What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Saturday, November 29, 2008

I've done it.

Sporatically throughout the day, I have whittled the 287 photos taken in the day and a half I spent at the hospital into several blog posts.

See? I showed *a little* restraint.

My life, in a nutshell.

Consumed with itty scrunched up lips and dark gray eye slits.

I promise. I am done for a little while. :-)

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Black and Whites

The curse of being a mother to a newborn is taking a gazillion photos of the same thing, that look exactly the same way, and still finding them each uniquely wonderful.

I lack the strength and willpower to limit my postings to one. I realize they might SEEM to be redundant to anyone other than myself and so again, I apologize.

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One definite perk to giving birth is the possibility of receiving flowers. My mom, who shares the flower love, didn't disappoint.

She brought the most beautiful roses.

I loved how Bunkin was as long as the stem of the rose.

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Oh yeah...the stats

Forgot to mention the grueling details:

"Little" Adele has followed in line with the other children. Newmans can't make small babies.

Adele was 8 pounds, 14 ounces and 22 inches long.

In truth, I was expecting much worse...

Now for the lesser known facts.

Her littlest toe on her right foot lies horizonally across the other toes on her foot, as if they are crossed, and her right ear curls down in just the cutest way.

Seems she has been squished for quite a while!
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Master Swaddler

This man has got the touch.

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the suspense

We did something not very nice when Adele was born.

We didn't tell Matt's parents what Bunkin WAS.

The conversation went something like this:

Matt: "Congratulations! You guys are grandparents....AGAIN!"

G & L: "Yeah?!? Well, WHAT is it?!?"

Matt: "ummmm....a baby! You'll have the wait until you get to the hospital to find out!"

But the general jist of it was this: "We ain't TELLIN', na na na na na!"

Yeah. It was mean. It was CRUEL.

But, there was a REASON.

The reason being? They were taking care of our other children and well, can't keep a secret.

I REALLY wanted to see the look on Corynn's face when she found out what Bunkin was. It was she, after all, who has "prayed out my window for a little sister."

And it was worth it too. Because she was beyond thrilled.

Several times throughout the visit she would say: "I think that I must be dreaming..."

And of course, Panda loves his new di-da too.

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I think Grandma and Grandpa (Matt's parents) eventually forgave us. ;-)

And of course, my parents came! Even my sister was able to come that evening, though I was too beat to pick up a camera by then.

I am especially thankful for their visits, knowing that the providence of our move closer was what had allowed it.

I am so thankful for all those sharing in our joy.

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Going Home

We were discharged from the hospital on Thanksgiving~ so no hospital turkey, after all.

We ended up going straight to Matt's parents' house to get "real food" without the work~we stopped by our house only long enough to grab a few diapers, a blanket and Motrin.

It was a LONG day~ we didn't get home until around 7:30. I didn't do a lick, and the children were great, but by the end of the day I was exhausted.

I struggled too, knowing that I was missing the van der Jagt Thanksgiving.

Emotional and physical exhaustion. What a combination! :-)

As you can see by these photos, Bunkin's handmade going home outfit DID end up getting coordinated booties and a hat.

So happy I got it done in time, and yet: in the grand scheme of things~it doesn't matter worth a lick. She is just as cute NAKED.

In fact, maybe even CUTER.

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Friday, November 28, 2008

The Sprint

~The Inevitable Birth Story~
my apologies

Wednesday night was any other night. Two weeks worth of my body crying wolf had me doubting that it would ever speak the truth and so I ignored the nightly contractions-as I had done the night before, and the night before that.

Off and on during the night I would wake up, uncomfortable and in pain~but that too was no different than before.

At 4:00 am I woke and went to the bathroom and thought how odd-they are more painful this time. Perhaps this is the time? I still had my doubts so I went to bed again. This time, with a watch to see how far apart the contractions were. But as I crawled in bed Matt turned and gave a drowsy "How do you feel?"

I had anticipated his question (he has asked me that before while sleeping), and I had assumed I would say "fine"-waiting to be SURE this time was IT before I stirred him. But my mouth blurted out "It's time to call your parents". I was surprised that I had said that. Before the words had even left my lips, he had become fully awake and said "WHAT?"

And the hustle began. He called. They came. We left, but not before I wrote a letter to my children. A letter explaining what was happening, and how dear they were to me.

We arrived at the hospital at 5:15 where I was monitered for a short while, checked and told I was dilated 5-6 cm. A happy surprise. No WONDER they were getting so intense!

It has been my hope to try the hot water bath since my FIRST pregnancy and so I requested it and they happily obliged. "But it takes about 10-15 minutes to fill..." I heard someone say.

