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Now playing: Too Many Children?
(If you have a sound card, you should be hearing the music to this original song written by Terri and Tim Palmquist.)

Esther Rose Palmquist was born

on Tuesday, November 15, 2005, at 7:06 pm

Esther Rose Palmquist: three days after her birth

Esther Rose Palmquist (photo taken on November 18, 2005, three days after her birth)

Esther Rose Palmquist was born at the LifeHouse at 7:06 pm on Tuesday, November 15, 2005. She weighed exactly 10 pounds, her head measured 15" around and her length was exactly 22". All of her brothers and sisters were there to welcome her, but Sarah seemed particularly pleased to meet her new little sister. The following account was written by Esther's father Tim on Wednesday morning, November 16 (with an update on November 21). It may still be updated in the next few days, so if you want to know more about how God blessed us through Esther's birth experience, be sure you subscribe to our e-mail updates by entering your e-mail address in the box at the lower right corner of this page.

Terri Palmquist and baby Jocelyn, a Bishop baby saved from abortion

Terri and baby Jocelyn don't get to see each other often because Jocelyn lives in Bishop, but they enjoyed some time together after last year's Labor of Love banquet.

Terri began to realize that she could be in labor Monday evening. During her early labor she made phone calls to "turnarounds" (women who had decided not to abort their children on Monday at Bakersfield's FPA abortion chamber). Terri was particularly concerned about a woman who had come to the killing center from Bishop (a five hour drive). As this woman wrestled with her abortion decision, Terri told her about baby Jocelyn, a two-year-old girl from Bishop who was saved from abortion. The fact that Terri took the time to call while she was in labor seemed to help solidify this woman's decision to choose life for her baby. (Read more about the testimony of this baby saved in the LifeSavers Ministries Weekly Ministry Focus newsletter.)

Our 2 1/2 year old daughter Sarah was particularly thrilled to meet her baby sister.

Amy holds baby Esther as Sarah delights in her new little sister

Amy holds baby Esther as Sarah delights in her new little sister.

Amy holds baby Esther as Sarah smiles.

Watch Watch how Sarah said goodnight to Esther on the day of her birth.

Sarah often hugged Terri's pregnant belly, exclaiming 'I love your baby!'

Long before Esther was born, Sarah was already expressing her love for her little sister, often hugging Terri's pregnant belly and exclaiming "I love your baby!"

Read more about how Sarah has expressed love for babies in the womb like her sister Esther.

By 2 am Tuesday Terri's contractions began to become more severe, making it difficult for Terri to sleep. When the abortion employees began to arrive shortly after 7 am, Terri knew that she would need some people to take her place on the sidewalks for the day. One of the people who took several hours out of her day to intercede for the children was our friend who just happens to be named Esther! Although Terri and I were a bit preoccupied during the day, we did notice some effective encounters taking place from time to time, such as Cindy praying with a young woman on the sidewalk.

As Terri tried to rest between her contractions, I handled the phone calls, including a call from a 24-year-old Wasco mother who wanted to abort her baby. The woman said that she knows that her Church is against abortion, but she is comfortable with the idea of aborting her baby anyway. I silently asked God to give me something to say that would penetrate this woman's hard heart, but my efforts seemed futile. With our most active Elizabeth League group in this woman's own community and church, I hoped that she would realize that real help is available for her and her baby, but she said she was not interested. Please pray that God will change her heart in the next few days, because based upon our phone conversation I would assume that we will see her at the abortion chamber next Monday or Tuesday.

Alicia Gonzalez, LifeSavers Ministries' Elizabeth League coordinator, stopped by for several hours in the afternoon as Terri's contractions began to become very intense--just two minutes apart. Even though these contractions required so much of Terri's attention, she took a few minutes during this time to visit with a young mother and her newborn baby who stopped by the LifeHouse.

Three experienced labor assistants, Marcie, Arlene, and Becky, came to help Terri through the birth, along with Marcie's helpful daughter Jocelyn. When Terri was checked at about 6 pm, she was almost fully dilated. But from our past birth experiences we knew that Terri typically requires several hours to push the baby out after she is fully dilated. Knowing that this pregnancy has been difficult for Terri (physically and emotionally) we hoped that God's mercy would shorten this process for her.

At 6:15 pm, our son Joseph was scheduled to go to his weekly piano lesson with his teacher, Lewis Ament. We know that this is very important to Joseph, so we hated to have him miss the lesson, but with the intensity of Terri's labor there was no way that I could leave her side. Just then, our friend Carlotta called offering to help. When I told her about Joseph's piano lesson, she quickly agreed to come give him a ride. (We are so blessed to have friends like this!)

Baby Esther, moments after birth

Terri looks at baby Esther, moments after birth.

Before Carlotta brought Joseph back from the piano lesson, baby Esther had been born. Terri pushed for less than 20 minutes--it was the shortest pushing stage of any of her labors!

As Esther emerged from Terri's body, Terri cried "Thank you Jesus! Thank you Jesus!" Esther let out a few cries, but then she quickly fell asleep at Terri's side. It was obvious that both Terri and Esther were exhausted.

