Saturday, July 29, 2006

Friday, July 28, 2006

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Daniel's Birth Day

So Chris wakes me up at around 4 AM the morning of July 26, 2006, and says “we are having the baby today, get ready to leave for the hospital.” Being that it was not even light out, I did what most fathers would do in my position, I went back to sleep. Eventually I got out of bed about forty minutes later, so this day has finally come.

We have always had pretty healthy pregnancies. We had several false alarms with Eric, our first child, thinking that this was the “big day,” only to fall asleep and wake up in the morning and go to work like normal. With Faith, our second, Chris knew exactly when the contractions were real and not false labor, so I knew this time again, she would know for sure and that I could trust her judgment with this. So I got out of bed pretty certain that our son was going to be born on this day.

Honestly, I have been battling with feelings of uneasiness and a little fear over our decision to have this child here in the Philippines. Forgive me if I sound like I am belittling or ridiculing the medical establishment here, but honestly, it is not as advanced here in the Iloilo, Philippines as it is in Columbia, Maryland. For example, our doctor informed us that I might not be allowed to be present during the delivery. Also we requested that they do not follow normal procedure by taking the baby to the nursery for several hours—instead we wanted to keep Daniel with us at all times. Also concerning breast feeding, while it is commonly accepted here as the best way to feed a baby, it is also believed that a mother’s milk is not produced until about three days after delivery, and that the pre-milk, called colostrum, is not good for the baby, so they wanted us to have them feed him sugared milk while he was in the hospital.

Then there is the fear of something going wrong, or some issue coming up that would have been easily and expertly handled in a modern hospital in the United States, but would be a challenge here in this third world country. I started thinking that I was being unwise to have my son here in this poor, third-world country.

But when I got out of bed this morning I felt the peace of the Lord Jesus Christ come over me. I felt that this day and my son’s life was in His very large hands. His grace would meet every challenge and help us overcome every fear. The events of this day have confirmed this fact over and over. It was an incredible day.

At 5:00 AM our friends Susan and Jessica came over. Jessica is a visiting Calvary International missionary, and she stayed to watch the kids. Susan works with us at the Sonshine Center. She was to be our translator and provide what ever assistance she could. We got to the hospital and told the admitting intern of our plans, that I was going to be present in the delivery room, and that we also had a birth plan written down detailing our specific requests. This doctor, Fae, became a sort of advocate for us, ensuring that our non-traditional (at least by Filipino standards) wishes were carried out. It was such a blessing to have her there making sure the other attendants followed our birth plan. She even passed around our written instructions making sure that all concerned know of our wishes. She was a major blessing to have and was with us throughout the delivery. She was definitely God’s doctor for us in our hour of need, an obvious example of God’s grace going before us.

When we went to the delivery room, they told me I was to wait outside, but Dr. Fae told them that I was going in, and that is was OK. So they made me wear scrubs, a mask and a hair net. I looked in the mirror and immediately thought of my late Father, Reynaldo S. Anasco MD. I looked just like him. Chris was already 8 cm dilated, so we were ready to go into the delivery room, we just had to wait for the OB/GYN. Contractions were coming hard and fast, and Chris really wanted to lay down and start pushing, but we had to wait for the doctor. I told them she had until 7:30 AM to arrive, or we were going to start without her. She arrived just in time.

We got Chris situated on the delivery bed, and the contractions started to come in earnest, and she started pushing. I have seen this two times already, and it never ceases to amaze me the amount of effort and strength it takes to deliver a baby. I know I will never experience the kind of physical pain it takes to deliver a baby. (Salamat Gino-og!). Once again the Lord met us with his grace by a surprisingly fast delivery. We were in the delivery room for about fifteen minutes. She pushed about ten times, and then suddenly Daniel Patrick was born.

Immediately he started crying, and I know he was a healthy and well. Since they knew we did not want him to leave us, the doctors and nurses got right to work cleaning him up, weighing him, and doing the other stuff that they normally do away from us in another room. I watched and took pictures, and couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

At first is was almost surreal, to think that I was now a father of three. For so long it was just Eric and Faith, not anymore. The kids outnumbered the parents. A friend put it this way, we could not longer play man-to-man and we would have to use our zone defense. It was so great finally meet him to hold his hand and hear him cry.