Oh my-how painful the contractions were! How quickly they were coming! I couldn't walk through them. I couldn't think.

15 minutes later, the tub was filled and I was excited: but the nurses said they ought to check me again before I get in (since waterbirths weren't protocol and they thought I might be progressing too fast). Turns out, I was 9 1/2 cm dilated at that point. And they told me I wasn't allowed.

Oh-the PAIN! The disappointment!

I went into the shower since water is water, RIGHT?!? Especially HOT.

Then, I apologized because I noticed I had splashed the nurses shirt with the shower. I felt really bad. She laughed.

It wasn't long though-before standing seemed too difficult and I went into the bed. I prayed. and prayed. and prayed. Probably the same few words, over and over. "Help me Lord. Help me through this. Sustain me. Please Lord. PLEASE LORD."

Bunkin was born at 6:40... only an hour and a half after arriving at the hospital.

Everyone's delivery stories are uniquely their own and yet very similar. The ending is still the same, after all. This story is carbon copy of many deliveries, no doubt. But it is mine, and my own personal sprint resulted in my own personal trophy...and a lovely one at that.

Three things stand out in my mind though. Three things that separate me from the rest of the women-and from the rest of my deliveries:

1) I broke my own water. Both previous pregnancies they had to be "popped". Remember the nurse who I profusely apologized to for splashing with shower water? She just HAPPENED to be at the foot of the bed when I couldn't take it anymore. I popped that sucker SO hard that I HEARD a pop and then a HUGE splash. I mean, NIAGRA FALLS people! Then, the crowd roared with applause as Megan (poor girl) squished away to get a new shirt. And pants. AND shoes. Their laughter didn't get a chance to quiet before it erupted again: when I said directly afterward:

"MAN, that felt GOOD!"


2) My husband was the center of my world. Previously, he has taken a backseat while I was laboring-taking it all in quietly and emotionally. I relied heavily on nurses to get me through. But not this time. Besides the "wet nurse", I saw no one but him. He held me through contractions and squeezed as hard as he could until the contraction was over. I remember wondering how he knew when he could tighten his grip on me-he did so perfectly timed. He knew. He knew what I needed and how to give it...without me even hinting. Looking in his eyes gave me strength. Being in his arms gave me comfort. And hearing his voice encouraged me. He was so incredible. So amazing. I just can't thank God enough for this man He has gifted me.


3) The midwife and nurses laughed at me when I asked them to hand me my camera bag just minutes after giving birth. I hadn't yet delivered the placenta, in fact. But his face. My husband's face. The look on it when he saw our daughter. It was so precious. So priceless. I never wanted to forget that look. I wanted our daughter to see it in his eyes too, someday. So~not quite done with delivery~ I started snapping away. My legs were noodles and my body was shaking-but I snapped away anyway.

With shaking hands, it's no wonder the picture didn't turn out. (whaaaaaahhh.) But even the blurred image makes me melt.

And now....I want to be a photographer who specializes in labor and delivery. I won't have post-delivery camera shake to contend with at OTHER babies' births. Right?!?

SO much pain you go through during delivery~but it takes just SECONDS to turn your grimacing face into one of total contentment.

Not the most photogenic photo of myself, but the contentment written all over my face IS a beautiful thing.

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Meet Our Bunkin

How does one go about convey with words, the heartsongs within?

How can one adequately record a life-changing moment, or string of moments without dulling their shine?

Two hours I've sat here, while my children three are resting~knowing full well I should be taking advantage of the quiet with my own slumber and yet, here I pour over the snapshot memories of life's most precious stream of moments. Remembering them. Reliving them. I want to share with the WORLD what is on my heart, so brimming it is it may burst! Yet, I have pondered how to convey my thoughts, my feelings but to no avail. I will not do them justice, no matter how hard I try. Rebecca...speechless? I certainly am.

Perhaps the lack of tongue, in and of itself, conveys the abundance of my heart.

Words may come, but until then...meet our Bunkin.

Our sweet little 48 hour old girl.

Though in these photos, she was only about three hours old. Give or take.

I have loved her from the moment I knew of her being. I have loved the idea of her~the hope for her~the prayers of her long before even that. For nine months, I carried her within my womb and under my heart; Bunkin was the child of my thoughts~the name lifted up in thanksgiving and supplication~the owner of fingers and toes that stretched and rolled and tickled me~ and so I have found it difficult to call her by any other name. Bunkin she is still, in my thoughts~though more names have been added.

Squeaky door.


Sweetling and dear.

