One of the reasons I have decided to start blogging is that a few people have asked me to write about the birth of my daughter, Annelise Hope Henry. So, here goes!
My husband and I have 6 sons, 1 in heaven, and 5 raising hell here on earth!!! We had always hoped for a daughter, but it never seemed to be God's plan for our family. After the birth of our youngest son, we decided that our quiver was full and we were going to put the idea of a daughter out of our minds and be content, and we truly were content, with raising our 5 sons!
Our boys are all very close in age, just under 2 years apart. So when my youngest son turned 3 I breathed a sigh of bittersweet relief and said goodbye to pregnancy, labour, birth, breastfeeding, nappies, teething, prams, and all things 'baby'! I began to ponder what the future might look like for me once my 3 year old was at school in 18 months time. I thought of work and study but no 'career' seemed to fit as well as that of 'Mum'. I prayed to God for direction ... and I received my answer in the form of two blue lines on a pregnancy test!!!! So, I was to be a stay home mum for another 5 years at least!!!
With all thoughts of a career put out of my mind, I began to try to get my head around the fact that I was going to be starting back at square one again! I let the occasional wistful thought go through my head about what it might be like to have a little girl, but I felt that I could not pray for a little girl as God had already given me this baby, and He had a plan for it. So I hoped for a daughter only. "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.'" Jeremiah 29:11 popped into my head often in these early pregnancy days.
The pregnancy continued as pregnancies do, slowly yet quickly! All of a sudden, the date of our 18 week scan rolled around. My husband and I waited with anticipation as the sonographer checked all the important measurements of our baby. Finally, it came time to check the sex of our baby..."that looks like a girl to me" he said, "check again" said my husband!!! 5 checks later, "I'm 99.9% sure that you are having a baby girl!" Tears of joy rolled down my face!!! All that I had hoped and dreamed for was becoming reality and I was filled with thankfulness for my baby girl.
My husband and I had the name 'Annelise Hope' picked out since my 2nd or 3rd pregnancy. 'Anne' is my middle name and 'Elise' is my sisters name, and 'Hope' just seemed to fit considering how long we had hoped for a daughter. So we instantly knew what we would name our baby girl!
The next few months I spent creating the world's pinkest nursery and gathering a wardrobe of adorable little clothes. I savoured every moment of pinkness and felt like a little girl playing house as I sorted tiny dresses and pulled out my old dollies!
Finally, the long awaited 38 weeks came, and so did a few minor contractions!!! I was so excited, soon I would meet my baby daughter! Little did I know, that these contractions would come and go for an entire week!!!! On the morning of the day that I was 39 weeks pregnant, I woke up and the contractions had become more serious! So my hubby took the day off work and we got our boys ready for school and kindy, dropped them off, and headed off to the hospital. By 11am the contractions had stopped completely, in fact I was the most comfortable I had been for a week! So the midwife advised us to go home, have a rest, and get ready as we were booked in for an induction that night.
I went home, feeling very dissapointed, and had some lunch and tucked myself into bed. At 1.30pm I woke feeling uncomfortable as the contractions had started again. I decided to go and have a bath and wait a little longer for the contractions to get stronger before going back to the hospital. At about 2.00pm the contractions had gotten stronger and I began to feel like I'd like some pain relief! My husband decided to quickly go and pick up the boys and my Dad, who was going to look after the boys for us while we were at the hospital. At about 2.30pm I heard the washing machine finish, so I got out of the bath, got dressed and went to swap the washing over. While I was in the laundry, I felt that I needed to go to the toilet, so I headed for the ensuite. As I stood up from the toilet, I felt a head pop out! I knew I had to jump on the bed quickly, so praying 'oh God, oh God' that's exactly what I did! Annelise was born as soon as I was on the bed!!!
In shock, I picked up my slippery, screaming pink bundle and wrapped her in a robe I had hanging over the end of the bed! I had the phone on the bed beside me so I picked it up and called 000 for an ambulance. The man next door heard the crying of my baby and yelled that he was sending in the lady across the road, and was thatok? I yelled that it certainly was! She came in and took the phone and looked after me as she was instructed by the ambos until my poor, unsuspecting Husband, Father, and 5 sons arrived!!! Not the pretty, cleaned up version of a sister that I had hoped to present to my sons!!! Not long after they arrived, so did the ambulance. My husband was able to cut the cord, and the ambos looked after Annelise and I.
Hours later, I was sitting in a hospital bed, unable to sleep, looking at a sleeping little pink bundle. I could hardly believe that it had actually happened!!!
My little girl is now 9 weeks old and time is flying by! I still look at her and can't help but marvel at how amazing it is that I am holding her in my arms!!! What a precious blessing she is! How lovely that a daughter WAS part of God's plan for us!!!