Arrow Adam Cole
April 27, 2015 @ 11:30 a.m.
7 lbs. 14 oz, 21 in.
born at home
We welcomed our SECOND son, our SEVENTH child, into our Tribe on a beautiful spring morning in April. It was a moment of such intense emotion and excitement and there’s no way I could ever put it into words. We didn’t find out what we were having (although an envelope from the sonographer floated around our home revealing the gender because at one point BJ wanted to find out and I didn’t) and the excitement to know what baby #7 was just grew and grew as the due date got closer. It actually seemed harder than not knowing with Zoe! Probably because for Judah’s sake, we so badly wanted him to have a brother. That being said, we would’ve been THRILLED with another little girl because I’m a pretty big fan of Skipper girls 🙂
The meaning of his name
Arrow: Taken from Psalm 127:4, where it states, “like arrows in the hands of a warrior, so are children born one one’s youth.” The biblical concept of a child being like an arrow, to be sent out. There’s a lot I could go into here, but you get the overall picture. We’d heard the name “Arrow” a long time ago and had friends who had named their son Arrow (who we asked permission to use the same name and they graciously agreed). We just loved it! I wanted to use it for a girl or a boy but BJ said, nope. It was a boy name to him and if we didn’t have a boy it was going into the name graveyard, as he put it!
Another amazing thing about the name “Arrow” is that since moving to Kansas, BJ has picked up the hobby of building his own bows and arrows. It’s become something our family really enjoys and is definitely something special that he & BJ share.
Adam: Many of you know this is my brother’s name. We’ve been waiting and waiting to name a son with his name, lol. My brother is a pretty special and awesome guy and I hold him in high regard and it is an honor for our son to be named after him. And what you might not know is that I also have a step-brother, Adam, who I think the world of. So for Arrow to carry a name of two of his uncles, I think is pretty awesome.
Cole: Cole is the last name of our dearest and most amazing friends, Dave & Chris Cole. No one has had more influence and spiritual guidance in and over our lives but them. BJ & I would not be who or where we are without them and their friendship. And they have five boys! We couldn’t wait to give a son their last name!
My due date was April 29 but my midwife and I both agreed pushing it back a week made sense since I’ve gone over with quite of few of the kids (a week the past couple, six days with Shi). So May 6th was the new date. On Sunday, April 28, I was at church and had moments of contractions and feeling yucky but emotionally and physically still felt pretty great and even said there’s no way I’m having this baby for awhile, I feel too good.
Ali, Chi & Jazelle came to hang out with us and Ali had the idea of making dinner for our whole crew–score! She’s an awesome cook and it was pretty amazing to be served a gourmet meal and not have to lift a finger. Such a relaxing evening of hanging out with family and just being together.
At 3:40 a.m. I woke up with a strong contraction that during the baby kicked extremely hard (my babies don’t usually move during contractions–do yours??) that made me yell out “oww!” BJ said, “What?” I said, “The baby just kicked me in the middle of a contraction!” he said, “have you been having contractions all night??” my answer was, “No, I just have to go to the bathroom!” Lol. I went to the bathroom, came back to climb into bed and bam–my water broke! I literally could. not. believe. it. That was early. Too early. I’m not ready, not mentally for sure. I thought I had two more weeks??!! My sister, Audrey, was due a week before me, she’s still pregnant (not now, these are my thoughts then :)–oh no, I feel so bad for her! And the biggest thought I had was, “I’m 100% sure that baby just broke my water!”
So we called Cheryl (my awesome midwife–this is our fourth birth with her) and Mom right away just because in the past it’s been so quick. My water had for sure broken and I’m not going to lie, I had a moment of panic (body shaking, freaking out because labor was imminent). I had been asking God for awhile to give me a verse to meditate on during labor, something I could cling to because I really wanted this labor to be manageable (my last two, especially Freely, were so beautiful, I was nervous it was going to be a horrible experience). I came back, grabbed my computer and saw this verse just posted:
Thank you, Jesus! I felt so encouraged and knew he would give me the strength I needed.
Cheryl got here around 5:00 a.m. My contractions were way apart, like 20 minutes, etc. so she went to bed downstairs. I just rested in the bed, got up some because people were showing up (Kristie, Chris, Carissa). Somewhere during that time my midwife’s student midwife, Sherry, showed up. My friends Chris (Cole) and Carissa prayed with me–it was so encouraging. About 9 something, Cheryl came up and I could tell she was kinda hinting she didn’t feel confident I was really going to have the baby anytime soon. Big fat bummer. So she suggested I walk. BJ filled up the tub just and case and around 10 or so BJ I set off on a walk outside. It did cause my contractions to get closer together and more intense, but even then they were like 10 minutes apart. I got hit with a WAVE of exhaustion and told BJ I think I just needed to rest because if I wasn’t going to have the baby until tonight then I should just get to sleep.
