The Arrival of Emmanuel Josiah

So, after weeks of waiting on my baby to arrive I was finally at my breaking point. On May 11, I laid down and spoke with Peanut and God to please come soon. I just couldn’t see myself going another three weeks.

Sure enough, at 6:15am I got out of bed to go to the restroom and there goes my water…right down my legs. I was pretty surprised because only 12% of women actually have their water break before labor. It was a moment of complete relief and joy because I knew then that I was going to see my peanut sooner rather than later. I did not have to wait another 1-3 weeks! The look on Ramons face was priceless. You could tell he was excited. It was a refining moment for our family. We are now two on the verge of becoming three. I sent my midwife Laura Cochran  and her assistant Amy Berrelli a text letting them know what was going on. Laura was calm cool and collective. I just continued to keep her updated.

I did not immediately go into labor. In fact I was feeling cramps but I didn’t recognize them as labor pains until 11:45am when they got more intense. At that point Ramon began timing them. They fluctuated between 4-22 minutes apart for 25hrs averaging at times between 4-10minutes apart. During this time Ramon and I labored on our own. In fact it was really amazing. I baked chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin cookies and had the most amazing cheese steak w/cheese wiz for dinner and we went to bed. The contractions at this point were strong enough that I could not sleep throughout the night. I slept in between contractions and while a contraction was in effect I would moan or vocalize to get through them. I constantly kept Laura updated and she would continue to encourage me and tell me to be sure to sleep because I was going to need it later. She also wanted me to call her when I needed her presence.  Well, I felt pretty darn good on my own. With Ramons help it was painful but manageable so I just kept on laboring. It wasn’t until 5ish am that things started getting a bit more intense and Laura suggest Ramon fill up the tub. I tell ya, when I got in the tub the pain decreased by 50%. It was amazing!!!!!!

Amy arrived first then Laura shortly after around 8ish that morning on May 13. Around 10:30am Laura checked me and then told me that she would like to give me on some herbal remedies to try to speed along the process, she asked me if I would like some benedryl too so that I can get a few hours of sleep. Of course I said yes to that. I ended up getting about 2 1/2 hrs of sleep and boy did I need it. About an hour later she checked me again and at this point she gave me two options. #1 to continue laboring like I was which I could do however it was unproductive or #2 enjoy a delicious peanut butter, chocolate and castor oil milk shake :) Oh joy…No seriously…That shake was DELICIOUS! Obviously, you know what option I chose. As I sipped on my castor oil shake Ramon and I went on a walk around the neighborhood. Did that shake work or what because soon enough I was having contractions every 10-15 steps! We only walked around the block and we went back into the house. At this point I was on fire and I felt like I needed to go poo really really bad…but I couldn’t. That’s when Laura told me that its my baby descending and that’s how it will make me feel. I hopped in the shower to cool off and deal with the pain.

(Did I mention that during the 25hrs of early labor I hadn’t dialated past a 2. In fact I was barely a two and boy am I glad Laura never told me.)

Ramon wanted me to rest seeing as that I was wiped out. The moment I had a contraction I hopped up and said “Get me in the pool now!” I literally could not stand another contraction outside of water.

I got into the pool around 2:30 and this is when my “active labor” began. I labored for 6 intense hours. I remember at some point asking Amy and Laura when it was going to be over. I remember Laura saying “Cessilye, now this is labor”. Those 25hrs prior to this moment was a breeze compared to the real deal. Ya wanna know my secret to getting my mind off that pain….lol. I just had a Major Pain flashback. Ok, seriously. I stopped vocalizing and began internalizing all of my pain directly to my uterus. I remember the first time I did this I was in the bathroom with Ramon and I envisioned my uterus pushing my baby out, Ramon catching Peanut and then handing me our baby. It brought such a huge smile to my face and I was able to cope with the contractions much better after that. I also, spoke to my uterus. I know it sounds weird but towards the end of labor you just simply want your baby!!!! So, I would mentally tell my uterus to give me my baby. I was yelling in my mind.

The wonderful thing about my labor is that I didn’t have any distractions. I did not have anyone directing me. I had my husband who continued to encourage me when he felt I needed to hear it and rub my back with olive oil. I can remember like it was yesterday my husband telling me “You’re a G”. I had Amy Berrelli who would look at me genuinely and tell me how wonderful I am doing and Laura Cochran who would offer guidance whenever I needed it. I had a birth mix cd my husband hooked up for me that had various artist on it such as Kari Jobe, Lauren Hill, Chrisette Michelle, Maxwell and Tre Nelson and many others. I had silence, peacefulness and most of all I had Jesus.

There were just a few times where my mind would wonder if I could compete this task but those moments were literally seconds. I knew that God created my body to do what it was designed to do and that was carry and bear a child. I could do this.

