Meier Family Deliveries of 2013

Date: Monday, June 10, 2013
Location: Lake Jackson, Texas

Once again, I find myself scrambling to catch up after many months of silence.  My writing endeavors have been limited to reminder notes for the daily basic things of life and random posts I’ve managed to put on Facebook.  I have to admit that only about 50% of the witty and charming ideas I have thought of putting on Facebook actually make it there. Usually, my thoughts hit on something especially “Facebook” worthy at a moment when I cannot access my computer.  By the time I’ve actually sat down and logged in, I can’t remember what I had wanted to post several hours (or days) earlier.

So, when I think about writing for my blog or attempting to work on re-writing the first few chapters of my dissertation, it usually becomes a fleeting thought that never quite materializes in during the busy, awake time of my day.

The last time that I attempted to update my blog, I was still pregnant with my fourth child.  We were expecting another boy.  We had decided that his name would be Seth Adrian Meier and we were hoping that we wouldn’t have any major complications in giving birth.  We were also praying for God’s provision since our health insurance doesn’t cover maternity costs. We made our final road trip to Florida over Thanksgiving break and returned to Lake Jackson, Texas to enjoy Christmas and New Year’s and to await the birth of our son.

FamilyPic FamilyPic_cousins

(Cristina’s side of the family took pictures in Gainesville, Florida)
White – Philip’s family / Red – Cristina’s family / Black – Anita’s family / Black with design – Tim’s family

Christmas_MKMeier1 Christmas_MKMeier2

(Christmas / Maternity Photos – December 2012)

Now, we are nearly half way through 2013, and our fourth child is nearly five months old. The months in between have brought many adventures our way.  If I were to summarize the highlights in a series of Facebook posts, it would probably look something like this:

*New Year….Baby on the Way.  We can’t wait.

(39 weeks pregnant)

*Luke had a blast at his firefighter birthday party. I can’t believe he’s four already.  I’m glad I didn’t go into labor today.

birthdaycake birthdayboy

*Uh-oh.  I found out that I do have placenta accretta and will not be allowed to go into labor naturally.  They are going to schedule a c-section for January 17.

*Praise the Lord! Seth Adrian Meier was born with no complications.  My placenta came out without any problems.  I am looking forward to going home in a few days. I am grateful for my mother being at home with my other three kids.

Seth_waves Seth_unhappy


*Jared enjoyed celebrating his “half” birthday at school today. He’s five and a half today (January 25).


*My mom went home after her three week stay.  I miss her already.


*Grace keeps getting ear infections.  She might need to get tubes in her ears.


*Valentine’s Day is so busy! I’ve spent so much time making valentines for all the kids in Jared’s kindergarten class and in Luke’s Cubbies group that I hardly have time to make anything special for my family.

Valentine's Day1 Valentine's Day2

*We’ve been discovering the true meaning of St. Patrick’s Day. Let’s celebrate missionaries worldwide.  I might even try to make some Irish soda bread.

StPattysDayFamily IrishSodaBread

*Grace is the first in our family to start seeing a chiropractor. I never would have guessed that these adjustments would work so well to help clear the fluid in her ears.  The ear specialist agreed that she doesn’t need ear tubes and that her hearing is perfect.


*We enjoyed Easter with the kids this year.  No one was sick this time around.

EasterFamily EasterTrio EasterBoys EasterEggHunt

*Grace turned two years old!  She loved being dressed up as a lady bug for her lady bug birthday party.


*Seth is 100 days old today (April 27)! It’s the only time I dress up in my Korean hanbok to celebrate the occasion.


*BCS had a successful auction and was able to raise a lot of money for the school.  Several scholarships were donated so that more students will be able to attend in future years.

BCS Auction

*We celebrated Stephen’s birthday at school today (May 1).  Jared’s kindergarten class came to his office to sing “Happy Birthday” to him.  Jared made a birthday cake for him all by himself.


*Another school year is quickly coming to an end.  Jared graduated from kindergarten on May 21. We are so proud of our eldest son.


*The weather is finally staying warm enough to bring out the pools.  The kids are excited about this summer.  Jared is already planning on what he wants to do for his sixth birthday.


