Friday, December 24, 2010

Monday, October 4, 2010

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Friday, September 24, 2010

First Sibling Pics

Posted by Picasa

Hope Annette Bilodeau

Posted by Picasa
Twelve days ago we finally got to meet the newest member of our family. Hope Annette was born Sept 12, at 1:13pm at one of the local hospitals. We had hoped and planned for a home birth, but God had other plans this time around. For most of a week, I was sure I was going into labor with lots of cramping and regular contractions. Finally Sunday morning, it looked like things were really happening. We called the midwives and our other support people. Contractions were getting very close and powerful before everyone arrived and we started to worry that the baby might come before the midwives! I decided to try resting to see if that would slow things down. It worked, to well in fact. My labor seemed to have stopped. When the midwives arrived, they tried to determine the position of the baby and quickly realized that she was no longer head down ready for delivery. When I sat down to rest, she had turned sideways into a "transverse" position. Everyone gathered around and prayed with their hands on my belly for God to turn her if that was His will. We tried several techniques to get her to move back into a good position, but she seemed quite content where she was. By now strong contractions had returned putting both the baby and I at risk if my labor continued to progress with her laying sideways across my belly. We decided to head to the hospital. An ultrasound confirmed that baby was laying with her spine over the birth canal. There was no way she was coming out naturally that way. The Dr. explained and the midwives concurred that the only safe option was a cesarean delivery. In about a half and hour, we were prepped and ready for surgery and once in the operating room, it was only a matter of minutes before the baby was out. Her cord was wrapped around her neck and leg. This might be the reason she turned when she did.
We spent four days in the hospital. It was good to come home to familiar surroundings.
Recovery from a C-section is very different from the others births. Definitely not my favourite way to have a baby! But I'm so glad to have her here safe and sound! And thankful that we live in a place where we have access to the technology to have an emergency surgical delivery.
Hope is a good baby. She started nursing well soon after birth and hasn't slowed since! She is a good sleeper too. One night she slept five hours straight!
We are slowly, slowly trying to get back into our routine. We have been blessed by family and friends bringing meals and offering to help. My mom spent a few days with us this week emptying the garden by canning tomato soup, salsa, and hot pepper jelly. The big kids are working hard to help with extra chores and meals. Brian has had work off, but will go back this coming Monday. So that will be the real test of how helpful the kids can be! I am still hurting alot and very slow at getting anything done, but everyday I try to do a little more. Someday I might be back to normal! I hope!
Overall, we are so thankful for this precious little bundle! She is such a blessing already! More pictures to follow...

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Due Day

The meals are in the freezer, the baby things are washed and ready, the house is clean (more or less...) What to do on THE DUE DATE except mope around and wonder if labor will ever start? Go to the beach of course! Brian's work canceled for the day, it was to be a record heat wave, and most beaches should be relatively uncrowded since school is back in session and most people are at work. Actually, it was surprisingly busy the places we passed, but we found plenty of room at the state park we ended up at.

I figured it was a pretty good plan to do all the work and packing to get to the beach because surely I would go into labor and we would have to rush back home...

Well, instead of rushing back home to have a baby, we spent a leisurely day enjoying the big waves and slightly warmer than normal water.
Posted by PicasaBrian and I looked through name books and still did not settle on the perfect name for this little one. Maybe that is the hold up, the reason she isn't here yet. You can all pray that we decide on something soon!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Pregnant Pics!

My sister, Amy who is due a month after me, used her fabulous photography skills to capture my happiness about this baby! Never mind the fact that I am nearly as big as a whale! At thirty weeks, I am already bigger than I have been before with the other pregnancies. Our last baby, Andrew was a whopping 9lbs 14oz and I think its safe to assume that this baby could very well break that record!

Posted by Picasa

Friday, May 21, 2010


I'm sorry I haven't posted before now. I don't have much in the way of an update on Vanessa and Rosa. From what we have heard, they are doing ok. It sounds like Vanessa has many people encouraging her and helping her to make good decisions for the future, but in the end it is still up to Vanessa to be responsible for her daughter. Please pray that she will choose the right path in the days ahead. Pray for good health and protection for Rosa who is constantly battling malnutrition, parasites, and is very delayed developmentally.
Thank you to all of you who left comments on the last post! Since I have been so sporadic with my posting, I wasn't sure anyone was still listening! You all were a big boost to me! Thank you!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Please Pray!

