Thursday, May 17, 2012

Memories and MIilestones

The boys are taking their afternoon nap.

My house is a mess again still.

I have a To Do List as long as a six year old's birthday wish list.

Motherhood continues to teach me so much about God's love for me, selflessness and the Gospel.

There are days when I fear that a blink will cause me to miss a precious moment.  I can get caught up in regrets of not charting growth, not taking enough pictures or not writing down every memory and milestone.

{...and I hear the bedroom door open and little feet approaching...}

There are days when the laundry, cleaning, dirty diapers and constant food preparation threatens to overwhelm my tired mind.  I can get caught up in the things that need to be done.

There are days when the cuteness just threatens to overwhelm me.

Today is one of those days. 

Jeremiah was playing with some toys and found the small Chick-fil-A cow.  He studied it for a brief moment before looking up at me and saying, "Fry.  Fry?"  He knows Chick-fil-A.

Jeremiah loves to greet Joshua after nap time.  I will throw him up on our bed and they will lay together for a few moments while they are waking up.  Jeremiah says the cutest, "Hi, baby.  Hi, baby.  Hi, baby." Over and over.  And over. 

Jeremiah also says, "Hi, baby," anytime when he sees Joshua.  So. Cute.

Joshua has always been the most smiley baby.  He was about four weeks old when he first smiled.

Joshua is starting to reach out for things- like the blender (when it is kneading dough), the flat iron (when he is in the Moby wrap as I am fixing my hair) and everything else he is looking at.  He is starting, too, to reach out towards my face.  He looks at me, gives me the biggest smile and then tries to touch my face.

Joshua has always loved sleeping on his belly.  He arches his back after nursing and I know he is ready to sleep. 

Oh, such precious times these are.

And I look at the soft faces of these boys and try to picture them as men.

As husbands.


I realize that my role is vital and yet, oh, so fleeting. 

What do they see in me?  Facebook?  A clean house?  Or Christ?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Meeting Joshua: Part 4

Read Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 if you missed them.

The Junior High students seemed more energetic than usual.  And loud.


We were in the middle of the game for the evening.  I glanced at my phone's clock: 7:35PM.  The next one came at 7:45PM.  The music for youth group was just starting and I sat down to time it.  The contraction lasted about a minute and was, what I considered, about average in strength.  The next contraction came. 7:55PM.  Three contractions at 10 minutes apart.  I told Joel I had a couple contractions just so he knew, but that I would be fine through his lesson.

8:10.  8:17.  8:30.

Ok, they are getting some rhythm to them and are strong contractions, but nothing to write home about just yet.

We finished youth group, I got Jeremiah from the nursery and we chatted with our youth leaders a bit.  The contractions were still coming at a steady and rhythmic pace and I started getting a bit anxious.

It's snowing outside, I thought, and it's supposed to snow a lot all through the night.  We need to get home.

I barely remember the conversation we had with our friend and I knew it was something serious, but I also knew I needed to get home.  We needed to call Joel's sister, my mom and get our bags packed.  I started telling Joel we needed to get going.  Another contraction.  No, seriously, we need to go.  I gave him a pleading look and he knew right away what I meant by it.

We were out of the church a little after 9:00 and the roads were already a slippery snow ridden mess.  We had to drive super slow and it took us twice as long to get home as it usually did.  Joel and I decided to have his sister head over sooner rather than later since the roads were getting worse and she could stay the night with us.  I called her and she said she would be over as soon as she could.  I began to get Jeremiah ready for bed; Joel started packing his bag. 

Contraction after contraction.  They were getting stronger and closer together.  They were not as strong or as close together to warrant going to the hospital, but we knew the snow was a major factor.  Go to the hospital now before the weather gets any worse or wait and go to the hospital who knows when with over a foot of snow on the ground?  We also live near one of the worst interstate combinations and the thought of going with snow and rush hour traffic sounded rather unpleasant.

I knew that going to the hospital in early labor would mean the nurses might get too pushy (no pun intended, ha.) if I was not further along than they wanted.  I knew if I went in they would start pressing me to get labor going at the speed they thought best.  It was best to get to the hospital.  I'd deal with the nurses, I guess.

Joel's sister arrived at 10:30.  Jeremiah was in bed.  We talked for a bit as I finished packing my bag.  The contractions were getting hard and I had to stop with each one to breathe through them.  I gave my sister-in-law the run down on Jeremiah and she said that she hoped to get the next day off because of the snow.

We left home at 11:45PM.  The roads were a slushy, slippery mess and it took us 15 minutes longer to get to the hospital than normal.  The contractions were difficult to manage on the way, but nothing like the pain I had experienced in the car ride with Jeremiah.  We arrived at the hospital, with snow abounding, and I started the check-in process while Joel parked.

