Noah NerYah Nelson
Date: Monday, December 28, 1998 4:57:12 AM
Israel and Cindy Nelson are pleased to announce the birth of their first child, Noah NerYah Nelson. She is a petite little thing, weighing in at 5 pounds, 13 ounces, but soooo precious. Words cannot express how thrilled we are with our daughter and what a beautiful bundle of joy she is. We love everything about her and just can't stop looking at her all day long!
Her name comes from Numbers 36. Noah was one of five daughters whose inheritance was assured to them by the Lord although they had no brothers. This is a different name than the Noah of the Flood. His name is pronounced No-Ack in Hebrew, and is a boy's name. Interestingly, No-Ack means "rest", while Noah means "movement." This certainly characterizes our child's stay in the womb -- she was always moving around -- poking and kicking.
Her middle name means "candle of the Lord." Ner is "candle" and Yah is "the Lord." She was born on the first day of Chanukah, which is the Feast of Dedication, also called the Festival of Lights. (It celebrates the cleansing of the Temple from idolatry and the rededication of it for the Lord's service during the time of the Maccabees. The gospel of John records Jesus celebrating this feast in Jerusalem. The lighting of the candles comes from a story that was added much later in history by the rabbis -- that there was only enough sacred oil to last one day, but God multiplied it to last eight. Regardless, we, as temples of God's Holy Spirit, refelct the true Light that came into the world. We have dedicated Noah to the Lord as our firstborn and pray that she will truly be a candle emitting light for our glorious God.
So her initials will be NNN. Cindy's mother's initials are MMM, so we are moving down the alphabet. :)
We want to share with you the testimony of Noah's birth. It was after a very long labor (5 days) and much endurance. Perseverance was one of the works God wanted to accomplish through this birth. God always has more in mind than just delivering a baby (as if that weren't enough!). Hebrews 6:12 exhorts us to "imitate those who through faith and perseverance inherit the promises." Also Hebrews 10:35-36 were a great encouragement not to give in to despair: "Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise."
Cindy started getting contractions regularly every 4 minutes in the middle of the night on Wednesday, December 9. By Thursday, however, they had become milder and more spaced out. We relaxed; Israel went to work. Thursday evening the contractions began again, also 2-4 minutes apart and very regular. Other signs indicated labor had definitely begun. Cindy wasn't due until December 20 and we had figured that since it was the first child, she would be late, so we hadn't been worried that our midwife was out of the country until December 13. Now that her return was a full 3 days away, the reality of a homebirth sans midwife was stark.
The contractions were getting very intense, so Israel prepared to deliver the baby. The water was boiled, the scissors were ready.... We were so thankful and comforted by both the American and Israeli prayer chains who were supporting us (round the clock coverage!). But by Friday morning -- no baby. We called a retired midwife who reassured us everything was okay and that actually it could be another week before the baby came. The "another week" part wasn't that reassuring :)
Labor continued like this with steady contractions for two more days. God continued to sustain us with encouraging words. Israel prayed in tongues over every contraction and at one point Cindy interpreted a Hebrew phrase: "Give us mercy, please." What reassurance to know that "the Spirit intercedes for us" when we don't know how to pray. Cindy prefered prayers in the Spirit because Israel's English prayers were sometimes disconcerting: "Give us a really powerful contraction to get the baby out, Lord!"
Perhaps people were praying that things would be held off until the midwife returned. We had tears in our eyes when she came in the room on Sunday morning. Israelis call her "the white angel" because of her white hair; now we know why. After all this time, Cindy was only 5 cm dilated. But it was very encouraging to know where we were so we could attain a fresh wind in order to finish the race.
After this things progressed slowly so that after hours of back labor (the baby's head was pointing the wrong way) Cindy was only at between 7 and 8 cm. The midwife recommended breaking the water to speed things along. As the priest of our home, Israel prayed to hear from the Lord about this decision. He felt the full weight of responsibility for his family and we were both more than ready to see our baby. But he felt a firm "No" from the Lord. There was a distinct presence of God as we gave ourselves into His hands. The midwife went home and the contractions seemed to stop, becoming quite mild and more spread out. We both got a few hours sleep. When we woke up we were talking about what God might be doing. Suddenly, without even a contraction, the water broke - Hallelujah!
But it proved to be a long night. There were very intense contractions for hours, yet in the end Cindy was only dilated to 7 cm! The fetal heartbeat was high and Cindy had a fever. The midwife was advising us to go to the hospital. We called for prayer in both Israel and America. We called out to the Lord for wisdom and again the sweet presence of the Lord reassured us as we decided not to lean on the arm of man after coming so far and trusting God for deliverance. Now, when things looked their bleakest, we didn't want to lose faith, as if anything is "too hard" for the Living God.
The midwife checked the baby's heartbeat -- normal. Cindy's fever was gone. Now the head was facing the right direction. The contractions were mild again when Cindy suddenly felt the urge to push. The baby was on her way! In a moment the whole situation was changed. From a dismal 7 cm to "Here comes baby!" It was only a matter of minutes and then our Sweetie joined us. "Joy comes in the morning!" Psalm 30:5. Truly all the travail is forgotten the moment the newborn comes into the world. There are no words...