Nora – 1 Day Old

Nora is still doing very well. She’s had trouble latching on and eating from the breast and the bottle, so we are opting to have an NG tube put in to help her out. I’m sad that I’m not able to breast feed her like I did Gavin & Greta.

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What an amazing experience it was yesterday to hear her crying when she was first born. She survived the birth with only one scary interlude where her heart rate dropped. I thought we were losing her right then and there.

Melanie was in the room with us during the delivery — another amazing photographer. She managed to capture each moment of Nora’s delivery in absolute perfection. Here are a few photos on Melanie’s blog.

That second photo is the moment we heard Nora CRYING again after her heart rate had dropped. She was stable, PRAISE GOD!!!!!! What a beautiful, beautiful moment that was!!

It’s been a tough day for us emotionally. Yesterday it was so reassuring to see how well she was doing… easy to imagine that she was just another perfectly healthy infant with a normal life expectancy. Our meeting with the hospital’s pediatrician this morning quickly brought us back down to reality. It shatters my soul to imagine EVER having to say goodbye to such a sweet little being; my tiniest little daughter.

I have a bazillion emails, messages, voice mails, comments, phone is ringing off the hook. I’m so very, very touched by the love and support and I wish I could answer each and every one, but I am completely, completely drained right now physically and emotionally. I want to spend every possible moment with my little Nora. Please keep us in your prayers. We need prayers for strength and peace more than ever right now.

Day 99 – The Big Day

6:00 am

We’re here at the hospital! All checked in and hooked up. Thanks, Maggie for the beautiful hospital gown!

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Check back to this page. I will update as regularly as I can. Thank you again for your prayers!!

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. (Psalm 46:1-5 NIV)

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9:00 am

Contractions have been coming pretty regularly for a little while now! I imagine I’ll be asking for that epidural soon!! Nora’s steady little heartbeat plays over the fetal monitor. Our sweet nurse, Amy thinks Nora might be here by early afternoon. 🙂

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10:00 am

I just asked my sister to turn the radio on here in the room. The song “Strong Enough” that I shared yesterday was on the radio. So perfect. No coincidence.

About to get my epidural!

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11:00 am

The epidural has been administered successfully! “I. have become. comfortably numb.” – Pink Floyd

Still at 1cm, but pitocin drip has been upped which should progress things a little further. In about an hour Amy will check me again and will then break my water.

Surrounded by my beloved friends and family, heavenly saints and angels, I am completely blessed. I’m so encouraged by everyone cheering me on with your comments and prayers. Thank you for sharing in this with me!!

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12:00 pm

My water broke on its own and I’m at 3cm. Nora’s heartbeat sounds great and she’s enduring labor just fine! 🙂 My kids are here and sweet as heck.

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2:00 pm

Nora is taking her time! Still 3cm, but proceeding!

We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. (Romans 5:3-4 NIV)

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3:00 pm

4cm. Taking a nap now.

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4:45 pm

8cm. Should be soon!! They’re setting up. Please pray!! 🙂

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5:20 pm

She is here!!! Big healthy cry!!! 5 lbs. 2 oz.

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Day 98 – Strong Enough

Less than 24 hours. Wow. I’m spending this day getting some last minute things together and basking in the warm Spring air and bird songs that are blowing in through the windows. Would you believe I am not the basket case that I imagined myself to be?! Those treacherous waves are an arm’s length away, but they haven’t discouraged me or engulfed me. I am safe and I will survive them, all thanks and praise be to God!

This is my theme song for the day:

“I can do all things in Christ who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13)

William and I will keep everyone updated tomorrow with the news of Nora’s arrival through this blog, and possibly Facebook. I have a neat little WordPress app on my phone that allows me to take pictures and post them up on the blog instantaneously! If I had to guess, I would estimate Nora to be here sometime early or mid afternoon. I can’t wait to meet that little girl and to share her with all of you who have been praying so fervently for her!!! God bless each and every one of you and thank you from the very bottom of my heart! Your prayers and encouraging notes, comments, messages, texts, e-mails, etc. are such a comfort to me. Please know that (even if I’m not able to directly respond right away)!

Love,
Aleisa

Day 97 – Pictures Worth a Thousand Words

On April 3rd, while the kids were on Spring break we partook in a maternity / family photo shoot. I could not be happier with the pictures that Kelly took of me and my sweet, sweet family. I’m so glad we decided to do this — just sorry I didn’t do it with my previous pregnancies! These are such a beautiful keepsake of this precious time we know we still have with Nora. Here are a few photos from that day:

The one of Greta blowing the dandelion “dust” brought me to tears!! That was such a spontaneous, candid moment that I had kind of forgotten about until we got the pictures back.