I am here, again, already?  The last time I sat in this chair I got it all wet.  Hahaha.  I let the memories flood back through my mind as the receptionist asked me a bunch of questions.  My mom arrived with my sister as I was finishing and we headed up to labor and delivery!  I turned down the wheelchair since I was feeling great- I wanted to keep the contractions coming!

I am here, again, already? The last time I walked these halls we had welcomed our firstborn son into our home. Who will we meet this time?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Lessons from the Little Cabin

Over the winter Joel affectionately called our small condo "our little cabin."  We smile at each other every time we talk about living in a small place, trying to live a simple life and wondering how many children we could fit in here.  We like to talk about how to live more simply.

Realizing we need less than we have ever imagined.  Taking walks instead of turning on a movie.  Purging possessions down to necessities.  Storing food under the bed or the outdoor closet.

It's kind of fun.

Last week I found Season 1 of The Little House on the Prairie at a consignment shop for $7! (SCORE!  And, yes, it's not a necessity.)  We have been enjoying an episode or two here and there as we have time.  We love the solid Biblical themes, the wonderful picture of marriage and the overall simplicity of the Ingalls family.

We look at the lifestyle of the Ingalls family and somehow, as funny as it might sound, want to be like them.  They only had what they needed.  When they had excess, like a special toy or dress, it was treasured and treated with honor.  Their home was always tidy because there was not junk everywhere.  They valued people and relationships more than possessions.

I know it sounds silly.  (It sounds even more silly when I think about typing this on my computer.)

So, these are some lessons from our little cabin:

1- Be content with what you have.  1 Timothy 6
2- Be thankful for what you have.  Colossians 3
3- Have less so you can give more.  2 Corinthians 9
What are you doing to simplify your life? 

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Naps

Today I am thankful for naps.

Is it just me or does the whole world seem to improve when you get a nap?

Joel and I have been running on very little sleep due to a teething toddler.

I was trying to study today for the worldview class I am teaching tonight and I could barely focus.  I heard Joshua stirring in my bedroom and so I rushed in there, climbed in bed, got him nursing before he was too awake and drifted off to sleep with him.

I awoke an hour later when Jeremiah started waking up.

I feel so refreshed and ready to face all that I have to do tonight.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Memories and Milestones

Trying to eat lunch (cheddar bunnies, pb&j on a tortilla and an Izze- I thought I was on a health kick?) as quickly as possible so I can finish laundry while Jeremiah is napping.  Joshua is resting on my knee and giving me the cutest coos ever.

These boys are growing up so quickly.  It's crazy.  I want to soak up every moment of their baby and toddlerhood because I know it, out of all the stages, is the one that is over in the blink of an eye.  I'm doing {mostly} well at letting lots of things go undone so I can enjoy my children while they are little

Jeremiah- 18 months
Jeremiah is starting to talk SO MUCH.  He said his first word, "uh-oh," at 9 months and has had a pretty steady vocabulary growth since then, but the last week he tries to repeat everything.  I love the way he says yes.  SO CUTE.

Yesterday he was watching the Donut Man and I heard the sound on the TV go off.  He came to me in the kitchen with his hands stretched out to the side and said, "happen?"  He has learned to turn off the TV with the buttons on the side and when he did it last I had come in the living room saying, "What happened?"

Yesterday we went to a new park that has a two story twisty slide.  He climbed all the way up to the top by himself and wanted to go down alone.  I went down with him the first time and he went alone the second time.  It's a big slide- I cannot believe he wanted to go alone!

I love how he gets in Joel's face and says, "Hi, Dadda.  Hi, Dadda.  Hi, Dadda."

I love how, at bedtime, he says, "hand," after Joel finishes reading the Bible because he knows it is time to pray.

The other day he was watching YouTube videos of football (I know, I know), which he calls "bow" after Tim Tebow and he started running all over the house saying, "football" as he looked for his football.  He finally found it in his bed (since he had napped with it) and came running back out to the TV.  He proceeded to throw the football around a couple of times.  He does this when he watches football and I love it!

Joshua- 3 months
This little boy is ALL smiles, oh my word!  He is a wiggle worm, talker, smiley and can already inch forward when laid on his tummy.  He sleeps great, but has a hard time getting to sleep when he hears Jeremiah playing.  He'll be almost asleep, hear Jeremiah and give me the biggest smile that seems to say, "I want to go play, too, Mom!"

He likes being outside and is very attentive to sounds.

He's only spit up twice.

I can eat everything since nothing seems to bother his little tummy.

