Words have power. Written words provide proof. You can read them, and reread them whenever you want. They can speak life to someone who needs encouragement. They can speak death to someone who is being deceived. The choice lies within you. How is it that you want people to remember you? Encourager...that is the gift that God has laid on my heart. To use my written, spoken, and/or sung words to lift people up. To be one link in their road to healing, restoration, joy. I have been without those things, and I claim them to be mine again. If you want me to seek God on a prayer for a specific situation...that is why I am here. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to pray God's Word of Life over you.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

My Journey Through 7 Pregnancies-Part Six

Oh man…




This ‘series’ of writings has been long and difficult at times for me. But God gave me the post that will end it all on a happy note. I am so excited to write that one…but first I must press on to finish what I started. So part six, let’s begin!

Again, if you are doing the math, you know that the last two pregnancies both have happy endings. Still, they are part of who I am as a mother. As a daughter of the King. As a woman of faith. As a testimony of God’s goodness. And as proof that God hears my cries, and is a genuine God of love. =)

Are you seeing a common trend here? It is not the ‘getting pregnant’ that we struggle with. It is staying that way. I remember praying when we found out about this pregnancy…for the baby to just hang in there. From the time we found out…until I passed the dreaded 16 week mark…I just wanted the baby to hold on for it’s life. Almost like he/she was refusing to be aborted. Remind me to tell you about why that statement is funny later. Lol!

As with the past few pregnancies. We were hesitant to tell many people. When our brand new church was growing and welcoming more and more people, it was only right for those of us at the core to help someone in need. So…as a family of four (no one knew it was soon enough to be five)…we offered to watch two children for a mother in need. She was in trouble with the law in another state…and had to go there for an undesignated amount of time. She was hoping to be gone for only one month…but was very unclear. Her daughter was 4 years old, and her son was 9 months. My son Aiden at that time had just turned 3 and Ariel would have been 1 1/2.

To say that it was a difficult month for me, seems like an understatement. (Pregnancy brings a lot of emotion in me. And for someone who is naturally emotional anyway, “apparently” I was a lot to handle for my husband. =P ) Our stand on the month we had with these two children…was to have an affect. Brendan was little…so we just have to dote and love on him. Lexy was my challenge. Eric and I agreed that we would expect the same from her as we did our own children. Talk about a struggle! But God gave us many opportunities to teach her what a stable family was like. Consistent. Filled with grace and love. And bathed in prayer. By the end of week one she was praying over our meals on her own. (There is nothing like a child’s prayer. Untainted with disappointment. Just belief and expectation. They are such an amazing testimony of how we should approach Christ. I am incredibly thankful to have so many children in my life in that I can learn from!)

We continued on with life as normal. It was July…and that is my husband’s family’s annual camping trip. So…the six of us went. Never have I counted heads so many times. It was not at all relaxing. (Which is a myth about camping anyway…if you are a TENT camper with children. Not much about camping is too ‘relaxing’ when you wake up in puddles.) Funny thing is, out of the 12 or so Knapp Family Campouts that I have been to this was not the one that I did the most crying at. Haha! (That one was yet to come with pregnancy number 7!) For one month God let us affect these two children with love. For one month we cared for them as our own. And as quickly as we acquired them…they were gone…not to be seen again. Would those days leave lasting affects on a 5 year old? I can only pray they did.

Our due date this time was December 1st. I don’t expect you to remember this, but my daughter was born on that date. She was due on the 5th and came 4 days early. God chooses the day of birth for each baby. So when they end of this pregnancy was coming to an end, I was hopeful for another early baby. I figured this baby would come more like a week or so early. My husband and I were preparing for that. If you are a hunter at all…you know that to have a baby due in the first week in December…in Pennsylvania…means that you might quote, “Mess up the first day of hunting.” I am not sure if you would consider your child being born…”messing up your precious hunting time”…(Ha-ha!)…but if you understand that statement…you and my husband would get along beautifully. Lol! I had a list of phone numbers…and an order in which to call them if I thought I was in labor. The last number being my mother-in-law who would then physically drive to the woods and track my husband down to bring him home to me.

The plan was well thought out…and never utilized. (Much to my disappointment.) I did not wish to ruin his hunting tradition…but I was anxious to hold my baby. For the last two weeks or so of my pregnancy…I had to remove myself from our church’s worship team. I was literally bitter that my child was not coming early. I was a huge grump about it. (Ridiculous I KNOW!) I grew more and more angry each day. December 1st came…and went. The 2nd came…and went. I can keep going. Because this happened until December 5th rolled around.

