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Saturday, May 24, 2014

Taryn’s Birth – Part Four

Part One Two and Three

Well, where did we leave off? It was the hour between 2 and 3 am, after paging my midwife, waiting for she and her student to arrive. Taryn (yes, our midwife shares a name with our baby – I'll get there eventually...) arrived right around 3:00 on the dot. My mother and father in law also pulled in right around this time. I can't quite remember who was first. Taryn quickly busied herself setting up after chatting with me for a quick second. I remember feeling like she seemed very business like and efficient, much less laid back than usual, but I think in retrospect I can now see that she knew she best get herself prepared to welcome a baby into the world in a short time. She told me after the birth that based on my composure when she walked in the door, I could have been a 4 or I could have been a 10 – that it hardly seemed like I was phased by the labour, but that she was fairly confident in the noises I was making and the way I was breathing that after seeing me give birth twice before, I was nearly there. I remember expressing my concern to her about being fearful that I wasn't progressing very far and she just calmly told me, “We'll check in a bit and see what we can do”.

Her student arrived a few moments after she did and together they finished all the set up. Fiona did all the necessary checking of my vitals and listening to the baby, I'm not sure how many times, but at some points during it all.

I heard her ask Taryn “Are we even going to check her?”. Taryn said, “I don't need to but I think she really wants to know”. My mom also told me later that based on seeing me give birth twice before she knew this was the end, simply because of the way I was breathing and moaning.

One thing that was so very different about this labour (aside from everything) is how I coped and managed the contractions. I have oodles of “labouring” photos from both Evalyn and Gwen's birth – me on the ball, Evan and I walking around, me zoned out laying in bed – this time, I have one photo of the labour process and it is not appropriate for the public eye. The thing is, I just laboured on my own. I laid in bed the entire night until 3 am and even after that, I wasn't doing all of those things that had helped me coped the first two times around. My mom and MIL were hardly in the room this time, I didn't use Evan for support until 2 am and it was just so – different, all together.

While Taryn and her student were setting up, most of my contractions happened while I was laying in bed or standing up with my arms resting on Evan's tall dresser. He kept encouraging me to sit back onto the birth ball to relax, but I just couldn't. For some reason, my body wanted to stand up and sink down into the contractions. I would stand up facing his dresser with my arms crossed on top of it, praying and silently working my way through each contraction.

Just like always, he was the most amazing partner. Any time he saw me slipping away during one of the contractions, he brought me right back down … encouraging me to follow my body, to sink into the contractions, to relax and let it out through my toes. If my face scrunched up, he urged me to relax my shoulders. If he saw me clench my bum, he reminded me to let my legs go free. Without him, I would have never managed.

It was about 3:40 when Taryn and Fiona were done setting up and told me they would go ahead and check me. Fiona was the one to do the exam, said everything was nice and soft and that the baby's head was really low. She said she figured I was about an 8. Eight. Okay, yes. I could handle that for sure. Later we were told that Fiona was fairly certain I was actually complete during that check, but didn't want to say so in case she was mistaken. When the membranes are still intact, sometimes it is difficult for them to fully check dilation all the way around the back, and so she couldn't be sure if there was any remaining cervix to dilate.

Taryn asked me if I would like her to double check Fiona's assessment and also see if she thought that breaking my water would be a feasible option to help things move along as quickly as possible. I said yes, I'd like that but that I needed a break between exams to work through a few more contractions and then she could check. She agreed.

About two contractions later, I had the strangest sensation that I can't even describe. Something between pressure and pain and then suddenly, relief. My water broke. Taryn joked later that I had now done labour almost every possible way – during Eva's labour, they artificially ruptured my membranes when I was 7cm. During Gwen's labour, my water broke spontaneously before contractions. And this time, my water broke near the end on its own. Another contraction, and another little gush. I cannot even describe the amount of relief this gave me. It was as though I was suddenly weightless, the whole midsection of my body felt as though it immediately dropped and was no longer causing discomfort.

I remember saying to Evan, at some point, whether it was now or not doesn't matter, I suppose, that I couldn't believe we'd be meeting our baby. And soon. So soon. Assuming we still had 2cm of progress to make, Evan asked if I'd like to move around a bit and go wash off in the shower before the big show. That sounded like a comforting idea to me, so I asked Taryn, “Are you still checking me?” “No, there's no reason to now”. “Is it okay if we have a shower?” “Yes, but it will have to be quick”. Later she told me she wanted to laugh and say, “There's no way you'll make it to the shower”, but of course, she refrained and just let us do our thing.

