May 28, 2007

Little guy

Things are going better than we expected. Either Zion is a really good baby, or we are much more laid back this time around. Maybe it's both. He is gaining weight and looking more like your average newborn. The major issue we have is people calling him "Zi-ON." My mother-in-law says, "Tell people it's like 'Ryan' with a 'Z.'" But I don't have the heart to correct people most of the time. I guess some people grew up thinking Jerusalem was built on Mount Zi-ON. It makes him sound like a creature off of Star Trek. Oh well. All-in-all, we have very few complaints. We are truly blessed. In the photo above you can see how little Zion really is. He won't believe it when he is a grown man, I'm sure.

May 27, 2007

The Grandmas

What would a young couple do without their moms in times like these? Grandmas are some of the world's most unsong heros. One minute there's a mess and the next a clean kitchen, with a grandma holding a dishrag. One minute there's a pouting toddler and the next a giggling grandma and grandson on the couch. One minute there's a crying mother and the next a laughing daughter and mom, sharing stories of birth, babies, and breastmilk.

With new toys and take-out they swoop in to the save the day. One could almost see a red cape flying behind them in the wind. I truly am thankful for the grandmothers that He has given to my sons. I hope that I will be like them one day.

May 24, 2007

I Thought I Was Going to Graduate...

Two months ago, a wonderful couple in our community offered to fly me to Kentucky for my grad-school graduation. Knowing that the timing would be close with the birth of our second son, Kayla and I wondered if I should do it or not. I'm always up for a trip, especially if there is a chance for some adventure - so we decided to go for it, and I couldn't be more thankful.

Zion was born on Friday. I graduated on Saturday, and returned to Van Buren on Sunday.

I was surprized at how much I needed the whole experience. It had not just been four years of papers and books, Kayla and I were blessed with life long friendships, intense seasons of joy, and some very difficult trials as well.

One day I was taking finals, Kayla already back in Arkansas for the summer. The next I recieved a call informing me that we had had a miscarriage. The next I was in a U-Haul with all of our belongings never to return to Wilmore as a student again. It was like I had been snatched away against my will, yet I was too enveloped by shock to fight back.

Now, a year later, after the dust has settled, I returned. I thought I was going to graduate, and I did, but I recieved more than just a degree. This time I left Wilmore with a picture of me in graduation attire next to my favorite OT professor. This time I left Wilmore with some of Korrie Harper's sweet tea on my lips, and some of their front porch breeze still in my hair. This time I left with the tears of Dale Williams on my shoulders and his words still lingering in my ears.

This time I left Wilmore with a smile, all the way down to my soul.

May 21, 2007


Zion Daniel Rupp was born at 12:28 a.m. on May 18, 2007 - all 4 1/2 pounds and 18 1/2 inches of him. He shot out in only two pushes, just 2 1/2 hours from my first contraction. If you're jealous of me, think again. One contraction in a fast labor like that is three times more powerful than anything I felt while delivering Bright. There was no "relaxation" or "breathing" - I went from, "Honey, I think this might be it" to, "Get me to the hospital NOW and get me an epidural" in about ten minutes time. While Daniel was flying through red lights on the way to the hospital, my contractions were three minutes apart and by the time they wheeled me in into labor and delivery, I (a natural childbirth advocate) was begging for an epidural. They couldn't give me one, though, because I was only dialated to a two! Thirty minutes later I was dialated to a seven, but they couldn't give me an epidural then because Zion's heart rate was dropping to 50 during my contrations (which were right on top of each other). They ordered a C-section at that point, which sounded great to me, but a moment later I was yelling, "I have to push!!!" and two pushes later we had a baby. A baby who, by the way, looks exactly like Daniel (as you can see). I had only been in the hospital for an hour.

When they say, "all labors are different," they really mean it! My first labor included soft music, hours of silence, concentrated relaxation, a few whoops and hollers during transition, and a baby...completely naturally. I thought, "childbirth isn't so bad." The second time around, Daniel was holding me down as I thrashed around on the bed, hollering things I don't even remember. I'm sure glad we didn't have time to grab the video camera! You wouldn't want to show that video at your natural childbirthing class. But now that it's said and done, I am glad that Zion enjoyed all the benefits of a drug-free delivery.

So now that you know the story, here's the update. His low birth weight? They don't know what is to blame for that. There was very minimal amniotic fluid around him, indicating that I was leaking fluid into my body somewhere. There may have been a tear in my placenta through which fluid was leaking, and a problem with the placenta could have kept Zion from getting what he needed to gain weight in the last few weeks of gestation. The thing is, we'll never really know. And it doesn't matter. Doctor says he's absolutely fine and thriving like a champ, and should catch up completely in a few months. In fact, at his 48 hour checkup, he had gained beyond his birth weight! He was not a preemie, because he scored full term on all their tests (like wrinkles in the feet and body hair, etc.). So we won't have to worry about his health or development. Praise the Father for a healthy, tiny baby boy!!!

Bright ADORES him. He has shown him all his favorite toys, including all their parts and how they work. He hasn't been clingy or grumpy (which I had feared), but rather very excited about his new baby brother. He was disappointed that we didn't name him Judah, but he's gotten over that too.

We have so much to be thankful for. My heart is full. Life is good. Praise the Father!

May 14, 2007


Here is a picture of me, 8 months pregnant. Once again, I simply look like I swallowed a basketball and couldn't quite digest it.
I thought I better get this pic on the blog site before a baby picture goes up. I'm feeling great - no sign of baby yet. I'm in no hurry. In fact, I'm savoring these last few days of caring only for an easy two-year-old. Bright's little world is so well established, I would be getting bored if I weren't expecting another one. I'd probably have to pick up a stay-at-home job or something. Daniel is graduating on Saturday. I'm so proud of him. Imagine grad school...done! Amazing. Bright is doing great. We talk about baby brother all the time, but I'm not sure how prepared he actually is. How can one ever be fully prepared for a new baby? That's all I have for now.