“All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.” (1 Peter 1:24-25)

Day 94 – Healing Touch

Now we’re down to 5 more days. God’s peace that surpasses all understanding is fully upon me!

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Amen!

It’s been a good past couple of days. I managed to muster up the strength and courage that God armed me with today to get up and speak on stage to a large group of women at my Bible study. I shared a bit about what I’m going through as it pertains to Nora. I actually got through my speech without breaking down into hyperventilated snot-crying! I think I did okay and managed to remember most of what I wanted to share.  While I was greatly honored to be asked to share my story, I do have to say I’m relieved that’s over with!  🙂

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Yesterday I went to a healing touch session which is an energy-based practice that promotes healing from a Christian perspective. (see http://www.HTSpiritualMinistry.com) It also involves the laying on of hands and the use of oils. A couple of days ago I was overwhelmed and in tears with all of the appointments, obligations, and loose ends on my plate, the never ending list. This was on top of a restless night’s sleep; basically, I was just tired and crabby. I had never gone to anything like this before and for a brief second considered canceling. I’m so so glad I didn’t cancel. It was so very worth my time! It was about 2 hours that I spent there. The first hour and a half was spent in a restful meditative state reclined on a massage table. The Healing Practitioner, Susan started off by praying over me and Nora out loud. The rest of the time she prayed silently over me and focused on different energy points. It was very relaxing. Prior to the session, she suggested I keep a mental note of any imagery that came to mind. She paused intermittently to write down any thoughts or imagery she herself experienced at each energy point.

Afterward we discussed each of our experiences. I was brought to tears with everything Susan had to share with me. She mentioned that she had visualized the Christ figure with his arms outstretched. She specifically mentioned that it was a figure similar a statue in South America (http://www.brazil-consulate.org/images/Rio-Jesus1.jpg) She also noted the presence of a strong male figure with a halo who was very involved in my circumstances. It took me a moment, but who other than Fr. Joseph Cappel???!!! My now deceased relative (my grandmother’s first cousin), a Maryknoll priest who served as a missionary in South America for over 60 years. (See DAY 33 of my blog for further information and an explanation of the halo!) Susan also mentioned the presence of a female figure surrounded by light that appeared to her twice throughout the session. This woman had lived a holy life here on earth; possibly a deceased relative. She is walking through this every step of the way with me. I immediately thought of my grandmother who suffered the loss of an infant during her lifetime. This seemed to be further confirmed when Susan made mention of seeing an antique baby buggy. There is a story about my grandmother involving a baby buggy, her baby sister, a steep hill and failed buggy brakes. Fortunately, that story had a happy ending and everyone was okay! That story stands out in my mind, which is why I assimilate the image of the baby buggy with my grandmother. It’s comforting, reassuring and empowering to know that there are definitely spiritual forces involved, very special spiritual forces joined by a battalion of angels, saints and loved ones. To have their presence confirmed is nothing short of amazing.

There were other things discussed as well, but I will write more about those later.

I’m so thankful for everyone who has been praying for us and lavishing us with love and support. Your prayers are certainly being felt in incredible ways!

Day 89 – Ten More Days

Ten more days. Is that even possible? Time flies when you’re… waiting? The calamitous waves off in the now very short distance are still threatening to look at. I only issue quick glances, hoping that maybe they’ve disappeared; this was all just a bad dream. It never happens. It’s all just as real as it was 89 days ago, yet my perspective is graciously and generously enriched with trust and peace. A very powerful fear tries to gain access to me. Sometimes it almost does. I am quick to remind it that, “I trust in Jesus. Go away.” There is great power in saying that because the fear and anxiety always retreats. I might have to say it a few times, but fear has NO power over my God.

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A sun rainbow that we always seem to notice on our way home from my doctor appointments

My beautiful little angel is tucked safely away in her cocoon. I feel her sweet flutters and marvel at her strength. A baby who is supposed to be so feeble and “incompatible with life” seems to be telling a different story.

“Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.”  (Revelation 2:10)

Day 83 – April

April. The month starts out overcast with a soft pink hue illuminating the sky. The birds are engaged in their grand orchestral tuning; all is seemingly right with the world. Tucked away in a warm brick house, nestled in the blankets of a cozy bed, embraced from within her mother’s warm body, a tiny little girl begins her day too.

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Seventeen more days that I can sustain her and offer her the protection of my body. Seventeen more days of sweet little pokes and kicks. Seventeen more days of precious little hiccups. Seventeen more days to somberly, but joyfully wear this big round belly that would ordinarily imply happy new life!

I take a deep breath allowing the newness of the day to permeate my soul. I exhale the anxiety, the sorrow, the fear the anger, all the ‘what ifs’ and uncertainty of it all…

“For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-7 NIV)