It’s All Karis

It gives me great pleasure to announce the birth of our third child, Karis Debra Thomason, born today this first day of the month of June two-thousand fifteen at precisely 10:27am. At the time of birth she weighed 7lbs 13oz and measured 20.5in in length. Her first name, Karis, comes from the Biblical Greek word meaning “grace” and Debra is her Nana’s (grandma’s) first name. Mommy and baby are both doing very well and we’re so excited about this this little gift form the Lord!

Karis is Born (6/1/15)

We honestly thought things were moving quickly last night and that we would be heading to the hospital, but it wasn’t until early this morning at about 4:30am that I packed up the car to leave. We left the house close to 5:30 and got in to the hospital around 6:30. Bethany would really like to tell her part of this story in a later post so I won’t share every detail, but things moved pretty quickly today at the hospital here in Czech Republic. With the help of our friend, doula and translator, Lauren, we were able to get everything in order and get settled in the delivery room. Bethany’s contractions were moving fast at some points and becoming more intense, but I really didn’t think we would meet Karis until later in the afternoon.

To our surprise, however, things really got moving at 9:30. After only a few hours Bethany was ready to push and that’s exactly what she did. She actually had to pause in order to get all of the nurses and doctor in the room and prepped for delivery. The whole delivery was significantly more painful for Bethany than the previous two kids, but my amazing wife literally pushed through the pain and in what seemed like ten minutes our third child was born. As with both previous births, I teared up at the sight of little Karis, not only because she was beautiful it was a joy to hear her cry, but also because I was blown away by Bethany’s courage and strength, especially in regards to having a child in a foreign country. While tears were filling my eyes the doctor quickly turned around and shook my hand as if to say, “Congratulations” (he didn’t speak English, so it was a silent but meaningful exchange).

A photo posted by Shay Thomason (@shaycam) on

One of the differences between having a baby in Czech versus the States, is that in the States they would clean up the baby right away and then give her back to Bethany. But the Czechs only wipe the baby down and then give them quickly back to the mommy. Then they require a two hour waiting period where Bethany laid on her back with the baby. I don’t know the significance, but that’s what she did. During that time I had the opportunity to hold Karis which was a special time for me. As soon as that time was up we were packing our things and heading down to the recovery room.

Again, a difference between the States and Czech is the availability of private rooms for recovery. Today there were no private rooms available (they call them “non standard”) so Bethany and Karis were put in a room with another mommy and baby. It’s a bit strange and it also meant that I wasn’t able to stay the night tonight with them because there was no room for me in there. This was not part of our plan, but the Lord knew it and we’ll just continue to trust His sovereign plan in it all. Bethany will be in the hospital for a minimum of 72 hours so we’re hopeful or a Thursday morning release.

Karis is Born (6/1/15)

This afternoon I was able to come back home, pick up Nana, Papa, and the kids and bring them back to meet baby Karis for the first time. It was a really special time for us and it was so much fun to watch Titus and Avery meet their new baby sister. It was also an opportunity to grab a bunch of photos. I took a ton of photos today, so here’s a few from the day with captions to help fill in a little of the story.

Karis is Born (6/1/15)

This is the outside of the maternity part of the hospital. It doesn’t look like much, but on the inside it’s very nice and clean and we were so thankful for the nurses and staff there. In so many ways, it was no different than a hospital that we’re used to in the States and we just feel like the Lord was gracious in the entire process today.

Karis is Born (6/1/15)

This is Karis as they were cleaning her up after the two hour waiting period. I had the opportunity to go with her to where the nurses have a legitimate cleaning station. The woman doing the work must’ve done thousands of babies, because the way she was handling Karis was so crazy and so natural all the same time. The nurse put her under the sink and rinsed her, washed every crevice, and was almost tossing her around in her hands as she did the work. They also did this crazy baby oil thing where she was doused with baby oil and rubbed down from literal head to toe. In the end Karis was shiny, squeaky clean, and bundled up in a special wrap and then laid under one of this baby heater thingys. The next two photos below show the rest of that process. It was actually really fun to watch!