I knew something was up because when I would briefly open my eyes I would see Laura and Amy doing things. Putting gloves on, Amy would have a flashlight aimed and the GRAND EXIT and I remember hearing Laura whisper to Amy and Ramon to switch places so that Ramon could catch the baby.

There came a point where my back was killing me. Laura suggested I get on my hands and knees. I leaned over the pool and thus began the pushing phase. I did not have anyone tell me to push. My body just knew what to do. With each contraction I found myself pushing with it. It wasn’t intentional I just had to. After a while Laura said, “Cessilye reach down and feel your progress”. I reached down and felt the top of my baby’s head. It was amazing. Here I am doing the very thing that I have witnessed in a multitude of home birth videos. “Thats my baby, I said.” I knew then that the end was literally around the corner. Lets get this done is what was going on in my mind. The funny thing is prior to her telling me to feel by baby, I had no idea just how far along I was.

I kept at it and soon enough my babies head was out. Another contraction went by however it didn’t seem as strong. Laura asked me “Cessilye are you going to push your baby out during the next contraction?” I said, “Im gonna try”. It came the most important contraction of them all, the one to bring by baby’s entire body into this world. It was HARD!! Laura told me I had to push harder than I was and I did. I pushed well beyond the contraction and finally gave birth to Emmanuel Josiah Smith at 8:37pm May 13, 2011.

My husband Ramon and Laura caught Emmanuel and Ramon handed me our son.  The first tears of this entire event were tears at the arrival of our son. As we held our son Ramon prayed over our family. It was the most special moment that our family of three will ever experience. One that I would experience all over again in a heart beat and not change a single thing.

Emmanuel =The Lord is with us

Josiah=The Lord Heals (Read blog entitled “Making a Baby”)

8:37 – the time Emmanuel was born

8=New Beginnings

3=Trinity

7=Completion

So as we begin this new journey, I now know that my family of three is now complete. All thanks to Jesus Christ our Lord and our Savior.

P.S. HE HAD A KNOT IN HIS CORD AND WE NEVER KNEW.

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Making a Baby

So this is not about the act of making a baby ;) This is about God’s plan in the development of our child.

I always knew that I wanted children so in all seriousness I had no problem getting started with this process the moment Ramon and I got married. We were married August 25, 2007. I was on birth control for health reasons and we prayed about me getting off of it. We didn’t feel it was necessarily right plus we wanted to have children and we knew that my body would have to adjust to being off the meds in order for that to happen. Coming off of the contraceptive would mean that I “risked” having major health issues. Well, we took a leap of faith and came off of it in February of 2008. My body had no reaction! Praise the Lord.

For two years Ramon and I didn’t necessary “try” to conceive but we did not prevent. We wanted to put our children in the Lords hands….Well…easier said than done. All along Ramon is pretty calm and patient and is trusting our Father that it will happen while I on the other hand is wondering whats wrong with me.

September of 09 -After conversations with my OBGYN they set up an appointment for me to have some die pushed into my fallopian tubes(for lack of the original term). Boy was that painful. The result was that one of my tubes was completely blocked and no egg was able to be released through that tube due to polycystic ovarian syndrome(PCOS). So, as devastating as that was at the moment they reassured me that I only need one fallopian tube in order to have a baby. So, I’m good. However they did refer me to an infertility doc…oh joy!

So at this point we decide to wait it out. This process was emotionally heart wrenching. This was the most difficult time for me. Everything bothered me. If I saw or heard of a pregnant teen or someone unwed getting pregnant I would lose it. Because Ramon and I waited for each other prior to getting married I had this false sence that I’d done everything right. By no means was I perfect but Ramon and I had made a commitment to one another and we wanted to start our relationship off right. As hard as it was we obeyed the Lord in saving ourselves until out wedding day.
I wondered why. I have always wanted to be a mother. Heck, I want five children but I’ll take just one. why, Why, WHy, WHY!?!?!? was the question I had for God.

January 2010 Ramon and I visited a church in our community. It was early January because he was off of work and hadn’t seen any of the Fortress kids in a while. As we are walking in and finding a place to sit a little boy comes up behind us that he recognizes from Fortress. He was only about five. After asking him a few questions we come to the understanding that he is there all alone. He just strolled into church. Ramon left with him to see if his mom knew where he was. they returned and we were sitting there like a cute little family with the little boy between us. After about 10 minutes three more youth show up. So, Ramon scoots on down. Praise and worship is in full effect and two more children show up. At this point we have six children sitting between us. Some we know and some we don’t. I’m in tears. No…Im bawling. I considered this scene that was happening before my eyes a huge revelation. I wasnt crying the oh woe is me tears. I was crying because I saw our future. If this wasnt a sign of what God has planned for us then I don’t know what it was. All I know is that He taught me something that day.