Now, brace yourself because this is where things start to get crazy. One of the strangest things about this labour to me is having no idea how/when/how fast my progress was made. Since Fiona's check was my only internal check, I have no gauge to know how my dilation occurred. Was I consistently dilating all through the night Friday and the day Saturday? Or were those contractions for practice? Did most of the dilation occur in those last hours/minutes? Of course, I'll never know.

So, Evan got his shorts ready to get into the shower with me and between contractions, helped me ease my legs off the edge of my bed. I put my arm around his shoulder and stood up to make my way to the bathroom.

I can't even remember what it felt like or how I knew. I just remember saying, “Uhhh, umm, baby!” And it's a good thing his instincts kicked into gear, because he placed his hand down between my legs and said, “The baby's head is out!” And he wasn't talking about a little bit of crowning. When he reached down, he was holding our child's head in his hand. He quickly, very quickly, eased (or maybe it was more of a forceful push) me back onto the bed. He said as he did so, he saw the baby's head go back up a little. When I fell back to lean against my pillows, I missed the pillows and laid flat on my back and as soon as I did so, her head was out again. He and my mother and mother-in-law all started cheering, “baby! There's the baby!”, I immediately reached down and could feel her. I could feel her face, her nose, a head full of hair. I took one more deep breath in and as I exhaled, my baby was earth side. Taryn didn't even have a chance to pull on a pair of gloves. Instead, she sat back and watched as she let my husband deliver his baby. We have one photo that we absolutely love that shows him delivering her, with Fiona racing to get gloves on and Taryn sitting back with a huge grin on her face. She knew he had it under control.

When she came out, I was immediately thanking God and reaching down to lift her to my chest. Evan could see that she was quite pretzeled up in her cord – which was once around her neck and twice around her legs - so together he and Taryn got her all straightened out. When I lifted her up, he (or maybe someone else) said, “Well, take a look”. I looked and saw that I was holding in my arms my third, beautiful baby daughter.

More tears. More praise. There is nothing in my life that could ever top the moments that I have met my girls. There is no time in my life that I feel more closely linked with my creator and more in awe of God's work.

DSCN2030 I told the room that we had another beautiful baby girl. My mother-in-law asked if this beautiful baby girl had a name. I looked at our fabulous midwife and said, “Yes. Her name is Taryn Ruth”. Evan and I had decided a few months back that if we had another girl and we were blessed enough to have Taryn as our attending midwife at the birth again (she has been at the birth of all of our children) we would name her Taryn. There couldn't be a more fitting name.

The next few moments were spent with me snuggling this tiny human that God has so graciously entrusted me with. I spent those moments taking in every little bit of her. Her jet black hair (explains the 700 bottles of Tums), her tiny fingers and her tiny toes. Another beautiful girl. A baby sister for my children. The most beautiful blessing.

IMG_4361 The final piece of my puzzle.

Taryn’s Birth – Part 3

Click for Part One and Part Two of her story…

Once I laid down around 9:00 on Saturday evening, I was going between keeping an eye on the clock and drifting to sleep between contractions that were coming at – you guessed it – around 10 minutes apart. But suddenly, around 10pm, I jolted upright with a start and thought, something is different. I still don't even know exactly what happened. I'm not sure if I had fallen into a deep sleep and a heavy contraction woke me or what. But as I stood up, I felt shaky and queasy and all together different than I had throughout the whole ordeal. I went out and said to Evan, “This is it. And if it's not, I don't know what I'll do”. He ran me a bath and while I worked through a few contractions in the water, we decided it was time to call his parents to begin their venture from Michigan, where they were visiting his oldest sister and time to take the kids to Marcia and Linda's for the night. We woke my parents up, got things packed up for the girls and sent them off with my Dad. As I kissed their sleepy, groggy little lips goodbye, I got a little teary, thinking about how it was more than likely that their little lives would never be the same from that moment on. After Dad took off with them, Evan, Mom and I worked at bringing up the birth supplies, making the bed in preparation for the birth and getting everything else set back up. And as you can imagine, throughout all this hustle and bustle, the contractions all but disappeared.