He holds his head up like a champ and is mastering turning his head while holding it up.  So cute to see it wobble as he tries to watch Jeremiah run around.

I love the way he looks up at me- like just now- when he is sitting on my lap.  It's like he is saying, "Hi, momma."

He sucks his thumb.  He has since he was born and my guess is he did in the womb.  He also sucks both thumbs- SO CUTE- and I have yet to get a good picture of it!

Last night he almost fell off of my lap because I was not paying attention and forgot he is trying to roll over all the time.

***I wrote this and 10 minutes later Joshua rolled from tummy to back for the first time.***

This was a full week of ministry and the weekend is just as packed.  We had Skate City on Tuesday, regular church on Wednesday and the worldview class (that I teach) on Thursday.   This is all after Jeremiah and Joel being sick last week.  We have been resting when we can.  The house, laundry and carpets are proof. 

Two kids broke their arms at Skate City.  It was fun.  We made almost $800 for the Mexico mission trip.  Jeremiah and Joshua were so good.  Jeremiah hung out with Mrs. Vaz and Emmori.

The worldview class was GREAT!  We discussed philosophy and prayed for the speakers at the recent Reason Rally in D.C.

What have you been doing this week?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Meeting Joshua: Part 3

Read Part 1 and Part 2 if you missed them.

Where are the difficult contractions, I kept thinking as I showered, dressed and ate lunch.  These are nothing like the pain I had with Jeremiah.  I guess I should stop comparing and be thankful!

Joel was studying and I decided to lay down for a nap.  I slept for almost two hours and had maybe two contractions.  I know my water broke.  I know it.  I know I had a couple of strong contractions.  I'm not crazy.  People are going to think I do not know my own body!

I was frustrated with myself and did not want to go through another false alarm especially since we had told so many people that I was in labor, Joel had come home from church and our friend had taken time out of her day.  I battled with pride, wondering what people would think- does she not know when she is in labor?

God quickly reprimanded me, "Does it matter what other people think?  Is that your focus?  If I want to put you through another false alarm to humble you will you fight me on it?"  So thankful for His discipline in my life! 

We decided to have the babysitter bring Jeremiah back home since my contractions were pretty much non-existent at 3PM.  She was sympathetic, understanding, saying that it happens and she would be ready when the time did come.  She encouraged me by saying that since my water broke that I would be having a baby soon!  She also said it would be easier for me next time to part with him since I probably had dealt with all my emotions already!

True.  And, false labor or not, a long hot shower, time with Joel and a nap had been nice.

Be grateful in all things.  God knew I needed rest and had given it to me.

I played with Jeremiah, got him a snack and started feeling more contractions.  I was a little wet, well, down there again.  What is going on?  I sat down to read him some books.  Contractions stopped.  I got up to clean the kitchen.  More contractions.  More fluid.

There was no rhythm to my contractions and they were only happening when I was moving around.  I decided that I was not going to sit around the house all night and that I would go to church.  If the contractions are coming while I am up moving then going to church will continue to encourage labor!

People who had heard my water had broke were shocked that I was at church.  The word quickly spread to those that did not know.  People were asking me questions.  I was thinking differently than I was answering.

"Yes, I think my water broke."  I did not wet my pants five times today.

"Yes, I have been having contractions all day."  I know they are not as strong, but they ARE contractions! 

"Yes, I did decide to come to church."  Duh, I'm here.

It was getting frustrating.  I was having to pray through every conversation that God would give me patience.  People were expressing their care for me.  I needed to receive it.

And God was refining me, as always.

Read Part 4.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Meeting Joshua: Part 2

I continued to cry as I finished packing Jeremiah's bag.  I had a couple of contractions, but kept forgetting to time them.  I was praying while I was packing that Joel would get home before the babysitter arrived.  I needed a good hug and a moment with just the three of us before Jeremiah left.  Only God knew when I would see Jeremiah again and by that time, Lord willing, he would be a big brother!

The last couple of weeks I had struggled with so many emotions when it came to Jeremiah.  He was not going to be my baby anymore.  He was going to be a big brother.  He was still needing so much of my attention.  He was barely out of our bed and still nursing.

How would he adjust?  How would I adjust?  How would I do this with two?

God was faithful to give me peace and remind me that this second child was from Him- and in His perfect timing.  He would give me all I needed to mother ALL the children HE would give us.

I needed to trust Him.

God was gracious to me and Joel arrived just moments before the babysitter.  We hugged and he let me cry a few minutes.  He gently encouraged me to rejoice- we were about to meet our second child {already?}!

Our friend and her daughter arrived a little after 10am.  I got teary again and she gave me a big hug.  She reminded me that everything I was feeling was ok!  She would know, after all, since she has six children!