We came inside (maybe 10:45 or so?) and asked everyone to go outside so I could sleep. We went to the bedroom and I got ready to get into bed. Right when I was getting ready to lay down I had a really strong and long contraction (that was the other weird thing about these contractions, they were soooo far apart but when I had one, they were twice as long. Weird). I said, “No, I think I’m going to get into the pool.” Poor BJ, he was so confused!!! He said to me later when I did that he was like “this is it, she’s stopping her labor” because he didn’t think (and it didn’t appear to me either) that the baby was anywhere close to being born. So I got in tub.
I went into this crazy restful state that Cheryl says she sees women go into right before transition and I swear I had like a 5 minute power nap that felt like I’d slept all night. I had two contractions where I was laying sort of on my side. At the end of the second one I told BJ to go get Cheryl and Mom, resident cheerleader and photographer! I could tell the baby had moved down. Cheryl came in and started getting things ready to go. I got up on all fours, could feel like I needed to push. (sorry if this is TMI) but Cheryl told me where she thought baby’s head might be and I was like, “um, no, baby’s head is right. there.” ha! So next contraction I was pushing, then had a long break between, then next contraction pushing with baby’s head out partially through that contraction and I had to wait with it like that til the next one because something didn’t feel right–I knew something wasn’t quite right but not scary or anything. I said, “is the baby stuck” she said no, we just have an arm. His little arm was up, hand resting on his face. Next contraction I pushed him out that way, Cheyl brought him out of the water and laid him on my chest. as he passed by I was like, “oh that is NOT a girl” lol. NO one else could see, she didn’t even know. I was like “it’s a BOY!” lol. Tears, tears, screams, and yells ha ha. Then she looked to double check. No mistaken, man child. Lol. Pretty cool moment. He was born at 11:30 a.m. I’ll never forget looking over at BJ and seeing him on his knees with his hands in his face, just super emotional. I think neither one of us had really allowed ourselves to go there in imagining it might be a boy. In looking back, we both agree we thought maybe, just maybe, it was a boy, but we didn’t dare dream or verbalize it.
Because everyone had gone outside thinking I was napping, there was this awesome calm time with just us. I was able to get cleaned up, enjoy him, nurse him, and just be still for a little while. It was when Mom was holding Arrow and Ali saw from the outside that she was holding a baby that everyone found out i’d had the baby. Kristie, Chris and Ali all came in at different times and when everyone kept finding out it was a boy, man, it was just so awesome! Pretty cool moment.
In the months prior, both Judah and I had dreams that the baby was a boy. Mine was fairly early on, where I was holding the baby and I held him up and said, “Meet Arrow Adam!.” Judah’s was that we had the baby while everyone was sleeping and when they asked if what it was, I handed the baby to him. That had been our deal, that if the baby was a boy, Id let him hold him before the others (well, was going to be after Freely, who kept saying, “I hold the baby after Mommy” but we didn’t figure she’d remember that).
When the kids came in, we asked them, “Well, what do you think it is?” We went through the whole line up, and every one of them said “boy”–except for Judah, who said, “girl”. I said, “Well, you’re wrong” and handed Arrow to him. Tears, tears, tears. From everyone!!! It was a moment in our family I don’t imagine BJ or I (or anyone else in there!) will ever forget. This little man is loved, loved, loved.
A really cool fact I didn’t find out until later was that while I was inside having Arrow, everyone had gathered outside with our kids to pray. It was literally the same time Arrow was being born! I absolutely loved hearing about God’s leading.
He’s such a great baby, so chill, just like his Dad and brother. He nurses great. His sisters fight to hold him, I’m serious that Judah had tears in his eyes for the next couple of days every time he held him and BJ & I just stared at one another in complete shock and disbelief.
(this was the photo and caption we sent out when he was born)
“New to the tribe”–a son!! Arrow Adam Cole Skipper born at 11:30 am this morning. 7lbs 14 oz,, 21 inches. We are in shock and disbelief. Thank you Jesus!
I have no way to describe how we have been cared for and loved on since having Arrow. Incredible joy and elation from friends and family upon hearing the news of his arrival, meals lined up for TWO weeks (including lunch that was delivered not long after he was born), meals in our freezer, texts of excitement and offering help, the facebook and instagram love, so, so much. And I have to give a special shout out to my Mom, the amazing Mimi, who came as soon as my water broke and stayed with us through the next days, doing laundry, food, cleaning, loving on our kids, helping us, loving on Arrow–absolutely unbelievable. Now I remember why we cried in Georgia when she left to go home after we had Zoe!!
Judah said to me the next day after Arrow was born, “Mom, you got everything you prayed for! You wanted a boy, you wanted to have him early and you wanted to have your baby during the day.” Wow, so very grateful to Jesus for his kindness to me. Labor is HARD, friends, it’s always hard. But God can make it beautiful and He did for us. Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who has joined us in our joy. To God be the glory!