It was about 11pm when we climbed back into bed and I can honestly say that the next few hours were so beyond bizarre to me. This experience was nothing like either of my first two. I spent the next hours, until 2am, drifting into a deep, deep sleep in between the most difficult and intense contractions I had ever felt in my life. I was trying to time them to see if there was a pattern, but I just couldn't stay awake. At times, I would look at my stop watch and see that 23 minutes had passed. But I had absolutely no conscious recollection of what had happened in those 23 minutes. I didn't know if I was sleeping through contractions or if 23 minutes was really passing without a contraction. In between this groggy haze of sleep and the contractions that I was present for, I was also taking multiple trips to the washroom, losing more mucous and feeling intense pressure in my bum, signaling I needed to have a bowel movement, but never having anything happen.

At 2 am, things were getting to be too much for me to handle. I still didn't think I was anywhere close to the end because I was trying to think too textbook, waiting for the “closer together” component to strike. I woke Evan and said, “I think I need to page the midwives. I'm not sure how much longer I can do this without knowing if/how much progress I am making”. I was so fearful that after all of these hours and all of this work, I would still be sitting at 2cm – and that was a thought I just couldn't bear to entertain. Evan immediately got his phone out and said, “Just wait. I really don't think I'm close enough to page. Give me another half hour and let's see what happens”. Apparently his instinct is stronger than mine because he said, “No. I am paging right now. I'd rather not deliver this baby alone”.

So, I paged. Within moments, my primary midwife, Taryn called me back with her student, Fiona, on the line. Thanks to my mother, I have a habit of being unable to sit still while on the phone, so as soon as we started chatting, I started moving around. Of course, I wasn't paying entirely close attention at the time but later I looked back and realized that in our 9 minute conversation, I had 4 very long, very difficult contractions. Taryn told me, “We are coming to you. Now. If you aren't close to the end, we will see what we can do to speed things up. Until we get there, I want you laying on your side in bed or in the tub. If you are on the toilet and you feel pressure, get to bed and lay down. I want you resting as much as possible, even if the contractions slow down, we will see what's going on when we get there”. Since we moved to a new area, it would take them longer to get to me than it did at past births so she also told me that if anything changed in the next 45-50 minutes while I waited for her to call her back right away. Later, she told me that from the first few minutes of our conversation, she knew we would have a baby soon.

In the hour between 2-3, while I waited for her and her student to arrive, things changed drastically. The feeling of the contractions, the speed, the intensity – everything. Of course, my mind kept drifting to “what if this isn't it? What if I still have hours and hours ahead of me?” I tried not (unsuccessfully) to let myself think of the magic number of how far I hoped I'd be, but really, I know I wanted to be at least 7cm. And although the fear of not having progressed was there, somewhere deep inside my mind I knew I had. I had been here twice before. I knew these feelings. My body's memory was jogged in a big way. I could feel it. I was in transition...

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Taryn’s Birth – Part 2

If you recall from part one, I tucked myself into bed around 10pm on Friday May 16th, 6 days past my due date, after having contractions 10-15 minutes apart for about 5 hours, wondering if there would be a baby in my arms by sunrise.

The next thing I knew, I woke with a start, sat up and looked at the clock. The amount of discouragement and disappointment I felt when I saw that it was 1 am was indescribable. Three hours had passed where I had slept soundly, without feeling a single contraction. Did that mean they had stopped? Were they just weak enough that I wasn't feeling them? What was going on? I rolled over, trying to let myself get back to sleep. But of course, the mind games began and I was laying wide awake, waiting, more like hoping, for another contraction to come. Surely what I had felt the night before wasn't more false labour? After about 20 minutes, I decided to take some Tylenol, in hopes of it helping me ease back into sleep and get as much rest as I could. But, my body had different plans. There was not much rest left in store for me that night. At 1:30, the contractions started up once again, still remaining at 10-15, sometimes even 20 minutes apart. But they were definitely stronger and more intense than what I had been feeling in the evening.