We hugged Jeremiah and took a last picture of just the three of us!

We had a teary goodbye as she took Jeremiah in her arms.  She prayed over us before she left.

And then she was gone... with my baby boy.

I allowed myself to cry a few minutes.  Jeremiah and I had spent so much time together in the last fifteen months.  It had been so much fun growing as a parent and watching him grow.  It was hard to believe that I was about to meet my second child {already?}.

Joel and I talked about what we should do since my contractions were not coming as quickly as they had with Jeremiah.  I decided to take a long hot shower.

Surely the contractions would pick up soon...

Read Part 3.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Why Psalm 127:2 Comes Before Psalm 127:3

Psalm 127

English Standard Version (ESV)

Unless the Lord Builds the House

A Song of Ascents. Of Solomon.

1 Unless the Lord builds the house,
    those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
    the watchman stays awake in vain.
It is in vain that you rise up early
    and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
    for he gives to his beloved sleep.
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
     the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
    are the children of one's youth.
Blessed is the man
    who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame
    when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.

Joel and I have been getting very little sleep the last 3 months.

Very little.

Joshua, who will be three months old this week, sleeps great!  He has slept 10, 12 and even 14 hours at a time (with a few feedings in there, of course). 

Jeremiah, on the other hand, has had a rough go of it lately.  He has always been a good sleeper, but has cut six teeth in the last three months.  He has all of the molars and the two bottom canine teeth.  He has also had his first cold- and now his second cold (thanks, nursery!).  Last night he threw up once, was restless and coughing all night long.

The lack of sleep is difficult and we have spent much time in prayer asking God for more sleep.  We have also been learning to rely upon the Lord for His strength.  There is a reason that God put Psalm 127:3 after Psalm 127:2.  God gives sleep to those He loves.  He also gives children as a heritage and a reward.

We have had just enough sleep to keep us going through the day and just enough to cause us to depend upon HIM more.  We look at Jeremiah as a heritage and a reward, not a bother or a nuisance.  We also know this phase will pass and, someday, we will sleep more than four hours a night.

We love being parents. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Life

Today I am thankful for life.

I am thankful that, at least 10 minutes ago when I talked to him, Joel is safe.

I am thankful for the two little beating hearts that are sound asleep in my room.

Life beyond the now is not promised to any of us.

The argument you had with your spouse recently?  Was it worth it?

The moment you yelled at your children the other day?  Did you apologize?

Did you notice how beautiful it is outside?  Have you enjoyed the sun?

Have you spent time with Jesus today?  He loves you.

You only have one life and soon it will pass.  Remember, that only what is done for Jesus will last.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Motherhood and Me

I absolutely love, love, LOVE being a mother.

It is hard work, no doubt, and sometimes harder than I ever thought it would be.  When I am tired, have not showered for two days, had a grumpy toddler all day and have no idea what to fix for dinner I really need a reminder that I love being a mother.

There are seemingly perfect days when we are all happy and all goes well.  Those days I also need a reminder that I love being a mother.

Motherhood has pushed me even further into the character of God and my need for Him.

Motherhood has taught me to pray continually.

Motherhood has shown me how to trust in the Lord.

Motherhood is a great adventure and so much fun!

Motherhood has also made me ask more questions than ever before!
  • Should I have an epidural or go all natural?
  • Should I have a midwife or a doctor?
  • Should I do a home birth or go to the hospital?
  • Co-sleep or not?
  • Scheduling or not?
  • When do I start solids?
  • What about movies, music and birthday parties?
  • What about spanking and time out?
  • Etc., Etc., ETC!  (AHHHHH!)
What should I do?

Pray.  Pray.  Pray.

What would God want me to do?  What is in line with His Word?  What is best for who God has made this child to be?  What is going to draw me closer to God?

So much weight has been lifted off of my shoulders when I sit back, pray and trust in God.

Some stories coming soon!

Meeting Joshua: Part 1

I woke up Wednesday, December 21, 2011 at 4:00am, as usual, to go to the bathroom.  As I was awkwardly trying to roll myself out of bed I felt a little wet, well, down there.  Man, I must really have to go, I thought.  When I stood up some more fluid leaked out.

My heart started beating faster as I wondered, did my water break?  No, it couldn't be.  My due date is still 10 days away.

I went to the bathroom and got back in bed.

I awoke at 6:00am, as usual, to go to the bathroom again.  I was very wet, well, down there.  When I stood up some more fluid leaked out.

My heart started beating faster as I wondered, did my water break?  No, it couldn't be.  Remember, it gushed with Jeremiah.

