So, on August 25, 2003 we moved into our new house in Helena, MT. We camped out for a couple of days, and then our household good arrived, and we got down to the business of settling into a new town.
I was homeschooling still, so I didn't have to worry about getting kids registered, but I WAS 5 months pregnant, so finding a doctor was imperative. To get prenatal care, I had to first find a primary care physician, have another pregnancy test, and get referred to an OB practice. Um. Yeah. Like being OBVIOUSLY 5+ months pregnant, or having in my posession all of my records from the practice in TX was not enough.... So, I found a primary care, peed in a cup, and had it verified that, yes, (surprise!) I was pregnant, and was referred to an OB practice. While still in TX, my PAP smear had come back with an "abnormal" reading, so THAT was a present concern, too.
Before we got to Montana, we had been given the name of a possible church to attend, and since Jason had to be at work the first couple of weeks in Helena, I took five kids and my very pregnant self to visit this new church where I knew no one. Before too long, we decided that Hannaford Street Bible Church would be our church home. They had an excellent children's program, AWANA, youth group, and small groups, plus a thriving women's ministry.
In October, I had my first chance to have a fun get-together with my best friend of more than 10 years...in Fargo, ND. Since we were both homeschoolers, taking off in the middle of the school year was not a huge deal. Karla and I had been friends for more than 10 years, but had never met in person...this was an opportunity to remedy that. The kids and I spent 2 weeks visiting with Karla and her kids, leaving Jason home, getting settled in at work.
We arrived back home, and started getting settled into life and homeschooling again. Several days later, I got a piece of mail that confused and upset me. It was a bill, addressed to my husband, for some surgery....surgery he'd had while I was gone...and I had no idea...he was not intending to tell me about it. I was opposed enough to him having a vasectomy that he decided to go behind my back...though I still don't understand how he thought that it would be a good idea to hide it from me, or that I wouldn't somehow figure it out.
I was HURT. I had THOUGHT we were on the same page, but obviously that wasn't true. Again, I wondered how much I could trust him.
Jason was involved with the Christmas Dessert program that our church was putting on, running the sound and lights. I wanted to be involved, but I was TIRED, pregnant and hurting....and BUSY homeschooling 3 children. Our baby was due in early December, the week before the Christmas Dessert was scheduled to start. Given my history, though, I wasn't holding my breath. I really didn't expect to have the baby until closer to Christmas.
At my one-week-past-due appointment, the OBs office decided that the baby's heartbeat was not rebounding after the contractions I was already having, and they wanted to speed things along. SO, on Friday, December 13, 2003, I went home from my appointment, packed my bags, and arranged for the kids to spend a night or two with one of our pastors and his family.
This labor was one of my shorter ones...Katherine Louise was born by 5:30 pm, and Jason had to be at the church to run sound and lights for the program by 6:00....fortunately, the hospital was only about 5 minutes from the church. We called the pastor's house, to let everyone know that they had a new sister....Justin was 4 at the time. Because of our pattern of children, most of the kids were convinced that this child was going to be a boy. When told that he had a sister, Justin said "NO. It's a boy." It took a while to convince him that he had another sister. After we got off the phone, Jason took off, and I sat back to enjoy a few hours of rest with my brand new baby girl.
( I TRIED to find earlier pictures of her, but these were the earliest I could find. I KNOW I have some....somewhere...)