I was also finding myself up and in the washroom quite a bit, losing more and more of my mucous plug and feeling more “poop like” pressure all through the night. Thankfully, despite the intensity of the contractions, the space between them allowed me to rest as much as I could, sometimes falling asleep during the break. I found that there were times I would go a big long stretch, even up to 30 minutes, without a contraction, but almost always, as soon as I shifted positions or stood up, a contraction would immediately follow. I battled so much with myself through the night, as well as through the rest of my labour, about what to do about this. Keep moving in hopes of speeding things up or take advantage of the opportunity to rest during the gap? In the end, my exhaustion prevailed, and I stayed in bed as much as possible, hoping that if this was the real deal my body would do its job regardless of whether I was standing up or laying down.

Of course, morning quickly came and there had been no change in the pattern of my contractions. Still coming. Still intense. Still hard. But no pattern in terms of timing. We've all heard the whole magic “longer, stronger, closer together” trifecta. Well, I felt like I had the longer, stronger down pat but the closer together was just not happening.

I got up earlier than anyone else in the house and started making breakfast. As I was laying bacon out on a pan, I had to stop a few times and gaze out the window while I worked through contractions. This was the kind of thing that continued on throughout the day. During breakfast, my mom and Evan and I all kind of predicted we'd see a baby by evening. Even Evan said something about how having a labour/delivery all throughout the day would be different for us. We were really starting to think this was it. I decided to have a relaxing bath to see if it would make any change to the pattern of things. It was super relaxing, as the girls both insisted on climbing on in with me!

I texted Marcia and Linda to tell them what had been happening through the night and that morning. They offered to come get the girls but again, I decided to just keep them around in order to prevent moving too soon. The rest of the morning was basically business as usual. My mom and I worked on some laundry, we played outside with the kids, went to see the horses … all the while, with contractions coming at every 10-15 minutes, but no change. Around 11, I started to feel so tired, so I laid down for a rest. I chilled out for about 40 minutes, without a single contraction coming. Again, enter disappointment. My baby was never, ever coming out.

The rest of the afternoon was pretty quiet. I rested, having a few contractions but nothing serious. It was raining when the girls woke up from their naps, so more outside play was out of the question. Around 4, I told Evan I wanted to go into town to do some walking around stores, just to keep myself moving and see if things might lead anywhere. We grabbed a coffee, walked around Canadian Tire, and grabbed a few groceries. A few contractions, more mucous plug and a near attack by two dogs tied up outside Food Basics later and we came home to find freshly baked cookies made by the girls and Nana. My dad had also arrived from the cottage while we were gone, so we all enjoyed dinner together without any serious action.

After dinner, I noticed the contractions starting to pick up in intensity again – but like before, no change in distance apart. We were able to get back outside for a little while and I decided to take matters into my own hands as I climbed onto the 4 wheeler. I had been bugging Evan for weeks to take me for a spin but we never had actually done it. So, up I climbed and started (very slowly) riding down the lane. I looked back to see my Dad laughing as I had to stop and breath my way through another contraction while sitting on the 4 wheeler.

We got the kids to bed, again deciding to leave them at home because there was no amount of confidence that tonight would be the night and settled in to watch some TV. At some point in the evening, I told Evan that if I got to morning like this – with these tough contractions and no sign of speeding up – I was going to page the midwife in the morning, hopeful that she would be able to come and perhaps give me another membrane sweep or something, anything, to speed things up. I was getting discouraged and tired, not knowing if all of this work I had already been doing was getting me anywhere. Just before 9 I decided to call it a night, knowing that if morning came and there had been no changes, I was not going to be a happy camper. I laid down in bed and spent some time in prayer, asking God to grant me wisdom and discernment, to keep my baby safe and healthy and to bring her to us soon. Little did I know what this night had in store for my family...

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Taryn’s Birth – Part 1

Even though I seem to have kind of given up blogging (don't worry – pregnancy #3 is documented, I just didn't bother posting them here), there is absolutely no way that I could ever let the birth story of one of my babies be left untold. So, here we are.

Where exactly do you start when recounting the birth of a baby? I feel like these stories always begin long before the actual labour begins. So, I'm warning you from the get go. This will be lengthy. And wordy. And full of details that may or may not seem important. But to me, it's all the necessary details in the beautiful God written story that brings us to Taryn. So sit back and enjoy.