So, there you have it.  That is a rundown of the most important events that have happened this year so far.  I look forward to adding more posts in the future.  I hope all the writing ideas that formulate as I’m driving or folding clothes or making dinner actually get typed at some point in the near future.

All I Really Want for Christmas

I love listening to Christmas music during this time of year.  I have some of the classics, but I also have a lot of albums made by Christian contemporary artists.  In 2005, Stephen Curtis Chapman wrote a song called “All I Really Want” describing what an orphan would really want for Christmas.  I thought the song was sweet, but the words never hit so close to home as they have this year. These words have taken a new meaning for me:

“All I really want for Christmas is someone to tuck me in
A shoulder to cry on if I lose, shoulders to ride on if I win
There’s so much I could ask for, but there’s just one thing I need
All I really want for Christmas is a family.”

© By Stephen Curtis Chapman

This Christmas a little girl is getting that Christmas wish.  She may be too young to understand it.  After all, she’s only nineteen months old.  But one day she will understand.  She’ll find out how her parents, Philip and Chrissy Cobb, began praying for direction in adopting a child.  When the door closed for them to adopt a child from Ethiopia, they didn’t give up.  They moved on to another adoption agency and were introduced to a little girl in China who was in need of a permanent family.

They first announced to the world that they were looking at adopting a little girl in China in early May of 2011.  Although they had been told the process could take well over a year, they were able to fly to China on December 8 of this year and are now finalizing the paperwork in order to fly back to Florida in time to spend Christmas together with their new daughter, Li Rose.  They are due to arrive in Gainesville on December 21.

It has been quite an adventure.  Find out more about their story by visiting their blog:

Philip with Josh, Chrissy with Li Rose

The Birth of Grace Erin Meier (our little GEM)

As I came into my final month of pregnancy, the burning question was how long I should continue working.  I had watched several of my pregnant co-workers work up until their due date and even past it.  I had never had the opportunity to reach my due date with my first two children, but I had decided that I didn’t want to work until the point of 40 weeks of pregnancy (if by some small chance I made it that long).

However, I was not sure if I should keep working until the day I gave birth.  So, after some consideration, I decided to work until the end of my 39th week if, indeed, I did make it that far. 

As my 39th week approached, so did a lot of other stress factors that will be discussed later on in this blog (flood, finances, etc.)  Stephen told me that I should stop working earlier than that, because I was allowed to stop working after 38 weeks even if I had not given birth. 

I ended up teaching my final day on Thursday, March 31 and handed over my classes to a very competent permanent substitute who would teach my class for the rest of the school year.  Friday morning (April 1), I hosted one last meeting/party with my high school civics club and sighed in relief after having completed all my teaching duties. 

That afternoon, as I did my shopping for the following week, I began to feel a lot of tightening in my stomach as “false” contractions took place while I pushed the grocery cart around the store.  I wasn’t sure if they were a sign of anything besides my own fatigue.  So, I decided that I would monitor them after I went to bed.

That night I went to bed feeling a little strange, but decided to wait and see what would happen after a good night’s rest.  I woke up twice that night with a very distinct feeling that I was having a contraction.  However, they were three hours apart, so I didn’t do anything about until the following morning when I was having them every hour to every half hour.  By 8am, I knew I had to call my doctor.  He had told me the previous afternoon at my 39 week check up that I was 2 cm dilated and that I needed to let him know ASAP when I started having contractions.

“This is your third child and it will come a lot faster,” he told me.

Nevertheless, I was still surprised when he told me that he wanted me to go to the hospital right away.  I was a little annoyed as I took my shower and got dressed and started calls to the people who had agreed to watch my boys in case I went in to labor over the weekend.  My contractions were still between 30 minutes to an hour apart.  They were very light and my water hadn’t even broken yet as it had with both of my previous pregnancies.

Cristina smiles because her contractions aren't very painful yet.

Stephen and I kissed our boys as we left and said that baby Grace would be coming out of mommy’s tummy soon and that they would be able to visit when mommy and baby Grace were ready.  Luke didn’t quite understand why he couldn’t come to the hospital with us, but Jared was content to watch us leave.  Just the night before, I had given the boys a couple of gift bags with a baby toy in each of them and told them that they could give the presents to baby Grace when she was born.  Jared was really excited about that prospect and promised to help his baby sitters find everything that he and Luke needed while we were gone.  It made me proud of my 3 and a half year old son to see him step up to be the “big brother.”