A few minutes later, we allowed our daughter Amy to "unveil" the baby, telling us all if we had a little boy or a little girl. Terri assumed that she was a boy (as she had done with Sarah) but of course as the parents of eight sons, we hoped for another girl. Amy's annoucement of "it's a girl" delighted us all (except for some of our boys who were rooting for another brother).

We chose the name "Esther Rose" because we believe that just as God appointed the biblical Esther "for such a time as this" (Esther 4:14), God has a special plan to fulfill in our Esther's life. The rose, a pro-life symbol (Choose Life!) The rose is a pro-life symbol, so Rose seemed to be an appropriate middle name, expressing our prayer that Esther's life could somehow be effective in saving the lives of our nation's helpless unborn children just as the biblical Esther was effective in saving the lives of the Jews who were threatened with destruction. Terri and I also both had aunts named Esther who were dear to us, so we were thankful for an opportunity to use this name.

After Esther was born, there was a short time of concern as the placenta seemed to be stubbornly staying inside. As the labor assistants provided Terri with some herbal remedies to help the process, Arlene led us in a time of intense intercession for Terri, asking God to release the placenta from Terri's body, laying claim to God's promises and applying these promises directly to Terri's immediate need. God quickly answered our prayers and the placenta was released!

Terri and baby Esther, surrounded by our dedicated support team of labor assistants

Terri and baby Esther, surrounded by our dedicated support team of labor assistants

Our labor assistants have a variety of tools and herbs to help them through a birth, but I'm sure they would all agree that prayer is one of their most important tools. We thank God for the gift of godly midwives and other labor assistants who (like the Hebrew midwives) are willing to follow Him even though some in society frown upon their practices.

We also thank God for you, because we know that many of you have also been interceding for Terri, and we sensed your prayer support throughout this experience.

Terri's labor pains are not over yet. With each baby, it seems that the afterbirth pains get a little more intense. We would appreciate your prayers for Terri in the coming days, and of course we will also be praying that God will protect Esther's health.

Update: November 21, 2005

Yesterday morning during the worship time at church, as we sang the song Blessed Be Your Name, I choked back the tears as I reviewed what God had done in our lives over the past year or so.

... Blessed be your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there's pain in the offering
Blessed be your name

Every blessing you pour out
I turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say...
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be your glorious name

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Well Blessed be your name

In September 2004, we were deeply wounded as Terri suffered a miscarriage at 12 weeks. We named this child "Glory Lyn," though somehow God never allowed us to see our child's tiny body. We had never experienced a miscarriage before, but this experience helped Terri to more deeply relate to the loss women experience after abortion.

Looking into the eyes of precious Esther Rose, we realized that if Glory Lyn had been born, Esther would not be here today. We may never fully understand how God worked in this experience, but we are thankful that God can bring such a beautiful result out of bad circumstances.

Terri's own life began with God working in a similar way. A few months before Terri was conceived, Terri's mother miscarried twin boys. If those boys had lived to full term, Terri wouldn't be here today.

"The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away;
Blessed be the name of the LORD."
- Job 1:21
Blessed be the name of the Lord!

Elizabeth League groups hold surprise baby shower!

Moments after the 'surprise' at the Elizabeth League baby shower for Esther Rose Palmquist 11/20/05 Delicious food was enjoyed by all at the Elizabeth League baby shower for Esther Rose Palmquist 11/20/05
It's a girl! sign outside LifeHouse It's a girl! sign outside LifeHouse

On Sunday afternoon, November 20, the Elizabeth League groups joined together to hold a surprise baby shower for Esther Rose. Elizabeth League coordinator Alicia Gonzalez had a difficult time convincing Terri to come to the shower, because Terri was still experiencing post-partum difficulties. Terri had been led to believe that the shower was for a client, but she had her suspicions.

The shower was hosted by the Our Lady of Guadalupe Elizabeth League Group (St. Vincent de Paul).
Baby Steven and his mom at the baby shower

Baby Steven in the loving arms of his mother at the baby shower.

Terri enjoyed seeing the Elizabeth League volunteers, along with some clients. It was a particular joy to receive a gift from little Steven, a child whose life God saved through LifeSavers Ministries and the Elizabeth League.

Students for the Silent provided several "It's a girl" signs which are now on display outside the LifeHouse.

Update: November 22, 2005

Esther's first day on the sidewalks

Jose and Gary admire baby Esther Rose Palmquist

Baby Esther made her first appearance on the sidewalks outside the killing center today. As tiny children were being torn apart less than a hundred feet away, Esther's presence brought joy to Jose, Gary and others seeking to rescue the children (and she even seemed to bring a smile to the security guard's face).

I brought Esther out for a few minutes to receive the health benefits provided by the sunlight. Terri, still recuperating, remained inside the LifeHouse.

NOTE: More updates may be added here in the days ahead, so be sure to check back with us if you are not on our e-mail list.

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