This really needs to go on the new blog I am starting for Little Hands news, but I don't quite have it up and running yet. I am not sure anyone is still out there reading this, but if you get this and remember hearing about this little family before, please pray for Vanessa and her baby Rosa! I can't post all the details now, but they are in a very desperate situation, mostly of Vanessa's own making and we are very concerned for Rosa's health and well-being! There are some decisions being made that will impact their lives forever, please pray for wisdom and for God's will to be done in all things. Thank you!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thankful for Protection

Today, while the kids were playing/cleaning up the back yard, the gale force winds blew a tree down. They heard it cracking and ran, but Faith ran the wrong way and when the tree came crashing down, she was within a few feet of it. We are praising God for His protection!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Life Moves On

I've given up trying to somehow convey what's like to transition back into life here...I am done trying to bridge the gap between life in Honduras and life here. Not that we are forgetting and leaving that all behind. There are still lots of times that being here/home is just weird and when I see the pictures from when we lived there, it catches me off guard with how I miss this or that and just have a raw feeling of uncomfortableness.
But life does move on...and I am enjoying parts of that too. It's SPRING! I haven't see spring for two years. I haven't started seeds or planted a garden or weeded my flower beds. I truly am enjoying every flower and bud.
I am finally getting some energy back after being stuck on the couch or in bed for most of the past four plus months with morning sickness. A new baby, a new baby girl on the way is a major life change, but one I am so happy about! And glad to be experiencing it here instead of in Honduras! It's been six years since we had a baby in the house...the kids are so much more grown up this time and really excited too. Rachel has been praying for a baby for years and is thrilled to that it's a girl.
Gumpy, Brian's dad came home from the rehab hospital about a month ago. He is ok, not as energetic as in the past, but happy to be back in his own place with his "child bride". Mom is doing a great job taking care of him. They have some help with visiting nurses and therapists. Dad isn't able to move much at all or sit up on his own. He spends many afternoons out on the deck where our kids can visit him and eat Popsicles that Grammie always has on hand. It's good to be close by again.
Brian is working construction and just in the past month finally has steady work. He comes home tired and not loving this job, but very thankful for the work. He is co-leading the mission team at our church and is still actively involved in communication with Maybelline and Jeffery and all the goings on at Little Hands. He took a two week trip back to Trujillo in March. It was a great time of reuniting with the people we love there. He came home wishing he could have stayed longer. I think it is harder for him to be back here than it is for the rest of the family. (Though the kids, even the ones who wanted to come home, frequently ask, WHEN can we go back?) But he can see that God has us here for now. I think it is very likely, almost certain that someday we will end up back on the mission field in some form. But for now, this is ok.
So... life is marching on. There are good and bad things about this stage...true of every stage and part of life, I think. Life is hard, and rewarding, and God is good.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Just the facts...

Two years ago, we left our family, friends, and comfortable home here in NH and moved our family of six to Trujillo, Honduras. Our goal was to shore up the mission Little Hands, Big Heart, and encourage and mentor Maybelline and Jeffery, the Honduran directors. We spent most of the first year evaluating and revising the current programs and getting to know the families of the special needs kids that LHBH serves. The second year we continued to work at perfecting the mission and gave more and more responsibility to Maybelline and Jeffery as well as making some major improvements on the grounds and to the compound. When our commitment was finished, we were confident that LHBH was in a good place and would be able to effectively carry out its mission.
We packed up, or gave away two years worth of possessions, said good bye to dear friends from church, neighbors, fellow missionaries, all the LHBH staff, and all the precious families and children who LHBH help. We took lots of pictures and tried to squeeze in visits to our favorite places in the final days.
Our trip home was uneventful. Friends from church met us at midnight at the airport and drove us the hour or so to our house. It took two big vehicles to get all of us and all of our stuff here.
Our house had been empty for most of the year as our renters left early. Our belongings were packed into the upstairs and the basement. We started emptying boxes and trying to get settled. Brian spent the first few weeks repairing the ceiling, refinishing the entire downstairs floor and painting.
A week and a half before Christmas, Brian's dad came down with an infection. His parents live next door to us where Mom has been doing an amazing job taking care of Dad since he came home in a semi-paralyzed state back in August. Early one morning, we had to call an ambulance to rush him to the ER with a fever of 106. He was admitted into the ICU and was near death for a week or more. At this point, he is stable and will be transferred to a rehab hospital near Boston in the near future. He is not able talk and is very weak. We are hopeful that he will regain his voice and strength so that the temporary trach and feeding tubes will be removed.
Brian has not started back to work yet and with the uncertainty of his dad's health, it has been good for him to have the flexibility to be available to go the hospital and help Mom make difficult decisions. He anticipates construction work to begin soon and is trying to line up jobs now.
We have not officially started home schooling yet in the new year, but we are starting to get back into the swing of things. I am sorting through all of our curriculum now that I have access to all the books I want/need again.
The kids are playing in the snow every chance they get and happy to have their long lost toys unearthed from the mountain of boxes. They have spent several good times with the cousins and also with friends.
So...there's the facts. Now, how are we doing with all of this? Well, that will be the subject of the next post.