I went to the bathroom and was going to go back to bed, but felt I should tell Joel.

He was already awake and reading the Bible (he's so amazing).  I startled him and he looked at me with wide eyes as I told him I thought my water had broke.

"It's just not the same as it was with Jeremiah," I pondered.

"Should I go to church?" he pondered.

He was supposed to leave home at 6:45am, but we decided he should stay with me to see if I started having contractions.  I had one or two between 6am and 8am, but nothing major.  We decided he should go into church (ie, work) and I would call him when something more exciting started happening.

I had a few more contractions around 9am and I called him to see if we should get the babysitter ready to take Jeremiah.  He said to go ahead and call her.  She was going to be out running errands around 10am and said she would be happy to get him.

10am was just one hour away.

His bag was not ready.

I was not ready to part with this little boy whose life was was about to be turned upside down.

I started crying as I finished packing his bag with favorite foods, toys and clothes.  He was going to be a big brother.  This little boy who had turned MY world upside down just 15 months earlier had no idea what was coming!

Would Jeremiah have a brother or a sister?

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Meeting Jeremiah: Part 4

Read Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 if you missed them.

It was getting close to midnight as we got settled into Room ___ (I need to find the room number...) at Swedish Medical Center.  My mom and sister had arrived sometime in the midst of check-in, but I cannot remember exactly when.  I was a little preoccupied (imagine that).  I should ask my mom.  When I think back to it all I can remember is the pain I was in at that moment.

So much pain.  So much pressure and pain in my lower back.  Every contraction felt as if someone was wringing my body as you would a wet towel.  I tried to remember all the breathing techniques, but it seemed useless.   I just decided to breathe!   (I am full of brilliant ideas.)

They brought a wheelchair out and I felt dread wash over me.  Walking was painful, but sitting was even more so.  "Do I have to ride in the wheelchair?" I pleaded with Joel.

"I don't think so.  Do you want to walk?" He compassionately replied.

"Yes; no.  I don't know.  I'll ride.  No, let me walk.  No, maybe I should ride," was my response.

If you have been in labor you probably had a conversation like that with your husband.

Or two.

Or three.

The 5 minute ride in the wheelchair up to the delivery room was the second worse ride of my life (the first, as you remember, being the ride to the hospital just 20 minutes prior).  Contraction after contraction.  More fluid everywhere.  

It was surreal as we rounded the final corner and I saw the nurses desk.  They were smiling compassionately and waiting for me.  I was in labor.  I was having a baby!  The time I had imagined my whole life was upon me!  It was like the moment I took my daddy's arm at my wedding to walk down the aisle.  Was this me?

The nurses helped us get settled into the room, all the while briefing us on what to expect from them and telling me I needed to lay down for 20 minutes so she could monitor the baby's heartbeat.  Lay down for TWENTY minutes?  You have GOT to be kidding me!  I just want this baby out.  Right now.  It was so painful to lay down.  The pain, oh, the pain.  She started asking me a myriad of medical questions.  My contractions were still coming one on top of another and the pain I was feeling in my lower back continued to intensify.  As soon as she got the monitor turned on the nurse said something like, "Oh, honey, you are having hard contractions."  Really?  No way!

We made it very clear that we wanted an all natural birth.  The baby was to have no shots.  They were not to offer drugs or suggest anything to us unless the baby and I were in danger.  She took my birth plan and began looking it over.  She suggested I still have the IV hook up just in case something did go wrong.  I gave in (the worst mistake- it was so annoying!) and they put it in my left arm.  After only 15 minutes or so I had to get up.  Once I was standing Joel applied counter pressure during a contraction and I finally felt some relief from the pressure on my lower back.

My doctor came in to check on me at about 1am and I was dilated to 7cm.  He also discovered that the baby was a little oblique (slanted towards one side of my pelvis) and partially posterior (facing forward).  He explained that the excruciating pain I was feeling in my low back was mostly due to the baby's odd position.  The contractions would do their job to reposition the baby, but my labor was going to be a more difficult one.

I remember taking a deep breath between contractions and asking the Lord to give me strength.  He had made my body capable of labor and delivery.  The pain had a purpose.  It was a good pain.  I was about to see my baby.

Ah, thank God for a strong, patient, gracious husband who was by my side through it all.  He applied counter pressure with every contraction- not a small feat- and his arms were sore for a few days!  He reminded me that God had made my body for this task.  Thank God for a loving mother who gently whispered Scripture in my ear and reminded me that all I needed to do was focus on the next contraction.   Thank God for a dear sister who got me water, cooled off my forehead and stood ready for what ever we needed.  Her sweet smile was such a comfort to me!

