great meal and some Peet’s Coffee.
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We made it to the airport with hours to spare and then we jetted across the country,  reuniting with our girlies the next day.  The trip was so much more and did so much more for us than I could ever explain, even in person.  We were so blessed on this trip and will forever carry the memory of it and all that God did, in our hearts.

–sherri