The verses that have REALLY spoken to me (Sarah) lately....
"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock." Matthew 7:24-25
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. I Peter 5:8-9
From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. For in him we live and move and have our being. As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.' Acts 17:26-28
May the words of my mouth and the mediation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock, and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14
So be careful to do what the Lord your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left. Walk in all the way that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess. Deuteronomy 5:32-33
God, our God, will take care of the hidden things but the revealed things are our business. It's up to us and our children to attend to all the terms in this Revelation. Deuteronomy 29:29 (The Message)
We are Marc, Sarah, Luke, and Kate Friesen. We were married June 5, 2004. We have one son, born July 21, 2008, named Luke Andrew -- now 4 years old. We also have a daughter named Kate Christine -- born June 6, 2012. Marc is working at Cessna as a Senior Accountant, and Sarah stays home full-time with Luke. Sarah also gets to work very part-time at home for Graber Backhoe -- an excavation company AND VERY part-time at our church. We LOVE being a part of Grace Community Church here in Newton, KS. We lead a Community Life Group of other wonderful couples. Marc thoroughly enjoys long-distance running and Taekwondo. Sarah thoroughly enjoys walking -- especially when the weather is nice to take Luke and/or out in the stroller. Thanks for reading our blog!
Many of you know, especially if you read THIS POST, that Kate was born a bit early -- 35 weeks, 5 days gestation; a month exactly early to her due date.
While a month early isn't extremely early (of which I'm grateful), it still is early. Kate was officially deemed "late premature."
Before Kate was born (I'm talking about an hour or so before she was born), we, or especially I, were/was warned about a couple of things that could happen because of the 35 weeks (ONLY) gestation.
She could have a bit difficulty breathing -- at least for the shortterm (especially because she was also going to be a C-Section baby). She may have a difficult time maintaining her temperature. She may have some feeding problems.
When Kate was born (and I closed my eyes and simply prayed that she'd be O.K.), she was crying unassisted. Granted, the cry was VERY WEAK. But, she was getting air to do it on her own -- before she was ever handed over to the pediatrican and the respiratory therapist. I can honestly say that I've never been so grateful to hear a cry. Fortunately, Kate ended up needing ZERO assistance breathing.
The nurses brought Kate to me in my hospital room probably 1 1/2 hours or so after she was born (I think -- time all is a blur from that day). They didn't let me nurse her because she was cold. Ultimately, Kate did spend the entire first night in "Special Care Nursery" because she was NOT maintaining her temperature (I can't complain -- we were warned). Unfortunately, because of the C-Section, I was unable to ever go and see her in the nursery. So, I basically went almost the first 24 hours without really holding her. But, I knew she was well cared for. Also, Marc frequently went into the nursery (throughout the night) to check on her.
When it was determined that she could maintain a little better temperature control, Kate was brought to my room (almost 24 hours old at that point). She was swaddled in THREE blankets....and she remained that way for a couple of more days until it went down to swaddling with TWO blankets. Also, when she was first brought to me, Kate had an IV (looked sad). The pediatrician was afraid she had an infection. She took a culture; however, it took 48 hours to get the results. So, the IV was started right away to prevent any potential infection from getting worse. FORTUNATELY, the culture came back negative. Kate was fine!
Eating was a bit of an issue; however, it wasn't as bad as it could have been. Despite not being able to nurse for her first 24 hours, when Kate did finally get to nurse, she actually did quite well (completely DIFFERENT scenario from her brother, who was a TERRIBLE feeder -- despite a full-term pregnancy). But, typical of almost ALL newborns BUT even more so with Kate, Kate was extremely sleepy. Breastfeeding really wore her out.
Around 48 hours or so, it was determined that Kate would not go home after 3 nights in the hospital -- like her mother. FORTUNATELY, the hospital, even after my dismissal, would let me keep my room. I just wouldn't receive any services (pain medication, etc.). I would need to be there to feed her every 3 hours, on the clock, but otherwise, I could leave. I only left 2 times during that time when I was dismissed and Kate was still a patient. SO, Kate spent a total of 5 nights in the hospital. I was a patient 3 of those nights. (I hope that all makes sense).
The pediatrician and lactation consultants put Kate on a strict feeding schedule that involved me breastfeeding as well as supplementing with formula. I listened to and obeyed that schedule from the beginning. I absolutely did not want Kate to have to stay in the hospital any longer, and I did not want her to have to return as a patient once she was dismissed.
At a little over a week, Kate was STILL LOSING weight. That made this Mama extremely nervous. But, I was reassured that it was normal in late pre-term babies. So, I kept up with the schedule and visited the lactation consultant frequently. At two weeks and one day, Kate FINALLY hit her birth weight and hasn't stopped since then (she's chunked up nicely now).
When I asked about Kate's slow gaining of weight (in the beginning; clearly, not now), I was told that late pre-term babies (and obviously premature babies) use SO many calories just to breathe, digest, etc....SO, that was the reason I was to supplement with formula right away. I was also told at that time (first couple of weeks) to spend NO MORE than 30 minutes on a feeding. If I would've spent more than 30 minutes on a feeding, Kate would've been burning off more calories that she would've been taking in....resulting in NO weight gain. It was almost a bit of a game -- to get her fed correctly and to gain weight properly.
So many people have said to me, "Oh, 35 weeks is no big deal...she's fine." (Thinking that at least she wasn't born much earlier). While Kate definitely had an advantage of 35 weeks gestation (compared to much earlier), it still was a bit tricky at first. It did take a little bit more TLC than normal. I didn't take her out very much at first. I most certainly wasn't in church with her for several Sundays. It stressed me out to have too many people at our house at one time. I flat out had to tell people not to have too many people over and to keep visits short. I'm SUPER glad we're past that "Kate being born early stage." I feel like Kate has made GREAT strides (her weight proves it). Words cannot simply describe how much I've been taught about gratefulness throughout this ordeal. Words cannot describe how much I've been taught about God's GRACE in this ordeal. It is NOTHING but God's GRACE that kept both Kate and me SAFE during this ordeal. I didn't deserve it....I'm not saying that because I think I'm a bad person. I simply am saying that because the older I get, the more I realize just how backwards this world is from the way God originally intended it in the beginning. Sin entered this world (see Genesis 3), and since then, it's been an imperfect place. We're all sinners (see Romans 3:23), including me. I'm SO grateful (more and more each day) for Jesus Christ dying for my sins. I'm SO grateful, I'm saying it again, for GRACE. And, I believe I'm slowly starting to understand more about GRACE each day. Parenting has taught me that. Yep, I have a LONG WAYS to fully get GRACE. But, little blessings like Kate being O.K. and Luke are one step closer :)