In February of 2010 Ramon and I decided to see the infertility doc. We both had to go through a series of tests. Ummm it sucked.One of the tests was a sonogram. I was so nervous at this point because so much had already gone wrong.
I lived in Fort Worth while my doc was in Frisco. I was on my way and the verse Jeremiah 29:11 came to mind. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans of good and not disaster, to give you a future and a hope”.
I had in my mind that God wants to grant us the desires of my heart…so …why isn’t it happening? It took a 45 min drive for my eyes to be opened to Gods will for my life. He had been waiting on me to surrender my will to Him. He had been waiting on ME to desire HIS will for my life. At that moment I knew that although my desire for children where valid as a woman, God wanted me to truly seek, honor and trust Him with my LIFE. He wanted me to get to a point of COMPLETE TRUST. Because of this I had to come to grips with what He may allow me to go through even with the results of the sono.
I had to put the worst scenario in my mind in order to fully cope with this.

This is my scenario. In my mind the worst thing they could say is that I would have cancer. Sitting there in my car I came to the understanding that if that was so then God has a plan not only for me but for many others. I felt an overwhelming peace over me that simply gave me all the confidence I needed to walk into that doctors office and say “bring it”. And that’s exactly what I did.

My sono turned out clear and I was told I was healthy however, do to the results of Ramons test and with the combination of my having PCOS which caused me not to ovulate and having only one functioning tube our only option was to go through in vitro fertilization. He offered no other option to us and made it clear that this was the only way we would ever conceive. As the doctor looked at us expecting us to hop on board with this new-found news Ramon and I held hands and knew that it was not an option for us. We decided to truly let God have this. We were done with the doctor visits and tests. We also knew that doctor did not have the final say in our life or the life of our child. We walked out of that office with confidence that the Lord had given us our answer…not yet.

Not yet? What does that really mean? It means that despite what the doc. said He our Savior has the final word and if we are meant to have children then it will come whether from my own womb or from another. I have never felt more comfortable with the answer “not yet” before in my life.

Did I share that in two years I had only had four cycles total? Every year in January and September. That’s due to not ovulating.

Well, in April of 2010 I had one and I had one for every month after that until July. I do not think I was EVER more excited to have a period. I would text Ramon and some of my close girlfriends every month it would happen. The Lord answered my prayer. I had been praying that the Lord would just restore my body to its natural order.

During this time Ramon and I were researching adoption. It was already something we wanted to do and something we still desire so we looked into the “foster to adopt” program. The organization that we went through eventually didnt settle well with us so we decided to research other avenues.

So, August comes around and…nothing….I dont worry about it because after the last four months of things going well I considered it another skipped month. It wasnt until I started craving pinto beans and cheese and my girls swelling that other people started wondering hmmm are you pregnant? I denied it up and down. I have had every symptom of pregnancy known to man so this did not raise a flag for me. Plus, I said that I was not going to take another test unless I knew. The more people raised questions and the longer it went by without me starting a period the more curious I became.

I woke up early September 14 (the day before my birthday) and took a test. It came out positive. I didn’t believe it…no seriously, I really didn’t believe it. I went to the store and bought a digital test. Took two and they where both positive. I called my friend Michelle to see where I could go to get a blood test. I finally just calmed down and I knew that I was pregnant. OMG!

I woke up Ramon and took him to a park that my dad use to take me to as a child. We laid out a blanket and began to talk about our future…our life…what God is doing with us. At this time keep in mind that Ramon had been laid off and I had not been working. We still chose to trust God in where we were. At that point I asked Ramon if He believed God has a plan for us and that His timing is perfect. His response of course was Yes. Well, and then I lay the tests on his chest. It was such a sweet moment. We knew that God had been working it all out and that despite us being unemployed and living with my parents, He had something big around the corner.

This child is a blessing, a gift that we are giving right back to our Savior. A child that doesn’t really belong to us to begin with. A child on loan to teach, train, rear in the knowledge of Christ. The baby is just part of our story. One chapter in our life. We have many more to tell. Until then…

Be Blessed and Be a Blessing!

Ramon, Cessilye and Peanut 

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Hello world!

Wow! So much to talk about. What to share? So much to rejoice about! Where to start? So many life lessons and story’s to share. Where to begin?

I suppose we should start off by sharing who we are. We are Ramon and Cessilye Smith and we have a story to share. The story is our life. Each topic of this blog we would consider a chapter in our life in no particular order. chapters include college, relationships, calling, love, marriage, children, birth, family, lessons, blessings, and the list will go on and on.

We feel we have an obligation to share with you our story. A story with humble beginnings that continues to blossom into something that fails to hold a description. Christ Jesus is our Savior, our Redeemer and has used us in ways I could not have imagined. He has continued to show who He is. He NEVER ceases to amaze us. Our Holy God is the Author and finisher of life and we will continue to bear witness to that fact until He’s through using us to share His glory.

Be Blessed and Be a Blessing,

Ramon and Cessilye

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