I decided to get in the bath to see if it would relieve some of the pressure from the baby's head continually pressing on my pelvic bone, spine and tail bone.  As I sunk into the water I told Joel that it felt like I was sitting on the baby's head.  (Weirdest feeling ever- second to my water breaking!)  It helped for a little while, but the urge to get the baby out was quickly overtaking me!

We moved me back to the bed, but I still could not sit down.  I could tell the baby was trying to get into the right position.  He/she wanted to come out as badly as I wanted them out!   Resting upright, rocking with each contraction to help the baby turn was the best position for me.  They checked again around 2:30am and I was nearing 9cm.  This overwhelming urge came from nowhere and I told my doctor I had to push.  The nurse was very adamant that I wait until I was fully dilated.  My doctor said to go ahead if I needed to, but to push gently.  (Um, gently, ok?)

A couple of contractions and pushes later I felt some relief from the pressure.  The baby had moved a little!  I could finally lay down and prepare to get this baby out!  The nurse kept calling the baby a girl.  And it really was starting to annoy me.  What if it is a boy?

I pushed.  And I pushed.  And I pushed some more.

I was starting to feel more intense pain and was having a hard time breathing.  The nurse gave me some oxygen.  (Ah, love that stuff.)  PUSH!  

My doctor checked the position of the baby and gave the nurse some code language.

I knew something was amiss and asked, "What is it?"

"The baby is trying to come out ear first," my doctor said.  The nurse looked concerned and my doctor calmly said, "It's not the first time it has happened.  It's fine.  It'll just take longer."

(Can I just say... I love my doctor.  He is the best.  Ever.  65 years old.  Old school.  Has delivered over 6,000 babies- including my three youngest siblings.  He has one of the lowest c-section percentages in Colorado.  And he has a dry sense of humor.  And he's calm and professional.  And yet sometimes a bit goofy.  We love him!)

I pushed for an hour and twenty minutes.  Sometime, somehow, the baby turned.   It was long.  It was hard.  I felt like giving up.  And about 2 pushes before the baby was born something clicked in me.  I want this baby out.  I remember looking over to see the little bed with the heater warming up, asking Joel if the camera was recording (one of the best decisions ever) and taking a big breath as I felt another contraction.

I want to see my baby!


They cheered me on and said I was almost there.  The head was out.  My doctor said not to push while he cleaned the nose and mouth out.  He asked if Joel was ready to call out the gender of the baby.

It was the longest 10 seconds of my life.

"One more push," Dr. Bury instructed.

"It's a boy!" Joel exclaimed, filled with wonder, excitement and emotion.

And a little squirming baby boy was placed on my chest.  I cried.

My baby.  My firstborn.  A son.

The love that washed over me in that moment cannot be described in words.  There is nothing to compare with seeing your baby face to face for the first time.

September 15, 2010
7lbs. 10oz.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Meeting Jeremiah: Part 3

Read Part 1 and Part 2 if you missed them.

Driving home from W's house at 9PM on September 14, 2010 I felt a contraction, a pop and then a gush of fluid exiting my body.  I still cannot really describe what it felt like to have my water break.  It was the weirdest thing I think I have ever experienced!

"I think my water just broke," I stammered.  I was half smiling and yet feeling like crying.

"Are you sure?" Joel questioned.

"Feel the seat!  It's soaked!"

He reached over and felt the seat in the car.  It was soaking wet.  I was soaking wet!

We looked at each other wide-eyed for a moment smiling and shocked.

The walk from the car to the house was an awkward one- I kept leaking fluid!  

It was really time!

We started talking about what to do.  I had a contraction.  More fluid leaked out.  (Ok, this is getting weird.  I am wetting my pants and have no control over it!)  The books and the class both said it could be hours before active labor was upon us.  We wanted to stay at home as long as possible so we had decided to wait until the contractions were painful and close together before heading to the hospital.  I called my doctor's phone service and she asked if I was sure my water had broken.  Yes, I am sure.  How much fluid had come out- approximately?  Ummm, a gallon?  They advised me to go to the hospital right away since my water had broken.  (Insert another contraction and more fluid leakage...eww.)  Yeah, yeah, and sit in the hospital for who knows how long being pestered by nurses? I thought.  No thanks.  "I'll wait until my contractions are close together," I told the operator.  She connected me to my doctor and he said to call back when I was heading to the hospital.  He was already there with another patient. 

As soon as I hung up I had another contraction.  (More fluid?  How much is in there???)  It was more uncomfortable than any I had already experienced.  We prayed.  Joel asked God to give us strength and endurance for the night ahead!  He prayed a blessing over the the baby and our home.  He asked God to give us wisdom as we raised this child.

