Sunday, November 27, 2005

Baby Jude...11 days old...doing what he does all the time...
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Josiah waiting for dinner...
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Master Chef John - cooking dinner...yumm yumm...
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Everyday piddling...

Wow - Jude is 11 days old today! I can't believe it! We received a package from my brother and sister-in-law the day before yesterday and I can not tell you how exciting it was!!!! We had been checking the PO box everyday for like a week so when the box finally came it was euphoric. Sounds crazy huh? My friends brought the box from the post office for me (we share the PO box) and John wasn't home. We generally have a strict rule that we NEVER open up packages from America unless we're both present because opening a care package is like being a kid at Christmas again...

But...JOHN wasn't home....ugg...My friends were like "It's just baby clothes right? John won't care to see baby clothes!!! Just open it! Come on..." What did I do? I caved like a baby!!! I got a knife and opened that baby was awesome! My brother told me he was sending some baby clothes and I got the impression it wasn't going to be all that much but when I opened up that box I found 4 wal-mart bags full of baby clothes and some stuffed animals!! OH it was wonderful!

Jude has been cycling through about 5 outfits and like I told my brother...between spontaneous peeing...and spiting up it can be hard to keep a kid dress with only 5 outfits. hahaha...this package was an answer to prayer and not only were there lots of clothes - these clothes ARE CUTE! They're adorable!

So...John got home and was a little miffed that I had opened it without him but soon got over it and realized that it wasn't that big of a deal because it was baby clothes...hahaha. He was just glad that we got the baby clothes.

Things are just off for us right now...not going out to the villages...not going to team meetings...being stuck in this house for 11 days straight!!! AHH! I've only gone downstairs 3 times so far. It just feels strange and at times it feels like we're slacking off but I know in truth we're not...a pregnant lady has to recover right??? LOL...We just want to be responsible with our time because people are supporting us according to how God has led them and it is important that we are good stewarts with our time and that we are diligent with the ministry God has set before us.

Anyway, just a few thoughts that I've been dealing with. I know that once I'm able to fend for myself we'll be back on the ball :) We've been missing home a lot lately...not bad enough to think about returning...because we know we are were we are supposed to be...but we've been missing America pretty badly. It really is a crazy thing being away from America - I think it's only until you've lived out of America that you can really appreciate it's conveniences and pleasantries. I was playing around and I came up with a list of things I genuinely miss:

Things I miss about America:
* Bathtubs
* Central Heating and Air
* Dryers
* Doritos
* Customer Service
* White and Black people
* Wal-Mart!!!
* Dr. Pepper
* The right side of the road (yes we drive on the left)
* My son being a normal little boy (here he's a superstar)
* A time when traffic laws ment something (all traffic signs are just suggestions here)
* Being able to order food and get what you ordered (they like to give you what they think you
really want...go figure..."I want a 2 chicken breasts please"..."oh here ya is a chicken
leg and some rice...surely you don't want 2 chicken breasts...??")
* Clothes that aren't the size of a 14 year old girl
* Being able to communicate with people I love with my voice rather than fingers...
* Josiah knowing his family face to face rather than through webcam
* Most of all - my family and friends...

Please don't think I'm complaining about any of the things up there. We know where God has set us to be and what He has told us to do...but there will always be the little things that make it bitter sweet. I am so thankful for how great we do have it here...there are many missionaries who live out in a hut and don't live in a city like we do...some of them don't even have electricity! Sure there are some things that we don't have here but there are many things that we are blessed and do have and I am so thankful for those things.

Welp, I'm going to go eat some food that John has so graciously cooked! Have I mentioned my husband can COOK!! YUMM YUMM...I joke around saying "maybe I should have a baby more often if it means you'll cook more...hehehehe" Well, I love you all and thank you so much for your love and support.

Signing off from the other side of the world...

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Here is Jude - 6 days old! Some close Thai friends of ours (Phon - John's Teacher and Ton - Her fiance) bought this hat for Jude and Ton sewed his name on it! Neither one of them know Jesus yet so please keep them in your prayers. Phon loves Jude so much she has been by to visit almost every day since he was born! :)
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Update - Thai Hospital Experience

**Caution - the following update is full of stuff that mostly only my mother and other women will care to fellows...feel free to skim as necessary...guilt free... ** :)

It's taken a while but I'm finally feeling up to putting up a small update! Sorry it's taking so long! Jude is a wonderful wonderful baby! Dare I say "easy baby"? It's only the first week and so far he is being so nice to mommy and daddy! He only cries when he is hungry or poopy and it's only a short little cry and that's it! Jude was born weighing 6.9 pounds and about 20 inches long.

