Meet Our New Daughter!
Meet Gwennalyn Eliana-Esther Iverson.
A healthy baby girl born at 5:35pm on March 1, thus making her a birthday buddy with her sister, Katy-Grace who was born on the same day, eight years ago.
A tiny little one weighing in at 6lbs 5oz and measuring 19 inches
Ready to take on her six siblings and…. learn how to write her rather long name, a name packed with meaning, prayers and heritage.
Gwennalyn means fair, blessed and holy. It’s a Welsh and Scandinavian name – both Danny’s and Kimberly’s ethnic background. It’s also inspired by Gwendolyn Hathaway, a member at Paradise Missionary Baptist Church here in Grove Park who has a powerful story of activism during the civil rights movement in Atlanta and made many personal sacrifices to stand up for justice in the face of oppression. Gwendolyn is an elegant and composed woman whose beauty comes from her love for her beautiful Savior whose presence makes all things beautiful. Our prayer is that, as our Gwennalyn grows in beauty she will be blessed to be a blessing. Set apart, holy, for the ways of God and his ways being lived out here on earth.
Eliana is Hebrew for “God hears”. Very early in the pregnancy, our family was being prayed over by a pastor and this name kept coming to Kimberly’s mind repeatedly. When she looked up the meaning of the name, she knew it would be used as a name for this little one. In this season of life and ministry, racial reconciliation, and community building, the most poignant lesson we are learning is that “God hears”. Family life, ministry life, and community life could not be happening unless God were daily hearing our prayers and supplications and meeting us with renewed strength, wisdom, provision, and care. Our prayer is that this little girl be one that knows the goodness of her God to hear His people’s prayers and that she would truly be an intercessor.
Esther is after Kimberly’s Grandmother (her mom’s mother) who is a living embodiment of Queen Esther and her strength, courage and beseeching of God. Esther means “hidden” or “star”. Kimberly’s 92 year old Grandmother, like Queen Esther, is known for the hidden strength and courage that is in her through the fear of God, as well as for being a bright light that she is through her love for people as she, even at this late age, pours her life, wisdom, and prayers into many, many people. Both women have sought Gods help in prayer and fasting and changed the course of history. Our prayer is that our daughter grows to live into this great name, heritage and calling.
(Even after writing this, we found out that the name Esther has been in our family for five generations, and “Grandma Murphy” is thrilled to know that this heritage will be carried on through her great granddaughter)
Here’s a play by play of the labor… Thanks for all the prayers and support. We couldn’t have done this without such faithful family and friends serving and sacrificing for us with such love and grace.
After being up since 2 am and trying everything possible to jump start labor, its finally time to head to the hospital around 1pm. The big kids were at school, but the little boys were there to send us off.
It was as if Judah had a sense this this was the last time he would be held as “the baby of the family”. One last little bit of cuddle time before mommy departs, to bring home a new sibling.
Contractions slowed down on our way to the hospital, so we spent the next two hours at a nearby park walking, doing squats, and trying to help the contractions along. The day was beautiful and warm, and contractions weren’t too bad yet, so it was like a date! We finally headed to the hospital when contractions had been coming for every 2 minutes for 45 minutes. At this point, Kimberly was already sleep deprived, hungry and thirsty but she knew she needed to have her game face on, because the real work was just about to come.
We got to the hospital just in time for the intense last hour of labor and delivery to happen. Within an hour of getting situated the nurses and student doctors were trying to wait for the doctor to arrive, but Kimberly and Gwennalyn didn’t feel like waiting around for that. Water broke while standing up next to the bed, Kimberly rolled on to it and the Gwennalyn’s head started to show. In the next contraction, Kimberly pushed the head out, breathed, pushed again and all of Gwennalyn emerged into the world. (Kimberly would have you know, that the written sentence makes it sound much easier than the tornado of pain and flurry of activity that those 60 seconds brought….everyone was scrambling to catch the baby and Kimberly was just desperate for it to be over!)
We praise God for a smooth and uneventful delivery (very different from Judah’s), especially since it was student doctors that ended up delivering Gwennalyn!
I’m ready to take on my six siblings, my 14 letter name, and the calling God has on my life as Iverseven.