Again…let me set the scene for you. I want you to picture the peaceful scene God had prepared for me. It was late evening. My children were both in bed. My husband even was in bed and sleeping before me. So I decided to take this time to watch a holiday movie. (Eric hates them…and I love them!) Elf was my movie of choice. We had a pellet stove in our cozy little living room. It was the type that shows the flame in the front. So I was sitting next to a warm, flickering, relaxing flame. The hum of the stove was the only noise in the house. Not too long after I settled in to watch my movie I realized I was having contractions. My fear (as with any mother about to deliver) was that I would get to the hospital and they would send me home saying I was not having real contractions. So I waited for a while. Watched my movie breathing through the contractions. Watching the clock. And not waking up my husband.

Soon they were getting more painful and intense. I decided I would like to be freshly showered when I went to the hospital. So I took a long hot shower to help relax me. When I was done I came back to Elf and kept watching. I am fairly sure that I finished it…but I don’t remember for sure. (I was a bit preoccupied. ;) )Pretty soon the contractions were 6 minutes apart so I went to wake up my husband. I expected for him to be excited. Instead he was so mad. Not because I woke him…but because I didn’t. We still had a long process and drive to get everyone to where they needed to go. His nervousness…started to make me nervous.

He called his parents and we got everyone loaded as quickly as we could. As we drove to their house, the pain was becoming more and more intense. When we reached my in-laws house…he told me to stay put while he got the kids out. His brother and mother and father were all up (now in the middle of the night) to help get the kids in. Eric went to get the kids bags and didn’t know which one was mine and the baby’s…and which one stayed with the kids. I did not want to be stuck wearing hospital gowns and using hospital body wash/shampoo all-in-one (there is not a formula that does both of those effectively and well)…so I got out to get the right bag. His brother was freaked out! He was yelling at me to get in the car because I was having a baby and in pain. I assured him I was not having a contraction at that exact moment. His concern was sweet. His yelling at the about to deliver prego woman…questionable. Lol!

As were were on our way to the hospital…which is about an hour drive…I began to not be able to talk any longer when I was experiencing a contraction. We were just outside of our town at this point…and my husband was freaking out a bit. (Whoops!) He was so nervous that we were going to have this baby in our car. Which at this point was an Ford Escape…and very uncomfortable to have contractions in. Having a baby would have been impossible!

We arrived at the hospital around 1am. I am not one to show when I am in pain. I don’t scream or show much indication. So the nurse is calmly asking me questions…and my husband is having to answer for me when sees that I can’t. She did not act like she noticed at first. Every once in a while she would look at me breathing…and see him answer. I honestly think she thought that I was being dramatic a bit and only in the early stages of labor. Because she was still asking questions when my doctor got there and decided she would like to check me. I was 8cm! The nurse was completely shocked. She had no idea how intense it was because I was just concentrating on relaxing and breathing.

Titus Wesley, 8 lbs 2 oz was born at 1:40am on December 6th 2008. The pictures I took of me and him the night of the 6th…are my favorite pictures of me, of all time. Funny huh? When Eric called to tell his parents that we had a healthy baby boy…they couldn’t believe that he came that quickly. I gotta say…laboring at home was much better than sitting in a hospital bed for hours waiting. I had done that already. I prefer my peaceful house, flickering flame, and watching Elf!

A little while after giving birth, my midwife came over and kissed my forehead. She said, “Okay that was easy…let’s do that 3 more times.” I was unsure of whether that was a prophetic word…or just a silly comment. Haha! Eric always did want 6 children…and I always wanted 4. Only time will tell. Only God will instruct. If only we will listen. =)

Now keep in mind, Titus was born very early in the morning on December 6th. When we woke up on December 7th in the hospital we were itching to get home. My husband’s grandfather was celebrating his 80th birthday. He is not much into people fussing over him…so the fact that so many people were coming to show their love for him, was huge. I did not want to have to miss it. We were asking the nurses and doctors all day when we could go home. We finally got the discharge papers…and out we went. We dropped our older two children off at a friends house and went to the party.

His grandpa’s face was priceless. He just shook his head in amazement that we showed up…with our newborn! The party was almost over…but our appearance there was all that mattered. I told him it isn’t like we could come to the next 80th birthday party he had. Haha!

My husband and I believe that there is a lot to a child’s name. The name Titus means defender. He is tough like he refused to be aborted. ;) I love that!

Another chapter in my story. Another life to care for. Another life to teach how to be effective for Christ. Another miracle from my Maker. Another son to love. Another defender for the Kingdom of God. The world needs some Tituses right now don’t they? We have one in the making. =)

What kind of warriors are you raising? What example are you setting for those God has entrusted you with? What kind of love are you teaching them to extend? What type of worship are you inviting them to have with you? What type of praise do they hear come from your lips? What type of situation has to happen to get you to pray as a family? Hopefully none. I pray it is a relationship that never stops. Never waivers. Never doubts. Never gives up. It is never too late. Begin showing a real relationship to your children. Don’t let the enemy have another wasted second of just being busy. Your children (and/or children in your life around you)…are looking up to you. Give them something worthy of imitation!

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