Saturday, January 13, 2018

Our Birth Story

 As most of you know, our little man took his sweet time coming into this world. My doctor did not want me to go longer than a week past my due date so he said that we would induce on the 14th if I did not go into labor naturally before then. I was really wary of being induced because I wanted him to just come when he was ready and I didn't want to cause any problems by forcing it. I had also heard that contractions can be a lot harder and more painful when induced. We tried what we could (and what I was willing to try) to induce labor naturally (That's a no to the castor oil). I had also had some issues with high blood pressure in the week leading up to and the week after his due date, but nothing so alarming that they felt it necessary to induce early, thankfully. So since no natural way worked and my blood pressure stabilized, we went ahead and scheduled the induction for that Thursday morning, the 14th. We got to the hospital at 5 AM to get everything started. By 6 AM I was all hooked up to IV fluids and the monitors.

Once my doctor came in and broke my water a few hours later, the contractions got a lot harder and more painful. I think I held out for a couple of more hours (I don't really have any idea at this point) but eventually, I asked for the epidural. After that, I felt great. Couldn't feel a thing from the waist down, it was fantastic! So every hour or so the nurse and my husband helped move me into different positions to try and get the baby to drop into the birth canal. This went on for most of the day. Six PM came around. That's right, we'd been there 13 hours with some progress, but not as much as we'd hoped. I was dilated to 8 centimeters, which would be definite progress, except I had been at that for the past 4 hours. The baby's heart rate was going up because he had been trying to push past my pelvis for hours, with no luck. The doctor suggested (more urged) a C-section. My husband and I were both terrified of this option. I had been preparing myself for really the whole pregnancy, but especially those last few weeks, to have to do the whole labor and pushing part. I was scared to do even that but I had come to terms with it because obviously, it needed to happen to get our little boy. The possibility of a c-section really hadn't crossed my mind and clearly, it should have.

We didn't have much choice and we knew that this was the safest way to get him out and was the right choice for us so we agreed and they started prepping me for surgery. It's all a bit of a blur until I got into the operating room and even there I guess I was just so exhausted from the long day and the fluids and everything that they had me on that I could barely keep my eyes open. Aside from that, the team we had working on me and with us in the room was incredibly helpful and informative, letting us both know what was happening at all times and what was going to happen. That definitely put us both at ease, I think.

So, on December 14th, after an incredibly long day and a 20-minute procedure, at 7:14 PM our little angel was born. He was 8 pounds 13 ounces, 21 inches, and the most beautiful baby I had ever seen. The nurses cleaned him up a little and then brought him to me so we could go skin to skin. It was incredible.

It may not have gone the way we had "planned" but it went as God had planned. It may have been a long road and had a few unexpected twists and turns but our beautiful bundle of joy is here and healthy and we couldn't be happier.

"I prayed for this child and the Lord has granted me what I asked of Him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life, he will be given over to the Lord." 1 Samuel 1:27-28

"Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from Him." Psalm 127:3

Monday, December 11, 2017

A letter to my Unborn Son (Who is Late)

So the day has come and gone. The day that everyone says you're supposed to be here. The day we've all been waiting for for nine whole months. But you and I both know better. We both know that you are pretty cozy in there and you'll come out when you are good and ready and not a moment sooner. You threw everyone for a loop when you didn't show up on the day they said you would, but what do they know! You weren't ready, and you knew that neither was I. Your father and I have been praying for you and talking about you since the day we got married. (Okay, maybe the day after). I have had these first nine months with you almost to myself and I have loved every second of it (except maybe a few of those midnight bathroom trips. Thanks, kid). The time is here for me to share you with the rest of the world.

I know that your father is so anxious to meet you. Don't worry, you'll know him, he's the one with the warm eyes, scruffy beard, and the biggest smile you'll ever see. He already loves you more than life and cannot wait to start teaching you how to throw a baseball. He will have some corny jokes but you will think they are funny for quite some time. It's a dad thing; comes with the territory.

You have a lot of admirers anxiously awaiting your arrival, as well. You have got 2 sets of grandparents, 5 uncles, 11 aunts, and 10 cousins all waiting for the big reveal (of you, as well as your name). They all love you so much already and they cannot wait to meet you. Don't worry, I've checked them all out, you're good to come out now. I know that's a lot of people but, the more people the more the love so you sure have a lot of love you'll be coming into.