We went in for the c-section November 16th and everything went as planned. When we got there we checked in and went to our room where I got ready for surgery. We had a wonderful room and the hospital was very very nice even though there were quite a few modern conveniences that were not available such as an electric hospital bed. Anytime I needed to have my head raised or move at all John would have to crank one of the three levers to my was quite funny although annoying at times (see picture below). I was feeling quite nervous right before we went in but John, Katherine and MaryBeth were great at helping me feel better.

A good Dr. friend of ours was able to be in the operating room while the baby was delivered and she video taped the whole thing - the whole c-section procedure amazes me - seeing my stomach cut open and the whole thing just amazes me!!!! Anyway, after my spinal block I couldn't feel anything below my chest and things were going great until I started feeling like I was going to throw up - I kept gagging...and my muscles started kinda freaking out in my neck and I started to feel a wee bit scared.

It was just an uncontrolable situation and I couldn't stop gagging - I was awake enough to know everything was ok but the feeling was just very scary...the gagging stopped eventually although the muscle spasms or whatever it was in my shoulders and neck did not - so my sweet anestesiologist started rubbing my shoulders!

Well about 30 minutes into the procedure baby Jude is brought out of the womb and much to everyones suprise he was BREECH (feet comes out first instead of head)!!!! 2 weeks ago I had an ultrasound and he was in the correct position but he had turned around - so when he came out there was a bit of a struggle getting his head out but he came out just fine but had a little bit of amniotic fluid in his lungs - which they say is normal and they would just monitor to make sure it all came out.

Baby Jude was then wisked off and cleaned up and given his shots. One of the things that we also had to make a decision on was the fact that the BCG is required here (Tuberculosis vaccine) which leaves a permenant scar on the arm for the rest of the infants life. He then spent some time in an incubator after saying hi to me. They wanted to keep him in the incubator for 6 hours but we had arranged for this not to happen. It is Thai belief that babies must stay in an incubator for at least 6 hours so that their body temperatures can adjust...which is very contrary to the more western thinking in America where a baby is brought out of the womb and laid on the mothers chest straight away...maybe being taken away to be cleaned up and then returned.

The hospital stay was quite an experience - mostly good - although at times it was extremely frustrating because of different cultural practices and language issues. For instance some of the nurses refused to give me any cold water - there is a hot water dispenser beside the bed and when I took medicine some of the nurses refused to let me have anything but warm/hot water to take my medicine with because they believe it is bad for the mother and the baby to have cold water or cold food.

Another thing we delt with everytime they would come to get the baby for a bath (which they wanted to bathe Jude 3 times a day (by Thai culture this is standard) - but we only let them once a day) we told them not to feed the baby any formula because we were breastfeeding and everytime he returned he would be full as a tick and would spit up the formula they had given him.

This occured every time except for once despite continuous communication about this because in their culture they give the baby formula and water for the first couple of days until the mother's milk has come in - dispite the fact that the mother is producing enough colostrum to feed the baby, letting the baby suck aids your milk in coming in faster and it prevents engorgement.

Anyway, no matter how clear we made it the baby was still given formula when he was taken out of our sight. It was frustrating at the time but we're home now and that's over with. There were many other small things that were simply cultural differences that made our stay difficult but I am grateful for the care we received and am very thankful for the experience we had because we both know that it could DEFINATELY have been a lot worse!!!

Jude is healthy and I'm on the way to full recovery! Hahaha - this was going to be a short update...ha! John is taking the next 2 weeks off from going to the villages to help me at home - we'll be taking lots of photos so keep checking back. Please keep us in prayer for strength and patience during this time of adjustment to our new life with Jude and also that eventhough John will not be going to the villages and I won't be getting out much that we would still have opportunities to reach out.

Our team is preparing to visit schools during the whole month of December to share God's love and the true meaning of Christmas. Every Tuesday night I was going out with the other women on the team minstering to the prostitutes (haven't been able to go for about a month or so now because of being too pregnant) but recently God has really opened up doors and Katherine and Amber are having many girls reaching out to have relationships with them and are wanting to know more about the truth!

As soon as my body allows I will be joining them every Tuesday night and I am asking that you please keep this in your prayers so that these women will be set free from this lifestyle and come to know the truth about God and His plans and love for them. We are also praying about opening a free Saturday English school for these women to come to (which will be proceeded by teachings about Jesus, the truth and prayer). Prostitutes here are extremely eager to learn English because it will help them with their customers. We desperatly need wisdom about this!

Anyway, I must return to bed - Thank you again for your comments and e-mails! I can't get enough! :) I hope this has made sense (I've had to save and return 3 times!) and I also hope that it does not come off as if we are complaining about our hospital experience - I am very grateful and I know my mom, family and some friends are wanting to know all these little details on how it was having a baby in Thailand :) I will be in touch soon - please don't forget to keep us in your prayers!

