Today was a very special day... not only was it Mother's Day and I'm so thankful for the 3 sweet blessings that allow me to celebrate this day, we also dedicated Eliza Hope.
Pastor Mark asked if I would share a condensed version of her birth story, a testimony of God at work, and this is what I shared:
***When I think about all the events and details that went into Eliza's birth, I'm reminded of how truly amazing our God is and what a blessing it is to be His child and serve Him. We chose her name because of it's meaning, Eliza Hope which means "My God IS, Hope" and that meaning is what got me through a very tramatic labour and delivery.
My labour and delivery went extremely fast and as quickly as the excitement built in knowing 'this was it'... arriving at the hospital led us into a quick spiral of fear and uncertainity.
It wasn't long after I had been admitted that I thought I'd lost Eliza. I thought I would be leaving the hosptial having given birth but no baby to take home. But in the midst of this fear came an unbelievable sense of peace, that could only come from God. I was reminded that God had given us her, that He had given us her name and that He would protect her... in my mind I thought how could He not with that name?
After being confident that God was watching over her, I thought that it was me that was on my way to meet Jesus. I remember everything going very fuzzy and then seeing Isabella and Isaiah with Mike and thinking, "I'm going to meet Jesus. I love them very much but know they will be well taken care of." And just like that, I again felt an overwhelming peace about death and an excitement about meeting Jesus face to face... something that has always been a bit of a struggle for me.
And then I felt a slap on my face and realized this was reality and I had just given birth without any real recollection of it. I was congratulated on a job well done and told how I saved myself from having surgery. I was still a bit grogy and trying to figure out all that had gone on but I knew that God was there and that He had been with me through it all. I've never felt so loved by Him, I've never know peace like I did in those moments, and I've never been more confident that our God provides Hope and that He IS and always will be.
After the fact, I was able to see His hand in many of the smaller things. Having my family insist that I call Emelda for wisdom on when I should go to the hospital. If I had waited much longer, it could have been much worse. The fact that my labour and delivery happened so fast saved me from having to have a c-section and gave me the desire of my heart: a natural delivery without an epidural. And a little thing on top of that, I had a terrible cough that I could only imagine how painful it would have made a c-section recovery. Having Tim show up in the operating hall, I knew that God was not just watching over us girls but Mike as well as Tim was able to keep Mike updated on what was going on. Reading Eliza's discharge papers and seeing that her Apgar score at 1 minute after birth was a 9.... I still think that's amazing considering she was under fetal distress and born with the help of a vacuum.
I've been a Christ follower for 11 years and I've always understood that God is alive and at work today. I've always known that He provides Hope. But the birth of Eliza is a daily reminder of His hope. And in choosing her name, our prayer is that she will be one who brings the Hope of Christ to others. Little did we know that her birth story would be such a testimony to the truth of what her name means.***
After church we came home and rested and in the evening we had our usual, relaxing Sunday evening... friends over for dinner and a movie. The kids were in heaven having Auntie Frances, Becky and Arthur to play with. I enjoyed the wonderful dinner Mike cooked for us... amazing steak and baked potatoes! And Mike surprised with me some foot scrub and lotion (from the kids) for 'making me run after them so much.' (I thought this was clever.) And by telling me he ordered a necklace I've had my eye on for months now. It's a beautiful hand stamped necklace... 3 circles with 3 different Chinese lanterns and each one with a child's name on it. I can't wait until it arrives!
There is nothing greater or more fulfilling to me that being a Mom. The hugs, the smiles, the pitter patter of little feet.... Not every day is easy and there are many challenges along the road but it's so rewarding to see your child develop and grow, learn something new... see them blossom. I never knew such little people could bring such great joy and now I have 3... I'm spoiled!