Karis is Born (6/1/15)

Karis is Born (6/1/15)

Karis is Born (6/1/15)

This is Titus and Avery holding Karis shortly after meeting her for the first time. I love Titus’ genuine smile. They were both so gentle with her and were so excited to meet her.

Karis is Born (6/1/15)

Like Titus, Avery was just smiling at Karis while we were there. At first both Titus and Avery were a little skittish because it was a new experience, but by the end of the time they had warmed up to the idea of this little baby sister and were enjoying her just like we were.

Karis is Born (6/1/15)

I loved this photo of Nana holding Karis and Papa getting a photo of her on his iPhone.

Karis is Born (6/1/15)

This is Karis’ little name tag in her crib that sits next to Bethany’s bed. Let’s hope she fast asleep right now!

Karis is Born (6/1/15)

I have many more photos from our time today, but this last one is of Papa holding her and I’m taking the shot from above. I just loved her little hands coming out of her wrap and seeing her tiny face.

It was an incredible day! We are so thankful for the many prayers of those of you who have followed our story and what God has been doing in our little family. As Karis and Bethany rest tonight please continue to pray for healing for Bethany’s body and for continued growth for Karis. There is still much to do in the days ahead but we’re excited to welcome this little life in to the world. All we can say is praise the Lord for this wonderful gift and for His grace!


Thirty Eight

As of Today Bethany is 38 weeks pregnant with baby #3 and she got a good report today during he second to last check-up. After next week’s appointment, she’ll be transferred to the care of the hospital who will see her for week 40 should that be required. Things work a little bit different here in Czech for these kinds of appointments, but I would say overall it’s been a pretty similar experience as to what we’ve had in the States.

Outside Sillyness (5/12/15)

Following her appointment this morning, we headed over to our friend Lauren’s house because she’s the one helping us with all the details at the Czech hospital and will be Bethany’s doula as well as translator. She just wanted to nail down all of the details and make sure everything was ready to go in regards to paperwork and the birth plan. There are still a few things left to fill out and seems that there’s always a lot of paperwork to do in Czech, but we’re excited to be nearing the finish line and meet our new daughter!

Since Lauren and her family live near the JV office, I decided to just go in and work for bit even though the office was mostly closed today. Usually everyone takes the two days following the conference for a little time off because of just how busy things are and the big push leading up to conference. It was nice and quiet there today and I had about an hour to get some emails out and follow up on a few outstanding items from the week. Everyone should be back in tomorrow and we’ll keep rollin’ with projects and all the other things going on.

I try to keep a book with me when I’m out and about, just in case I get a moment or two where I’m waiting or have time to read. When I went to pick up Bethany her meeting was going a little longer so I ended up reading in the car which I had parked in the shade. I’m really enjoying this book Gospel-Centered Counseling and it’s focus on how the gospel changes how we help people. There is one quote in particular that stood out to me today that I think is just helpful. Bob Kellemen writes on pages 34-35,

Typically we ask God and seek help from each other to change our feelings and our circumstances. God is in the change business, but a very different type of change–heart change, Christlikeness–presenting everyone “perfect,” or mature, in Christ (Col. 1:28).

Listen to the song of eternity–it’s about celebrating Christ’s victory and the Bride’s purity for God’s glory! We look at our lives and want instructions or explanations. What we need is imagination and vision to see life today in light of eternity..

I quoted more for the context, but it’s that last sentence in particular that stood out to me. We do need to be able to see our life today in light of eternity. That takes work to do, but if we look at each day through the lens of the gospel narrative we will begin to see our story as part of the greater story that the Lord has written which started with Creation and ends with Consummation. When we view our lives as part of the greater story we get a bigger picture of what the Lord is doing and can see His hand more clearly in the details in our lives. I need to take those truths to heart and remember that God is working in all the details of our lives in light of eternity. That’s a wonderful truth and a great reminder to me today.