February 24, 2013

And Now We are 5!

Introducing the newest member of the Kidwell Family:

Leena Grace Kidwell
born Friday, February 22, 2013
at 5:58 PM
on the Karanda Hospital Mission Station 

Dear Leena (light),
Its been a long journey this past month, but we finally did it!  Your birth was the light at the end of the tunnel for me to get through the number of nights of contractions and no sleep.  How appropriate is your name now to this birth story.  You were so very worth every minute of it though, and I praise God for the blessing of your life and having you in my arms.  We have loved you from the moment we knew of your existence.  God has had His hand on your life in so many ways already.  

Here is our story of your birthday:

Thursday night mommy started early labor (once again) and it was much harder this time around so we hoped this was for real.  But once more, at 5:00 AM, the contractions petered out, leaving mommy very tired and in a heap of tears.  Throughout the morning, mommy continued with contractions every 10 minutes, and finally at 2:00 PM they began to become more regular and strong again.  

God ordained a wonderful couple (who just happened to come out for the weekend) to take care of your brothers for the afternoon not knowing if this was it, or if it was more false labor.  You were 2 days past your due date, so we were really hoping this was near the end.  They took Saint and Luke down to play at the guesthouse at 4:30 PM, and by the time they were out the door, mommy was already feeling very strong contractions.  But upon checking mommy, she was only still 3 cm dilated, which is what she had been for 3 weeks.  Within the hour, mommy knew she couldn't possibly be 3 cm still, and asked daddy (he's a doctor) to check once again.  Sure enough, mommy was now at least 7 cm dilated!  Daddy rushed around to go get a car to take us down to the hospital.  While he was gone, our friend, Miss Rejoice (a midwife here) came to help.  She has helped mommy through a number of tiring nights and took such good care of the both of us.

Before daddy got back with the car, mommy was already fully dilated and her water broke walking to the door.  Daddy and Miss Rejoice helped mommy lie down on the living room floor and in a few minutes you graced us with your beautiful cry of life!  We did it little girl!  

You were born 2 minutes before 6 in the evening at our house, which was not at all in OUR plan!  But God had it all worked out.  He had and has HIS hand on your life.  There was a flurry of nurses and midwives in and out helping make sure everything was alright, and by the time your brothers came back from their play date, you were snuggled up with mommy on the bed.  What a blessing!

You weighed 3 kg. exactly (6.6 lbs), and were 48.5 cm (19 inches).  What a little lady.  Welcome to our family!

Always loving you,


February 15, 2013


I am feeling overwhelmed.  Not overwhelmed in a bad way, but in a "God speaking directly to me" kind of way.  These last few weeks of my pregnancy have been a time of waiting in expectation and have provided some challenges in that wait.  But in this last week particularly, God has used so many people to show me His hand on my life and His care for me and baby Leena.  Tonight, I received a "baby shower in a box" from a group of moms from the church we attended back in Indiana.  God put on one person's heart to minister to me through gift, and through her, a number of others joined and blessed me in more than words can say.  These boxes were packed full of clothes for my baby and to share with others around (and believe me, there are plenty of babies around to share this gift)!  Just looking at the boxes, said to me, "Dontie, we may not know you personally, but we believe in what you are doing and we want to support and love on you."  That meant so much!

We have received several other care packages, from friends in different stages of my life, who just felt they needed to send some encouragement.  Again, God using His people to say, "I love you.  Hang in there."

But it doesn't take sending a package half way around the world to support.  We have received countless e-mails of prayer, facebook messages, phone calls checking in on me from town, and even neighbors and hospital staff members just stopping by to make sure all was well.  A meal was brought over after a full night of contractions and I was too weary to do much of anything.  That made my day.

A midwife stopped by to take the boys for two hours so I could rest.  Then she returned that night to help me through another episode of contractions, rubbing my back, and continually checking on baby Leena.

God has said to me through all of these precious acts, "Dontie, I am with you.  I love you.  I will take care of you and this one I created in you.  Look at how I am telling you that through all these ones who love me and listen to my urging.  I have done this for YOU."

So, I am overwhelmed.  Thank you God and thank you church - believers responding to a whisper to reach out and support and minister.  You humble me.