You aren't even here yet and you are already the light of our world. We just hope that this being late thing isn't an indication of the years to come. You are going to love it out here, I promise. Especially this time of year. You are coming to us during our favorite time of the year, your daddy's especially, and now you have made it all the more special. Christmas will soon be your favorite as well.

Listen, I know that it is comfy in there but we have got warm blankets and loving arms to hold you in out here. We cannot wait to meet you, little one (and I wouldn't mind letting your daddy hold you for just a little bit since I took the last nine months). We love you with all of our hearts and we are so excited for you to be here. You can come out now!

Love always,
Your biggest fans,
Mommy and Daddy

These Last Days, Just the Two of Us

It's a strange feeling, really, sitting around waiting for what is supposed to be the worst pain in your life. Wincing at every sharp pain you get thinking "Is this it?" The past few months have been full of them and each time I fear for him a little, hoping that he's okay. Then there he goes, bouncing around like my insides are a carnival ride and I know that he is just fine. It's been a long nine months but, interestingly enough, some of the best I have ever had. Yes, the pains come and go and yes, he may have made me a little sick for a while there but I wouldn't change it for anything.

To be honest, I have been terrified since day one. There's a difference between talking about how many kids you want to have, what different things you will want to do with them, where you want to take them and then actually having a human being inside of you and realizing that at some point in the semi-near future they do have to come out, and then I have to still know how to keep them alive on the outside. Your body does so much for you and him, you kind of get used to it. As the date gets closer and closer (and is now past) the anxiety builds about not only having to bring him into this world but protecting him out here and doing all of the right things. The truth is, I am most likely going to mess up. That's pretty much inevitable with every new parent. Even together with my loving husband, we are still going to screw some things up. It's all a learning experience. One that I know I will be ready for the second they hand our baby boy to us, but for the time being, still freaking out over here.

For months now I have felt every single movement that he makes. It's an incredible, comforting experience and one that I am thankful my husband has been able to partially experience with me (our little guy is such a strong kicker that daddy could feel him from the outside pretty much as soon as I could from the inside). The connection has grown strong and I feel so close to my baby boy (obviously), but that still doesn't mean I feel ready to be close to him out here. It's a very scary thought. And I know that everyone wants to meet him and they are all anxious for him to come out, especially since he is late for his arrival, but I know that he will be here when he is good and ready and I don't really mind these last few extra days with him, just the two of us.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Lessons Learned

I wanted this piece to come before the new year, but alas, life happens and things don't always get done when you want them to, but they do get done when they need to (one of the things I have learned this year). It has been a while since I've written anything because life has been busy, especially with the holidays. But this past year I learned a lot- a lot more than I thought I would at the beginning of 2016. I wanted to share some of the things I learned because I thought that they were good lessons. So keep reading, or stop here. I don't really mind which. My brain has just been a little too cluttered lately so I need to pour some of it out.

In 2016, I learned about life.That God puts people in your life that will help guide you, and some people simply to come and to go, only to leave a lesson or two behind. We should not feel stupid for having let them in, nor should we feel hatred toward them. God put them into our lives for a reason, and we should try to find the good in that instead of dwelling on the bad situation.

I learned about death. That sometimes, it comes way too early, but even though we may not have been ready, God was ready to bring them home.
"The righteous man perishes, and no one lays it to heart; devout men are taken away, while no one understands. For the righteous man is taken away from calamity; he enters into peace; they rest in their beds who walk in their uprightness." Isaiah 57:1-2

I learned that weddings bring out the worst in some people, and you really have to focus on the good, not dwell on the bad.

I learned that time outs are for children, not grown adults. That you do not get to put a friend in a time out until you think they have learned their lesson. Chances are that by the time you get back to let them out, they will be long gone, moving on to bigger and better things.

I learned that you can hurt people with your words, and just as easily, you yourself can be hurt by other people's words and actions. Trying not to take things so personally or seriously can help ease the burn but still, the pain sticks around for a little bit. So watch your words, and guard your heart.
"Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge." James 4:11

I learned that everyone has a story and we should really get our faces out of our phones and start making an effort to get to know each other face to face. You might be pleasantly surprised by what you discover.