Checking in...
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I have to admit I was quite nervous...
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John trying to comfort his nervous wife...
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Getting a good comfort hug from Katherine - our awesome friend who has been a tremendous support and comfort!
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Me and my good friend MaryBeth - who helped me make sure that things were understood - she had a baby in this hospital about 8 months ago.
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We could not have an electric bed - so John and I got a good laugh because it was a good old fashioned crank bed. By the way (not to complain but it's part of the experience) that mattress felt like a piece of cement and I have the bruised tail bone to prove it!!
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Going down to the operating room...
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I think John is handsome in scrubs... :)
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Getting ready for my spinal block...
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In the operating room right after the baby came was delivered...
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Jude weighed in at 3.19 kilos which is 6.9 pounds :)
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Jude Andrew Blake - Fresh out of the womb...
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Saturday, November 19, 2005

We've finally made it home! God is so good! Our new son is incredible and sooo sweet! I will get on as soon as possible to write about the experience and everything but for now I'll let you know that everything went well and we're home! Thanks for all the e-mails!!! I'll be witting and adding more pictures so check back soon!
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Friday, November 18, 2005

Josiah getting to know Jude :)
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Jude Andrew Blake
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Jude Andrew Blake
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About 4 hours after surgery...excuse the hair please...heheheh :)
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Proud Papa...
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Sleepy Papa...
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Jude Andrew Blake
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Jude Andrew Blake
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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

November 16th

It's a good day to have a baby! that what seems like eternity has passed it is finally November 16th and it's time for us to head off to the hospital to meet our new son face to face...Jude Andrew Blake! I am very excited and maybe just a little bit nervous - can't tell if I'm really nervous or just really really hungry :) Either way we're leaving in about 30 minutes and I just wanted to say thank you to the ones who have e-mailed me with their prayers and support. It meant so much to me this morning to wake up and read those e-mails., we're off....You'll hear from us soon! Be praying for us!

I was reading my friend's Xanga site (You should check her site out - we see and work with her everyday and it's always nice to have another view of what work is being done here...and her xanga is quite addictive :) and most of all she is a HUGE blessing to us and has become like part of the family here....)( and she quoted this scripture:

9For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying
for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all
spiritual wisdom and understanding. 10And we pray this in order that you may
live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in
every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11being strengthened with all
power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and
patience, and joyfully 12giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you[a]
to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.

I was really touched by this scripture and I wanted to share it with you guys...I pray that we will all constantly think of our lives and ask if it is worthy of our God and if we please Him in everyway...Oh God let my life please you in everyway....and may I come to know you more and more.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Jude is coming November 16th!!!!!!

Yep! The official date is November 16th!!! We have a scheduled c-section for Nov. 16th - and we almost have all the money we need to pay the hospital!! God is so good! I have been going to one of the nicest hospitals in Hat Yai called "Bangkok Hat Yai Hospital" for the past 9 months because I felt that was the only option due to some stories and experiences that people had told me about at the other hospitals.

The Thai people do many things differently...One thing that they do in the hospitals here is after you have the baby they put the baby in an incubator for 6 hours (no matter if there are complications or not!) and they do not bring you your baby until the next morning. They also feed the baby formula even if the mother has chosen to breastfeed because they believe that it is bad for the baby to wait until the mothers milk comes in. There are many other beliefs that drastically affect your experience with having a baby in Thailand. (especially if I were having the baby naturally - such as delievery methods and restrictions and such)

So...I was going to this nicer hospital because they are more "westernized" in their thinking. And they would work with us on these things (I have two friends who have had children there). time has drawn closer and the money has not been here to even have the baby I have started to go to the other hospitals to consider having Jude in a cheaper hospital. The cheaper hospital would have saved $200 dollars. So, I went to a hospital called "Sikarin" and saw the doctor (who was wonderful and spoke great English) but they would not budge on many of the things that are important to me...but because of money we scheduled the c-section for Nov. 16th regardless.

After I finished at this hospital and everything was set I went to "Bangkok Hat Yai Hospital" to tell my doctor and talk to another dr. friend of mine. When I sat down with my dr. friend and told her that I was going to go to a different hospital she called her director and he gave us 10% discount off of all hospital fees which made "Bangkok Hat Yai Hospital" just as cheap as the other hospital!!!!! conclusion, I get to stay with the doctor that I've been with the whole 9 months...I don't have to worry about the cultural differences in delivery and procedure and everything works out to where I can still have Jude on the 16th!

