So here's my attempt to recreate some of the details for those of you who want more.
I've sat down to post several times since my last posting, but always found myself with more hands at the "wheel" than what I can manage.
Anyway, most of you know that yesterday, February 15th, we had #5.
Joseph Zachary Aldrich
My story is that I started with mild labor on the 14th at about 5am when I couldn't sleep anymore due to contractions and the fact that I was cooking breakfast for the students that morning for Valentine's Day. So, I got up and began. It was a great breakfast if I do say so...we had scrambled eggs, beef sausage links, strawberry yogurt, granola, strawberries, homemade cheese danish, cran-grape juice, and lots of fancy dishes to round it out. The contractions were mild enough that I could work right through them, but they were very regular and hard enough that when I tried to take a nap later that morning, I could really sleep much- about every 6 minutes apart.
For those of you who do not live in the north and thus might be ignorant of our recent weather patterns, Wednesday was also a VERY BIG snow day. We got close to 2 feet of snow before the day was out! So, have snow...must have baby! I called our midwife around 10:30 and apologized over and over that I thought I might be in labor in the middle of a blizzard. She was very comforting and told me numerous times that I was doing the right thing to call- even if this wasn't the "real" thing. (Note: for those of you who don't know...even after four children I can't really tell when I'm in labor in the early stages unless my water breaks first- which it did not.) So, on I went with life...lunch and such and then the midwife (MW) came around 3. She did a few checks, said she thought I probably was in labor and hung around to wait it out. A few applications of some evening primrose oil helped things move along in the right direction, but only very slowly. The short of it is- by 1am I was only 3-4 cm and somehow I have to get to 10!
In fact, I thought I was slowing down afer that and called my mother around 5 to say that I didn't know what was going on, but I seemed to be "circling the runway" with little intention to land any time soon. At 5:15 am on the 15th though- that's 24 hours into this for those of you who don't want to do the math- things changed and I could tell we were going to actually have this baby. It was rather interesting timing however because Brandon was supposed to leave at 7:30 to go pick up my sister Amy at the Boston airport- 2 hours away and then retrieve our new living room furniture (more on that later) on the way home. So I was a little nervous that he would either miss the birth or Amy would have to wait at the airport for us for a while.
But God's timing is perfect- as I am realizing more and more with this child. Brandon stayed and the baby was born at 8:09am. For those of you who appreciate some of the gory details, the midwife broke my water about 2 contractions before I was ready to push and then I had one warm up push and Joseph came out in the second really long push- everything in one great heave! It was not pleasant...and that's all I'll say about that other that, I'd do it again if I could avoid kidney stones!
So Joseph was born, Amy's flight was providentially delayed, and Brandon did his airport and furniture run and Amy didn't have to sit at the airport too long on this end waiting for him.
Now he's here and you might want to know what he's like:
Well, Jonathon insisted that he was still named "Isaac"- a name we considered for a while after being suggested by him on numerous occasions.
James exclaimed that his hands were very small and they were smaller than Rachel's.
Jeff smiled- which was a big improvement to his reaction over Rachel's birth- and just looked on.
Rachel is quite taken with all of Joseph and loves to sit and rub his hands and feet and head and talk about all his parts and say "Baby Joses" over and over.
I think he's pretty cute myself and I think he looks kind of like my paternal grandfather. He had a rounder face than the other children and I could almost imagine him with a balding head of gray hair and some glasses! He was quite a sleeper for most of the day and didn't really want to try to eat anything. I don't often think of the work the baby must do to be born, but I think I just wore him out! He whimpered tiny little whimpers while he slept- kind of like someone who snores with each breath, only his were cute...and he managed to sleep a good part of the night too. He's awake wide and early this morning and has been trying to eat almost nonstop, so the two of us escaped the bedroom to give Brandon a little more sleep before he had to be functional.
For all of you who know and believe in God's timing of events, Joseph was named for the meaning: God will add (and not because it starts with "J") He was a little of a surprise to us from the beginning, though we were very thrilled! He also came after a longer break between children and after the wedding of my brother- which I had specifically prayed for. And the timing here at the end of his birth has just seemed to be perfect as well. I never dreamed I'd have a baby 2 weeks early, but I had prayed that way and God was gracious and answered.
Now, I'm excited about the rest of Joseph's life and wondering what events God has in store for him down the road that might look big or crazy, but in reality are just perfectly put together in God's plan. Whatever it is, I hope I will remember why we named him Joseph and be able to focus on God's big picture of adding things to our lives when He wants to- whether it all makes sense to me or not.
Hooray for little miracles...we have a nice new one here and you should all come and see him! He truly is a blessing from our heavenly Father!