I learned that stubbornness can be one of the most annoying traits in someone. So I should really watch myself to make sure I am not acting that way. It can hurt others. Sometimes you just have to suck it up and admit that you did something wrong.
"But they did not obey or incline their ear, but walked in their own counsels and the stubbornness of their evil hearts, and went backward and not forward." Jeremiah 7:24

I learned that you should not let your pride get in the way of a relationship you have with someone, especially someone close.
"Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall." Proverbs 16:18

I learned that doing what is best for you may not be selfish, but it may come with a cost. You have to decide if you are willing to pay it. You may think it is what is best for you, but where are you putting God in all of this? He knows what's best for you. So pray about your decision before really solidifying one.
"For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:9

I learned that sometimes you have to forgive, even if there has never been and probably will never be an apology. Forgiveness will free your mind and heart from the bitterness and hatred toward the other person. We are called by God to forgive immediately. But that does not mean that you forget right away. You are not expected to allow them to continue hurting you. Taking the time to heal from the wounds is just as important as forgiving them immediately.
"And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses." Mark 11:25

So here is to a new year. To more forgiveness. To more life. To hopefully less death. To whatever God puts in our path-- because He will bring us through it.
2017, we are ready to find the joy in you. 

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Dreams Vs Reality

When I was a little girl, of course I dreamt of my wedding, but I had a completely different view of weddings. You never pay much attention to the drama when you are little - Just the pretty, nice things. I imagined that getting engaged would be so exciting and that everyone around us would be so excited and happy for us. I imagined that I would get to pick all the pretty frills and thrills, no matter the cost. (The concept of money was a little lost on me at that age). Most of all, though, I imagined that there would be so much love and support from others because two people in love and have decided that they want to spend the rest of their lives together.

What I did not think about, however, is the drastic effect that sin had on happy things. We are all sinful, so anger, jealousy, and selfishness overtake some. It comes from all angles, even my side. I have found that selfish ways tend to cloud people's actions, and they do not even see it. In our reality, some people cannot seem to bring themselves to simply be happy for us. We fell in love, albeit quickly, but everyone is different. We knew we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together and did not want to waste any more time being apart. We made decisions together on where we wanted to live and what we wanted to do with our life together because, as human beings with free will, we get to do that. Skepticism is understandable at first. It was a semi-quick engagement, But if you knew anything about us, or bothered to ask, you would know that we are taking steps with our pastor to ensure that we are ready for our marriage, not just the wedding part. And the details of that are no ones business but ours and our pastors.

I guess one of the biggest points I am trying to make is for those around the couples who are happily engaged. If you have an issue with them getting married, you can voice it (we all have free will), but there are ways to not be rude or bash people. Do not go assuming things left and right and accusing them of any wrong doing. I will never forget that when we first got engaged and announced our wedding date to be 6 months later someone accused me of being pregnant. I pride myself in my purity, and we both agree that sex is meant for marriage. And anyone who knows us should know that full well. So, as you can imagine, I was pretty offended. Please do not go around with your accusations. There are nice, pleasant ways to ask us why we are getting married so soon. The simple answer, we want to be married, why wait? Ultimately, those of you around and mostly those close to them have to make a choice. We only want to have supportive people in our lives, if we can help it. Life is too short for negative people and comments that tear people down. You can voice your opinion, we will take it into consideration, and if we do not agree, that is our decision, and we will all move on.

No one is perfect. I am sure that Jordan and I have gone about some things in a way that some people may not approve of. Forgive us, please. We are sinners and cannot be perfect and please everyone. But please, for the love of all that is good in this world, do yourselves a favor and do not be offended by every little thing. We make mistakes, it is a part of life. But is that really a life that you want to live- always having that anger and bitterness built up in you? I promise you, life will be much better off if you learn to let some things go - A lesson I am still learning myself.

In 55 days, the two will become one flesh.
"Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate." Mark 10:7-9
The two of us will "officially" become a we, even though we us that term to refer to us now because we are a team. We are partners in life. The decision making together starts now. We will be by each others sides for the rest of our lives, no matter what anyone else has to say about it. We are there for each other- to cherish and protect- as long as we both shall live. We love each other. So please, support the couples who are going about things God's way and trying to find their joy in life, together.

So, no, my wedding planning is not going as originally dreamt when I was 8 years old. I do not have an unlimited budget like I thought I would. There are stresses in life I had not calculated in. Being an adult is hard. What IS going as planned is that I found an amazing man of God, who guides me toward Christ and loves me as Christ loves the church.
Fairy tale wedding? I'd much rather have a biblical, God fearing marriage. And I am pretty sure that is just what I am getting. Thanks be to God for putting Jordan in my life when he did. I love him with all of my heart. And while I may have other accomplishments in life, I believe that being his wife and walking with God together is going to be my favorite and top accomplishment. He truly is the joy in my life that I was not always sure I would get.

"For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its savior... Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word." Ephesians 5:22, 25-26