Beautiful day

On Tuesday (September 25), I went to my midwife appointment with Peggy - Mom went with me. To start off the appointment, I asked Peggy all my questions from the last month of pregnancy. One of them was about my ear piercing that had grown increasingly infected over the last three weeks. I'd tried an antibiotic while we were at Magone, but nothing changed. I showed Peggy the piercing and she said, "Well, let's get that thing out of there!" Next thing I knew, I was laying on my side with one nurse holding a clamp to the front of my earing, Mom holding onto my legs, and Peggy working to twist the back side of my earring off the bar. Yes, it hurt. I spent the whole time laughing nervously. It was no good! And yet I still chuckle thinking about it...

Next, we whipped out the heart monitor so we could check in with the baby. My uterus has been a problem as we've tried to use the heart monitor before - just too tilted to get a good sound. We couldn't find a heart beat so we all moved into the ultrasound room. The baby came up very clearly on the screen, but we couldn't find the heart beat right away. Finally Peggy spotted some slow movement, but it was only in one of the four chambers of the baby's heart. I began to cry.

Peggy called the hospital and had the x-ray department fit us into their schedule; we had to know for sure if the baby was dead. Before leaving her office, Peggy pulled me into a room and told me that she wasn't holding onto hope for the little one.

On the way across the street, to the hospital, Mom began to try to get Nate on the phone. I called and left a message for Karen (Nate's mom). We just didn't know what to do or who to call. I knew the baby was dying, but I wasn't sure how to go about telling people that. Poor Karen; she ended up with the most blunt message on her machine.

Nate met me in the ultrasound room at the hospital in time to see a few of the pictures and find out for sure that the baby had died. We talked to Peggy on the phone and she gave us the option of checking into Labor & Delivery, or going home and waiting for my body to expel the baby naturally when it was time. There was no way I was going home to sit around waiting, knowing that I was carrying a dead baby in my abdomen. Not a chance.

We were placed in room 2417 at Portland Adventist Hospital. It took forever for me to compel myself to get into that bed, fully knowing how it was going to end. There was no treasure at the end of this path. Nate and I prayed together and wept hard. God gave me some calm, just enough in that moment to get me to change and climb into that bed. That became typical of Him over the next four days. He kept giving me exactly what I needed, just when I needed it. I don't pretend to understand the why behind what happened, but I know that no matter what, He's been with me every step of the way.

As has my husband. Nate is the most amazing man I've ever met. I'm so proud of him, and so proud to be his wife. We had a precious little baby boy together, who we'll meet down the road. The four days in the hospital were so hard, but so good. I don't expect any of you out there to understand that, but our experience was remarkable. God gave us amazing nurses along with Peggy. They were all incredibly supportive and encouraging. We did some laughing, we did a lot of crying.

God moved between Nate and I in such unexpected ways. He's carried us through when we thought there was no bit of strength left in either of us. He's made Himself very real. We know He has a greater plan through this; at this point, I don't expect to find out what that is, but I know that it'll be an incredible blessing.

We named the baby Nathaniel Micheal Banks - Nathaniel after Nate, obviously, Micheal after my middle name, Michelle. He was born on Friday, September 28, 2007, 1:56am. He doesn't get a record of life, just a record of death. We were given only limited opportunities to be his parents in action: so we held onto him and cried, we handed him over and cried, we left the hospital and cried, we buried him and cried. But we'll always be his parents. It's amazing how much love can grow in such a short amount of time! Three months ago I wasn't even sure I wanted to be a mom, but now I can hardly wait for the next little baby to come along!

Nathaniel was a precious gift, one that God used to unite Nate and I like nothing else ever has. I found in my husband a strong man, filled with passion and emotion and love. He stood by my side through every miserable pelvic exam, a thousand IV pokes, and two epidurals. I'm so proud of him, and so thankful!

So I say Friday was a beautiful day because I met my little boy that day; because I really truly recognized the love of my life in Nate; and because God met me exactly where I was.


Magone 2007

This was the third year Nate and I tagged along to Magone. And once more it was highly enjoyable!

A few pictures...

Rameus took up his usual camping position: In a chair by the fire wrapped up in a blanket.