I had been almost dreading the delivery, with all the perceived challenges and potential difficulties—again since we were delivering here in the Philippines. Two of the admitting doctors even asked, somewhat incredulously, why, as Americans, we were having our baby in the Philippines. What I had been dreading was now over, and over so quickly. Daniel is born. Both he and Chris are doing great. The time of birth was 7:49 AM, just a few short hours from when Chris first woke me up. Christ with His grace, peace and strength carried us through, just as He always does, and He always will.

Eric and Faith came over a couple of hours later. In fact Eric had just woken up when we texted Jessica at our house with the big news. His first thought was “I need to tell Faith!” They came over with our dear friends, Jimmy and Beth Capone, and their daughters Natalie and Julianna. They have been here for about two weeks on a short term missions trip. It has been a blessed time to minister with them again, they came last year. Their trip had the added blessing that they got to see our newest just a few hours old. They are also Daniel’s Godparents. So Daniel has a Godfather with the last name Capone.

Other friends came and went, Eric and Faith stayed all day, getting to know their baby brother. At one point Daniel was awake and even opening his eyes while Eric and Faith played with him. He and Chris were doing so great. He immediately took to breast feeding, and she fed him several times throughout the day. The doctors and nurses kept coming in asking if the milk had already come, asking us if they could feed him sugar formula. We kept saying that yes, her milk was ready, and he does not need to drink anything else.

Eric and Faith were getting a little restless in our little hospital room. We did watch a little TV, but I did not want Daniel to start his life thinking that this box is always on. So around 4:00 PM, with Chris’ OK, I took the kids home and we went swimming. As I left, and throughout the day, I had a strong sense of peace about the day’s events. Chris was doing great, a little sore, but up and about in normal spirits, having fun with her now three kids. It is a great testimony to her strength and overall health that she is doing so well after having just delivered a baby a few hours ago. Even while pregnant she continued to exercise every morning, keeping her strength up.

Later I left the kids at home with the Capones and some of the missionaries here, and now I sit here back at the hospital, writing these lines, describing this most incredible day. Daniel just ate, and he and Chris is now sleeping.

I am overwhelmed at the Lord’s grace for this day. The delivery could not have gone any better. We had heard some horror stories from other missionary moms who delivered here, but the hospital and the doctors were all great and very supportive or our requests. The Lord met us every step of the way, giving us a safe, fast, and healthy delivery. Chris and Daniel are both doing more than great. I am so thankful to Jesus for helping me with my fears and doubts, and providing me a way through the challenges of this day. Indeed His yoke is easy and His burden is light. His strength IS made perfect in our weakness.

Thank you, Lord, for carrying the Anasco family (all five of us) through this day. Thank you for the blessing of another child, another world-changer and Kingdom Builder. Give us grace and wisdom to raise this child to follow hard after You all the days of his life. Prepare a place in our hearts for him, and also prepare a place in his heart and life for You. I know You have a destiny and a plan for his life.

The verse of Scripture God gave us for Daniel:

“Those who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits [for Him].”
Daniel 11:32

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Saturday, July 15, 2006

She's Back!

Jessica Carter came to visit us last Summer with a Calvary International Discovery Missions team. She kept emailing us after the trip saying she really wanted to come back for another visit. Well, she is back, and we are so blessed to have her. It is always so cool to have people come visit us on a short-term missions trip. It is even cooler when they come back for more.

This time, instead of coming with a team, she came totally on her own--brave girl.

Again I say, how about YOU? When is it your time to come to the other side of the world?

Monday, July 10, 2006

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Independence Day?

From a letter of John Adams to his wife:
"The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America.- I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by Solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfire and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more."

Happy 2nd of July, on this day in 1776 the unanimous vote for the declaration of independence from the empire of Great Britain was voted and agreed upon. On that day, according to John Adams:

"the greatest Question was decided, which ever was debated in America, and a greater perhaps, never was or will be decided among Men. A Resolution was passed without one dissenting Colony 'that these united Colonies, are, and of right ought to be free and independent States, and as such, they have, and of Right ought to have full Power to make War, conclude Peace, establish Commerce, and to do all the other Acts and Things, which other States may rightfully do.' "

In memory and in honor of John Adams, Happy Second of July.
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