I cried.  It was really time.  We were going to meet this new life SOON.  Labor was upon me.  What would it be like?  Would I be able to handle all the pain I was about to face?  What would it be like to be a mother?  Was I ready?

Oh, God, make me ready! I earnestly prayed.

We started timing the contractions and I got in the shower.

If you know anything about timing contractions you can see that they were coming fast from the beginning.  (AND with each one I kept leaking fluid... nice.)  The first couple of contractions after my water broke were strong and by 10PM the contractions were getting painful.  I could barely get the rest of my bag packed without wincing.  We headed to the hospital at 10:40PM. 

The 20 minutes to the hospital was the longest car ride of my entire life.  I was not able to move around and the pressure I was feeling on my lower back was horrible.  Joel was a great encourager and kept reminding me to look to the prize- our first baby!

The check-in process at the ER entrance took entirely too long.  I had pre-registered for goodness sake!  Why do you need to verify all the information again?  Besides, I am leaking amniotic fluid everywhere... which is not only gross, but slightly awkward and embarrassing.   The clerk kept telling me it was ok and we were almost done.  Yeah, thanks, you are not the one in labor, lady!  They brought a wheelchair out after what seemed like an eternity and we were headed to the labor and delivery room!

Read Part 4.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

The Little Things

I love finding toys in the strangest places.

I love watching Jeremiah chew his food.  He makes even broccoli look good to me.

I love hearing Jeremiah laugh as he plays with Daddy.

I love watching Joshua coo and smile.

I love trying to imagine what my children are thinking.

I love a messy house when I know I have spent quality time with my boys.

I love wearing my pajama's all day and rushing to get dressed before Joel gets home.

I love my life at this stage.

A Little Request

Can I make a little request?

If you are a frequent reader of my blog would you mind commenting once in a while on what you read?

It is nice to get a "like" on Facebook, but I would love to know what you think.  The nice thing about leaving a comment on the blog, too, is that I will have that note "forever." 

Also, it encourages me to keep writing as well as opening dialogue with what God is teaching me and what God is teaching you!

Thanks, friends!

Meeting Jeremiah: Part 2

I had no more contractions Sunday or Monday.

We went to J and C's wedding on Sunday afternoon.  It was hot.  Hot.  Hot.

The emotions I had felt on Saturday, during the false labor, as I thought about seeing my first baby for the first time seemed ages ago by Tuesday morning. I was starting to tell myself that I was going to go past my due date like everyone said happened with the first baby. I had already been preparing myself for 9 months now!

Tuesday, September 14, was another warm day and, if I remember correctly, I woke up sweating and feeling all around hot. Hot. Hot. I was feeling lower back pains and my stomach kept getting tight sporadically all day. More warm up contractions, I guess. I cannot recall what I did during the day except that I went to my parent's house for something and iPhoto says I took the pictures of the outfits we had purchased.  

I told my mom I was having the same kind of pains as I had on Saturday. She said I was probably in labor if I was having so many contractions. I shrugged my shoulders, not wanting to get my hopes up, dismissing the thought.

Joel and I headed to W's house at about 5:30PM to help him and his fiance assemble their wedding invitations. I remember telling Joel that my back was hurting and while we were sitting eating pizza I felt the same kind of pains as I had on Saturday. More warm up contractions, I guess.

It was so hot in W's little apartment. Or was it just me?

I was assigned my task and sat with a couple other women at the kitchen table. The hard kitchen chair was much more comfortable compared to the plush couch that gave me no back support. I remember little of the conversation around the table. I was focused on my task and wishing I was at home. It must have been about 8PM when Joel was done with his job and came into the kitchen to see how we were doing. I asked him to massage my shoulders.

I was feeling so hot and out of breath. He got me another glass of water.

The cool evening air felt like heaven to my uncomfortable, hot body as we stepped out of W's apartment at about 9PM! While walking to the car I told Joel, "I am not ready for this."

He asked, "Ready for what?"

"To have this baby," I replied with tears welling up in my eyes.

"God will give you the strength when it is time," he gently answered.

I had no idea that 15 minutes later as we drove home it would be time.

Read Part 3.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Meeting Jeremiah: Part 1

Saturday, September 11, 2010 was a beautiful, hot, Colorado late summer day. We had scheduled to take maternity pictures with my parents that evening since my due date, September 22, was getting so close. We had fun taking hundreds of pictures with my ginormous belly, but near the end of the photo shoot I started getting pains around my lower back and had to stop several times to sit down.
I figured that I was just tired from walking around the park and a bit dehydrated. My mom started asking me all sorts of questions about what I was feeling and she suggested we start timing the contractions. They were sporadic and not painful at all. I did not think I was in labor, but since she bore six children I figured I should listen to her.