There was a lot of impatience and struggle at the end of my pregnancy. Despite being five days overdue with the girls, I somehow let myself believe that maybe this one would be different. Well, was this one ever different – just maybe not in the way I had hoped. I held my composure together rather well when my due date came and went – I guess I wasn't na├»ve enough to believe that I would be early, but as I got closer and closer to the magic 40w4 and 40w5 (I went into labor at 40w4 and gave birth at 40w5 to both older girls) I started to get antsy. In my head, I guess I just assumed those would be the days.

On my due date, I had a scheduled midwife appointment at which they (both my primary midwife Taryn and the student, Fiona) checked me, determined I was 2cm dilated and stripped my membranes. Taryn told me she wouldn't bet money that I'd have my baby that night but assured me it would be coming soon. Of course, because time was slowly creeping away from us we had to start talking about back up plans for organizational purposes. Especially because we were leading into a long weekend. I was booked for and ultrasound and biophysical profile for Tuesday morning and from there, we would discuss plans for inducing if we ended up making it to 42 weeks. Of course, I kept reminding myself that 8 more days was an eternity in baby birthing days and there was tons of time. However, in the back of my mind, the fear was always there of what if my body didn't do its job this time. What if. I kept praying that God would help me to be patient and at peace with His timing. But really, I know the back of my mind was saying, “Let me trust Your timing, God, but hey, today is a great day to have a baby!”

Despite knowing and experiencing twice before that things could go from nothing to something in an instant, I was starting to feel defeated. Over the course of the day Thursday, I hoped that the membrane strip would start to get things moving but aside from some minor mucous and blood, there didn't seem to be much action.

The good thing was, by lunchtime on Thursday Nana arrived and informed us she was parking her butt until the baby arrived. I kept telling our baby that now that Nana was here, we were good to go! Yet still, Thursday passed with no action at all.

Friday morning, we got up and decided to take the girls swimming at the Y for the morning. We had a fun morning in the pool, followed by a special McDonald's breakfast treat and grocery shopping. The afternoon was spent napping and playing outside, with Dana, Cindy and Lochlan joining us for dinner in the evening. Shortly after they arrived, around 5pm, I started to feel some mild contractions. Of course, I had been feeling mild contractions for weeks and weeks, so they were nothing to get excited over. But as the evening progressed, they started to change and my body's memory started to be jogged, thinking “Hm I think I remember this. I think this is different”. A few times through the evening, during dinner and clean up afterward, I found myself needing to stop to take a breath as I zoned myself out through a contraction. There didn't seem to be any pattern, though, so I just kept on keeping on, but told Cindy to sleep with her phone volume turned up, just in case. I wasn't sure if I should send the kids away for bedtime, and in the end decided not to. I just didn't want to do it preemptively because I didn't want them to have to spend more than the necessary time away from home, and I just wasn't quite confident enough at that point. We spent the evening moseying around home, all the while I was having contractions anywhere from 10-25 minutes apart. But again, nothing to get too excited about. I had a bath and they were fairly steady. Around 9:30, I decided to call it a night. I had a few more as I laid in bed and drifted off to sleep around 10, wondering if there might just be a baby in my arms by morning...

Monday, October 28, 2013

dear baby: 12 weeks


We’ve just passed the 12 week mark. I can hardly believe it. The past few months have gone by so slowly, yet SO fast. I just know I will blink and I’ll be in the homestretch. I can’t wait to meet this new little one, but of course, I don’t want to wish the time away. There is much to do before we are ready to welcome a new little one.

As to be expected, it’s been a rough go so far. Growing a baby is the greatest miracle there is, but man, oh man, is it hard work. I’d do it a thousand times over just to see the sweet face of this baby, of course, but sometimes it kind stinks. Thankfully, I’m not nearly as sick as I was with Big Sister #1. So far, it’s fairly comparable to Big Sis #2. I can’t say there are any real patterns – other than I always wake up feeling nauseous and get sick in the morning. Sometimes I’m able to kick it by 9 or 10 am, but sometimes it comes and goes in waves throughout the entire day. Late evening is usually icky, too.

On top of the nausea and vomiting, the first trimester tireds are unreal, am I right? Many nights over the past two months I’ve found myself getting your big sisters to bed and following immediately after. I’ve even been asleep before Eva some nights. I’ve also been catching cat naps here and there when I can. Thankfully your sisters usually nap at the same time (you’re going to be a good napper like them, right,  baby?) but because of work,, I often can’t nap. When I can though, I certainly take advantage of it! I’m still quite comfortable and not having any trouble sleeping, aside, of course, from the times your sisters don’t let me get a good rest.