Wow...I apologize that this post is about this "pregnancy" stuff...I know it's not so interesting... :) Just wanted to tell those who would like to know also I'm just so amazed that God has enabled us to be able to have this baby at this nice hospital - with a great doctor. I'm really huge now as you can see in the pictures below.

The people on the team here threw me a baby shower and it was soo wonderful! Amber made home made american food, MaryBeth made homemade bread and Katherine made me some brownies! It was sooo incredible - the whole night felt like we were in America...we even played fun baby shower games. I had the poopy (peanut butter) in my napkin...The guys all stayed with the kids over at Brian's house and hung out together. It was such a nice break - we all dressed up nice and just enjoyed each others company and celebrated Jude's coming!

They had pulled together and bought us a crib - I say this below but I'll say it here too...the Thai parents have their children sleep in their bed until they are 12 years old! So...they don't really have cribs like we do in america - so it is just a complete blessing that we have a crib. They are usually horribly expensive because they are imported but they found a pretty good deal on this one and went intogether to buy it. Another thing that will shock some of you is that they also don't have diaper changers. It's not a big deal - you can have one made..but we're just going to make due like the Thai people :)

So - I feel very ready for this little one to join us outside of the womb! I have never felt more confident that everything is in God's hands - it has been a miracle watching as little by little the money has come in to be able to pay the hospital for the c-section and even now I know the money is coming that will help us meet the needs of our bills, food, gas and other necessities. God knows our needs!

Everything else has been going wonderful - we are preparing for major outreaches in December because the schools here open up to allow people to come and teach about Christmas so we will be going to many many schools to tell the true meaning of Christmas and share the truth of the God's love and that Jesus is the only way to heaven...please keep us in your prayers.

I will try to write again soon! We love you all!

All the families on our team pitched in and bought us a crib for Jude! We are so blessed that we have this crib - the Thai people have their children sleeping in their bed until they are 12 years old so cribs are hard to find and if you do find them they are incredibly expensive because it is an import. Jude officially has a REAL crib and a bumper set (another extremely rare find in Thailand). From the bottom of our hearts - THANK YOU!
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This is Amber Garsee - she was the hostess of my baby shower - it was such a blessing to be able to dress up, eat home cooked american food and just enjoy each others company and most of all celebrate JUDE! :) Marybeth had given me this beautiful maternity dress to wear - it was so fun to have just the girls get together and dress up!
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Here is a picture from my baby shower and you can see how huge my tummy has gotten!!
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Here is a picture another picture from my baby shower...some good friends of mine through a very classy baby shower for me and made incredible AMERICAN FOOD! It was soo delicious!!! It was such a blessing!
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Here's Josiah being goofy with Daddy on the mountain :)
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A picture from the top of the mountain near our house..
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This picture shocked me - I honestly had no idea we were so close to the ocean!!! I've driven 30 minutes away to get to the I thought it was a lot farther away but this picture was taken from the top of a mountain that is very very close to our house.
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Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Yard Sale Items

When: Saturday, November 29, 2008, 1pm - 7pm

Where: MooBaan Intarachitchai...House number 79/365

We live off of Doi Saket road in Moobaan Intarachitchai. It's across from Horizon Village/Botanical Gardens. If you are on Doi Saket road going toward Doi Saket and you keep your eyes to the left you will see a old gas station sign "MP" the "MP" sign is where you will turn right into our moobaan.

Once you turn right you will make a left. You will drive through some speed bumps and curves and make your first left. You will see the office on your left and a big purple house...make a right. From there you will go about 4 streets down and see balloons leading you to our house...

Contact: John or Stephanie 053-867473

Here is a general list of things that will be at our yard sale this Saturday(some items are pictures below):
  • games (SOLD)
  • spices
  • 2 blow dryers (really nice Philips Salan Pro 2100W ceramic with difuser and national 2800w)
  • Baby GIRL clothes
  • 2 beautiful fancy baby girl dresses
  • Womans and Mens clothes (not a whole lot)
  • boppy pillow
  • floaties
  • lots of books (Christian books, preschool and 1-2nd grade books, some homeschooling books also)
  • lots of hair care products hardly used from America
  • bed sheets
  • baby bed
  • baby bath
  • plates
  • stepping stool
  • paints
  • hair roller set (used and worn but still good)
  • hair clipper set
  • breast pump (very good madela battery operated, double pump in carrying bag)
  • rice cooker (SOLD)
  • crock pot (SOLD)
  • basket
  • organizing divider
  • towels
  • few rugs
  • diaper bag
  • a few pair of shoes for kids
  • table
  • toys
  • MEMORY FOAM pad for your king size bed (like sleeping on a cloud, from America)