We left the park around 6PM. I had only had 3 or 4 contractions in a couple of hours, but we started discussing how the evening would go if I was actually in labor. My parents dropped us off at our house and Joel went to get Wendy's for our dinner. We even recorded our "last supper" and waited.

And waited. And waited.

After eating, resting and drinking a lot of water I had no more contractions.

I knew it had been a false alarm all along!

Read Part 2.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Coming Soon: Birth Stories

The last few weeks there has been an abundance of babies entering the world and I have read a couple of birth stories on different blogs (like my new favorite blog and my friend Katie). I never know what the purpose of this blog is, really, but I may be slowly finding a niche. Well, at least a niche in my head. (Wow, and that is a scary thought.)

I have always loved listening to mothers share birth stories. I love the fact that my own mother drove herself in a big pickup truck to get her hair cut AFTER her water broke when she was in labor with me. I giggle when I hear her tell about my brother entering the world and the doctor saying, "Well, his water works." It was so much fun to be close by for the birth of my second brother. It really STINKS that I walked out of the room just moments before my sister was born. It is precious that I was my mom's labor coach for my youngest brother.

The really amazing reality for me is that I now, PERSONALLY, have TWO birth stories of my own. I have been pregnant twice, labored twice and delivered twice. I am still amateur compared to most women, but when I think about having another baby (and YES, I already think about it) there is something exciting for me about going through it all again.

I loved being pregnant. I loved learning about how they were developing. I loved talking, reading and singing to them in the womb. I loved dreaming about who they would be. I loved bringing these two boys into the world. I enjoyed going through labor (ok, most of it). I loved holding them in my arms for the first time. Yet, there is one thing I have not enjoyed when it comes to pregnancy, labor, delivery and even parenting.

Comparison and competition among women.

It. drives. me. crazy.

I hesitate to share my birth stories with most women in my generation. The times I do talk about it some people say certain things that become very frustrating to me. I want people to share in my joy and listen instead of giving all sorts of reasons as to why my story is somehow unique. I want to be able to share why I did or did not do certain things without others having to defend their own story.

So I will share. Soon.

Until then, I will nurse my precious two month old, play with my seventeen month old and remember with joy the days the Lord placed them into my arms!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Dirty Dishes

I am joining other blogs I enjoy, like The Marathon Mom, in posting something I am thankful for on Thursdays.

Today, I am thankful for dirty dishes!


There are quite a few dirty dishes in the sink right now. I have been having too much fun playing with my 16 month old to care. I read this quote years ago (and I cannot remember where), recited it often to my siblings and our children will hear it, too:

"Be glad for dirty dishes
they have a story to tell
while other kids go hungry
we're eating rather well."

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Still Around

It is 10:59PM as I begin this post.

Joel and Jeremiah are in bed. Joshua is strapped snugly to my chest in the Moby wrap (still LOVE this giant piece of fabric) and is *finally* asleep. He is such a good baby- sleeps at night and is awake during the day. He barely cries and is starting to show more personality. ::Ahem:: More on him in another post.

And me? I am doing laundry and thinking about blogs.

I really should be in bed sleeping soundly like the rest of my little family, but for now I am soaking up the quiet stillness in my home. I need time to think and it seems that these days I get very little.

Two boys. I am the mother of two boys.

I cannot believe how quickly time has passed- from my 10th birthday disaster to learning to drive, working two great jobs, marrying my best friend and now being the mother of these two precious boys.

And all too soon they will be grown. They will be 10. 16. 21. 25. 28.

I am reading through the Bible and just finished Judges (Funny, Jeremiah got his first haircut the day I read about Samson. Ha.), Ruth and have started 1 Samuel. Oh, to raise a son like Boaz. Oh, to be a mother like Hannah with a son like Samuel. I do not want to raise sons like Samson. Or how about Eli's sons? 1 Samuel 2:12 says, "Now the sons of Eli were worthless men. They did not know the Lord." May that never be said of my sons!

Amidst the dishes, diapers, laundry and all the other daily chores I never, ever, ever, ever (EVER) want to forget that I am raising adults. Boys turn into men. And I want them to be men. I do not want them to stay boys (it seems many mothers do and many men stay boys).

There are times when the books strewn on the floor, the overflowing diaper pail and the constant snack time wear on me. Yet, at the same time I know I will miss it one day when the pitter patter of tiny feet is no longer in my home. These are days to cherish as I pour into these little souls the time it takes to make a little boy into a man.

And now that I am crying... I will iron the last shirt and go to bed.