And one more:

Adele Genevieve

Adele (pronounced A-dah-lay)
Genevieve~ Matt's great grandmothers name

Noble woman

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

No Foolin'

We'll be having turkey at the hospital.

More to come later tonight, stayed tuned.

Mama and Bunkin are both doing fine and Bunkin likes the way Mama looks on the outside too.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Where to begin?

I'm feeling a bit glum this day, which is really quite foolish given the events of the day.

Shall I go over them?

~ I woke up, turned over, and snuggled into my wonderfully cozy and warm hubby this morning. After sleeping in. There was no hurried goodbye whispers-or footsteps on the stairs at O-dark-thirty. This is because~ my wonderfully cozy and warm hubby took the rest of the week off. Or, at least the three days surrounding the HOLIDAY that he got off automatically with his new job. I stayed in bed and massaged my Bunkin, smiling to myself as I heard him getting the kids breakfast this morning-and heard them shouting their dreams and interrupting each other in their excitement that Papa was home. It was a nice way to get out of bed, even if their excitement hurt MY ears, a whole floor above.

~We picked up our newly purchased new (to us) VAN this morning~so the WHOLE Newman family can ride-get this- ALL TOGETHER-once Bunkin comes. It drives like a dream and is wonderfully, amazingly spacious. AND~ I don't have to crouch down and lumber into the low seat of a small Chevy Cobalt ANYMORE.

~ I got grocery shopping done-including stocking up on .49c Turkey meat and Buy 1 Get 2 Free deals. And I paid half price for loads of bread at Aldi. And I went to CVS, spent $40.00 and have about $70 worth of ECBS-plus lots of goodies. And I went to the library. All these things, during NAPTIME which means: alone. Which is, no doubt, why I actually was able to LOOK for deals like that.

Overall, it was an incredibly good day.

Yet~ glum I am. There is a heavy burden weighing on me and I just can't seem to discover the solution.

The burden?


My Oma, if one recalls, is quite sick with ANOTHER bout of cancer. This time, the worst of the worst. The prognosis is grim, to say the least. "Three to Six months"-bleak declarations, from educated minds. To put a timeframe on a life~it is a horrible thing. Following days and weeks string of host of holidays, each of which is being considered the final pearl. Oma's last Thanksgiving. Her last birthday. Likely, her last Christmas and the final stepping into a new year. All the family is gathering together this Thanksgiving. All are coming to celebrate her life, and show gratitude for her in OUR lives. I was to be among them. All would be well, thought I, since Bunkin would SURELY deliver by THEN.

But Bunkin is cozy and contented for now, and I am left with a very hard decision. A predicament. One that I am not wise enough to decide the outcome of.

Should I go, large with child, three hours from home, midwife, and all that is familiar~ to be near those dear to me~ knowing that the midwife anticipates a more speedy delivery considering all my nights filled with contractions? Should I chance it, having no idea when Bunkin should decide to greet the world?

My mind says an emphatic no. My heart says otherwise.

On the other hand, it is quite possible that Bunkin will continue to enjoy his/her home within. Babies are born later than their due dates every day. A due date, after all, is just an educated GUESS. How horrible would it be, NOT to go, only to give birth a week later? Futile. Pointless. and just plain AWFUL.

The other option is to go to Matt's parents' house for their annual shin-dig but that seems so....superficial to me right now. And I LOVE my in-laws. But, I know that there is something much larger this year. I know that I will find it hard to be grateful among the food and football~knowing that I will be missing out on the FAMILY. The life. The love. And the thanksgiving to God.

Then of course, the last option: that I go into labor ON Thanksgiving. But, I really can't imagine hospital stuffing as that delectable. And Turkey on a styrofoam plate? That is just plain wrong. Certainly not worth the bill, in my estimation.

Bunkin has surely complicated things this year-and I only wish I knew what was best to do.
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Monday, November 24, 2008

See? It's not just you!

I am just generally very naughty when it comes to teasing people.


(ps. The "Justin Matice" inside joke comes from a movie...anyone know which one?!?)
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Sunday, November 23, 2008


We spent the whole day yesterday at Gram's house, celebrating with her family and her the 90 years God has given her. It was a beautiful day.

I secretly hoped to give birth yesterday, so that Bunkin and Gram might share a birthday separated by nearly a century-but it didn't end up happening. :-(

Since I missed THAT milestone, maybe I will hope to be LATE in delivering~ my Oma's birthday is on December 2!

Plus, an added tidbit: Corynn and Andrew were both born on the SECOND day of other months.

So....that is what I am now shooting for.

Bunkin, how's December 2nd sound to you?

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