We’ve been (well, I’ve been … Daddy mostly just humours me) talking names quite a bit. We’ve decided to keep all of our name ideas a secret this time around so it will be a big surprise when you make your debut. I think I’m pretty set on your name if you’re a girl and fairly confident of what it will be if you’re a boy, but of course, we reserve the right to make changes at any time.

I have no hunch if you are a girl or a boy just yet. Of course, my automatic reaction is to refer to you as ‘she’ because that’s all I’ve ever known – but I don’t have any true instincts yet. I know full well how two extremely opposite pregnancies can result in the same sexed baby, so I don’t know if I ever will have a hunch. All I know is that whatever the outcome, we will be thrilled. We just want you to be healthy and strong.

Your biggest sister is so excited about you. Almost every day she asks if you’re kicking yet as she rubs my belly. She gets annoyed when people ask if she thinks you’re a brother or a sister – I think she wonders how people expect her to know. She already talks about all the ways she’ll help me take care of you. She is going to spoil you rotten! Of course, Gwennie will, too, but she doesn’t quite have the same understanding of all things baby related yet.

I am finding it hard to believe, but I’ve already been able to feel you flutter around a few times. The first time was in the middle of the night so I assumed I was dreaming but then the next day, while out to dinner with your Daddy and eating a poutine (maybe it’s your favourite, too?) I very distinctly felt that little swooshy feeling. I didn’t feel your Big Sisters until quite a bit later so I was surprised, but I know it’s definitely possible – especially considering this is my third rodeo. I can’t wait to start feeling it more often and even more, I can’t wait until we can feel you kick from the outside so your Daddy and Big Sissy’s can join in!

We are so entirely thrilled and excited for you. We talk about you and pray for you all the time. You will do great things for this family!

With all my love,


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Dear Baby

**Originally written September 4, 2013**

Dear Baby,

Today is my 27th birthday. This morning around 6am, I was given the very best birthday present I could have ever asked for when your Daddy walked into our bedroom holding the pregnancy test I had just taken and simply said, “Yes”.

I knew you were coming. I just knew it. Over the past couple of weeks, my instinct has gone back and forth. One minute thinking there was no way and the next minute thinking it was for sure. The past couple of days, however, I’ve felt the kind of tired that can mean one and only one thing – baby!

I am so beyond thrilled and excited, my sweet baby. The anticipation of wondering who you’ll be, what you’ll look like, what kind of personality you’ll have … it’s all too much. You have captivated my heart in an instant. You are an answer to prayer and a great gift to me. Of course, I am absolutely terrified at the prospect of having three children in less than four years. Terrified. But I know my God, I know He is a great God, and I know full well he will prepare my heart and this family for you, and that you will fit in so perfectly that we will wonder how we ever managed to exist without you.

There are so many exciting things that will come in the next few months; hearing your heartbeat, seeing you on an ultrasound, getting your room ready for you, choosing your name… all of that. But none of it even begins to prepare for the moment I long for most – the moment I will see your sweet face for the first time. I can’t wait to fall in love with your tiny fingers and toes. I can’t wait to watch Daddy snuggle with you. To see your big sisters ooh and aah over you. Let me tell you, you have two amazing big sisters. They will rock your world. And you will rock theirs!

I will pray for you every single day, from here on out. I will do all that I can to protect you, always. I will love you with every fiber of my being and never stop. Nothing can take away my love for you.

Sweet Baby #3, this world will be blessed by you. This world, my world, will be changed by you.

You have my heart.


well, well, well

I guess I really have fallen off the blogging wagon considering it’s been over two weeks since we’ve gone public both in real life and online and I have yet to put the big announcement on the blog!


We are so entirely joyful to be announcing the upcoming arrival of our third blessing in Mid-May of 2014! Big Sister(s) are over the moon with excitement. Well, at least BiggEST sister is, Big Sister #2 really has no idea what’s up, except that she pulls up my shirt, pokes my belly button and says “Bay-Bay”.

God has so truly blessed us.

Expect to hear more from me – even if it is just pregnancy updates, because I am bound and determined to continue documenting this pregnancy, despite my lack of blogging any other domains of my life.

Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.