It was a long labor, with lots of back pain. It seemed to go on and on. After such a quick and easy delivery of our first little boy almost 22 months before, this was not as I expected it should go. Yet, my midwives were wonderful and kept encouraging me to rest when I could, drink as much water as I could, and even eat little snacks to keep my energy up. It was also my first home delivery, which was great because I was able to relax in my own home, with my own bed for comfort, and use my own bathtub as much as I wanted, but I was growing tired. I just wanted it to be over so I could rest and hold my little baby in my arms. We had no idea what we were having, which was all a part of the special surprise and wonder of birth. Was it a little boy who was giving me all this trouble, or was it a little girl refusing to come out to meet the world? It was finally around 4:00 when my midwife said we were almost there, but something was holding the birth back. She figured out that the baby was slowing down the process because it seemed to have its little hand on top of his head. It was causing an issue to slow down the dilation and was keeping that last little bit from moving to the side. With her knowledge and know-how, she quickly resolved the issue and within 20 minutes the smallest of all my children entered the world. He was a silent baby and did not let out a sound at first. I had no idea what was going on and the seriousness of why he was not making any sound. I was just basking in the fact that I had another little baby boy to enjoy and that the hardest part of the birth was over. I remember hearing them talking and were discussing something. I heard Auntie Laurie, who had also attended the birth, begin praying. I tried to see what was going on and remember hearing them say that he was not breathing. My midwife began to dig through her bag to find her oxygen as Joe took the matter into his hands and began to pray over our little boy. He laid his hands on his head and commanded life and breath for our baby. God was good and He answered the prayers very quickly for suddenly he took a breath and gave a weak, feeble little cry. We were all relieved to hear he was okay. They placed my little 8 lb baby Caleb into my arms and I got to hold my sweet, chicken legged baby for the first time.
If those first few moments were a sign of what was to come, I may have been a bit afraid to see what the future held. I believe that God is merciful to keep us from knowing the future and all the trials that lay ahead of us because we may opt out of going through things that will help us grow spiritually and closer to Him. We had some tough few months of colic and other issues with our little Caleb, and once he was on the move, he was quite the opposite of our first son. JJ was always so cautious and careful in everything he did, but Caleb was fearless and would leap and then think about what might happen as he sailed through the air. He had to see what was inside every single closed door and sometimes even empty what was behind them. Go, go, go, was (and possibly may still be) Caleb's motto. He has a tender heart though, and if he will just direct that energy into using it for the Lord, he will do mighty things for God.
It has been an incredible journey and all through the day I have been thinking about how much I have changed over the last 14 years, just as he has. He may have been growing physically (he is like a giant now, towering over me and making me feel like a little shrimp), but I have been growing spiritually and in other ways too. As much as I enjoyed my little babies and all their cuteness, I must say I am enjoying my children now that they are becoming teens, learning about life, and becoming young men and women. I had been around little children so much in my life that I often wondered if I could handle teenagers. The world has a way of putting thoughts into your head about how they are horrible years, but with God nothing is impossible. Now that I am in the midst of it, with two teenagers, and another one turning 13 this year, I am enjoying every minute. I can honestly say that it is so much easier than I ever imagined, but all the glory goes to God. I do not take any credit. Even though we do go through some tough days, my children are very polite, helpful, and very considerate to me. They are not rebellious, nor do they give me a hard time when I ask them to do something. As I watch them mature and grow up, I am blessed to say that I love my teenagers, and am enjoying this time much more than I ever imagined. It has been quite a journey, but I would not trade any of it for anything. Happy 14th birthday, Caleb James! We love you and thank the Lord daily for bringing you into our lives!!!!! May He use you to help us continue to grow in patience, love, grace, and wisdom. And may He use you for great things in your life....keep your heart right with Him and always follow Him!
P.S. I would post a pic of Caleb now, but all the pics I have of him lately were promised that I would not post them. I will just have to sneak one without him knowing and post that. :)