We arrived at the hospital shortly before 10am and found my doctor anxiously awaiting us in the emergency room entrance.  He whisked us into an examination room where he confirmed my suspicion that I was not that far along in the delivery process.  I was still only 2 cm dilated and the fetal monitor had not picked up any contractions in 10 minutes.

So, my doctor said that we could wait in the room until the hospital checked me in and that he would come back later to see how I had progressed.  He mentioned that if my contractions did not become more regular in the next couple hours, he would give me something to speed up the process.  It seems he was determined that I give birth that day. 

I looked at Stephen in annoyance and said, “I do not want be induced!”

I was still hooked up the fetal monitor as different nurses and hospital representatives prepared paperwork and tests to admit me to the hospital.  Meanwhile, I began to feel more contractions.  I had two within the following twenty minutes and one of them was a lot stronger than any of the previous contractions I had been having so far.

By 11am, they were wheeling me into the labor room where I would give birth.  As I waited for Stephen to arrive, I realized that my contractions were already coming a lot quicker than they had before.  I noticed that they were now 10 minutes apart.  After Stephen came to the room, he noticed the television and began to flip through the cable channels.  I tolerated the distraction for the time being as I walked around the room waiting for contractions to come and go.

By noon, Stephen noted that my contractions were coming every two to three minutes and were lasting about 45 seconds to a minute.  Shortly afterwards, I felt too tired to walk around and began to sit down on the bed.  Suddenly, I could no longer tolerate the television.

“Turn that thing off now!” I ordered him in frustration. “I need you to focus on me, please!”

The nurses must have noticed the sudden change in my tone of voice, because one lady came running in and asked me how far apart my contractions were coming.  When I told her that they were coming every two minutes, she said she would call for the doctor.  She came scurrying back and said that she was told to check my dilation.  I was surprised when she told me that I had already dilated to 9cm. 

The room became a flurry of action as nurses began to bring in everything needed for the delivery.  I took the time to call Jared and Luke one last time.  They were eating lunch and getting ready to take a nap.  When I got off the phone, I didn’t even notice any pain for about a couple minutes.  However, the next contraction was so strong I knew that I would want to push soon. 

“Where’s the doctor?” I asked.

Just then, he arrived and measured me again.  I was 10 cm dilated, but the baby had not come down yet.

“Try not to push,” he told me.

The next ten minutes were a rush over my system.  The moment the doctor sat down in front of me, it felt like a roller coaster was let loose and I had the greatest desire to push.

“Hold on! Not so fast!” my doctor told me.

“I’m sorry! I’m sorry!” I said as I tried to hold back what felt like a waterfall of contractions that were coming all at the same time. “I can’t stop pushing!”

“O.K. O.K.  Just slow down,” he said.  “She’s coming.”

And suddenly in two pushes, she had arrived.  I looked down and saw her little bottom sticking up in the air as the doctor cut her free and handed her to the nurse.  My pediatrician did not arrive until 10 minutes after the baby was born because it all happened so quickly.  (Note: In Ecuador, it is customary that both the attending physician and the pediatrician be present at the time of a baby’s birth.)

Grace reaches out to her daddy.

The time was 12:40pm.  Grace Erin Meier was born on April 2, 2011, on the 97th birthday of her great-grandmother (on Stephen’s side of the family) with the same initials (GEM). She weighed 2.7 kilos which is approximately 6 pounds and measured the length of 47 cm, which is approximately 18 ½ inches long.

The doctor began to stitch me up as we waited for the placenta to release.  After thirty minutes, it was apparent that the placenta was not coming out on its own.  This same thing had happened with the birth of my second son, Luke.  He called the anesthesiologist to put me under so that he could manually extract the placenta.

By 3pm, I was waking up again and in the recovery room.  It wasn’t until 4pm that they wheeled me into my bedroom and I was able to see my baby again.  I stayed in the hospital for two days and returned home on Monday around noon to the two very excited big brothers anxiously awaiting the return of their mother and baby sister.

We are all very happy to be home as we get acquainted with the newest member of the family.

The Meier children together for the first time.