Mom shot a bird (the only killing we did; Nate was too kind to the fish so he let go what he caught), so this picture is of Dad taking a picture of Mom and the bird. I laugh every time I look at this one!

Nate and I at the top of Lake Butte. Magone lake is far to our left, not at all in the picture, but, if you had been there with us, you could have seen the lake :) The weather warmed up during the day, so we were able to pare down to long-sleeved clothing items, but at night, it was oh-so-cold! The tent flap zipper broke on our tent, so we slept with just the mesh closed. Good times :)

Susanville is one of our favorite stops while at Magone. Two years ago we went through the little leftover buildings, Mom, Dad, & Nate climbed through a deserted mine while I sat in the car keeping guard, and then we drove down toward the creek to have lunch and do some shooting. This year, when we turned on the road toward Susanville, we began to see signs for no trespassing. But the road belonged to the National Forest, so we kept going. We got to the mine and the whole thing was barred off; and I had even been willing to venture inside this time! (Lucky break for me the mine was closed.) As we drove along further, we actually passed between two no trespassing signs posted right on the either side of the road. This was just after passing a "You're now leaving Malheur National Forest" sign...We figured it was for real. So we went back to the flat spot by the creek, ate lunch, and then packed out. We had to find another deserted road to do some shooting. So this picture is taken of the truck's hitch with our reflection in Susanville. That was probably the last time we'll ever get to see the abandoned buildings and the effects of hydro mining! So sad...

I just thought that this was a pretty picture of Dakota. She never sits still long enough for me to get good shots, so this was a pleasant surprise.

This is what I usually get from her:

Dad and Mom brought some super burning wood from home, but we powered through it very quickly, so Dad and Nate found some rounds to chop up at the campsite. They picked them up at other, empty sites and brought them over to ours. Then they rolled them up a small hill to a flat spot to take the wedge and axe to them.

Dad chopping...

Nate chopping...

I have the best picture of Nate from when he was done chopping. He's all sprawled out in one of the camp chairs, looking completely spent. I couldn't put it here because it's sideways and I'm lazy :) I'm working on what feels like a thousands posts right now, so bear with me as I trudge my way through the past few weeks. Lots and lots of posts to catch up on...

Our love to you all!


Baby room...

So, I don't have a picture of our bed nook to post so you guys get an idea of the room, but I'll do that soon. Meanwhile, here are a few links of designs that have given me some inspiration...

This is the cake lady who started it all (check out all her links on this page, aren't they great???) and this is another Whimsical cake that I like.

This is a Striped Whimsey Polly's Cakes original...isn't it pretty??? So, I'm sure this design works primarily for little girls--not sure what to do with a boy's room, but I'll figure it out if that's the case :)


Baby Banks Update

So things are going well! I'm praying very hard that my morning sickness is good and over by this Saturday. Week 13 officially begins on Thursday, and I really need to be done with throwing up in the morning by Saturday because, well, that's the date of my first BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) leader's meeting. I have to get up by 4:45am in order to eat and get ready to make it to the 6am meeting. Feel free to pray along with me that week 13 marks a marvelous change in this pregnancy! Baby and I both appreciate your prayers :)

Nate and I have chosen a Nurse midwife as our pregnancy/labor caregiver. Her name is Peggy and she's fantastic! She's a believer, which has been such a comfort. She's been so encouraging as we've talked through all the changes and flat out weirdness that comes along with pregnancy. The first time I met with her, about five weeks ago, we couldn't get the heart beat to come through on the sound monitor, so we had to do an ultrasound. The baby moved! It was crazy...

Crazier still is the fact that Nate and I will be going into her office in five weeks to find out the sex of the baby...It's nuts that we're already to that point. We still have no idea what we're doing, really. I think we've made a nursery decision, though! Our bedroom is enormous, with a bed nook, sitting room, and extra large bathroom that just keeps on going. Nate had the fabulous idea that we should put our bed in the sitting room area and turn the bed nook into the nursery. That will probably work really well for quite awhile, but when we need to change things around, my office will suffice as a nursery once we move all the books into the bed nook and make it a reading room. My husband's the smartest of them all :)

Before I sign off, any guesses on the sex of the baby???? Feel free to comment :)

We'll keep you updated as we learn more! Blessings on you all!