Sunday, July 31, 2011

In da club

Go shawty, it's your birthday
We gonna party like it's your birthday!
-Famous words of "50 Cent"

Pretty soon I will join a club. It's the mamma's club. Before I was pregnant I knew there was a secret language these women spoke. I cared about their children and their lives but there was a disconnection between me really understanding what they were talking about. I played it off like it was no big deal but my thoughts were either, "I don't get it or I don't care." I wasn't trying to be shallow but the club talk was beyond me. Since I was 15 I was legally employed and paying taxes. That's what I understood, that's what brought me joy. Being apart of the club didn't interest me at all. It may have struck my curiosity from time to time though.

After finding out I was pregnant I realized that my business oriented mind would have to switch a bit. Now that I have successfully been allowed to carry our baby this long I have had time to bond with other moms who carried their children. My favorite part is how every woman I talk to, EVERY SINGLE WOMAN, remembers their pregnancy and birth no matter how old they are. I have listened to dozens of birth stories. All of the stories intrigue me. All of them remember what time their labor started, when it ended and all the in between. They remember the smallest details. I find it absolutely fascinating, all of it. There's no formula to it. Some had morning sickness, some didn't. Some cried, some rejoiced. Some were scared and some just felt at ease. Some loved it, some wouldn't ever do it again. Some were miserable, some felt better than ever. Some were in labor 30 hours and others 4 hours. I feel apart of something that is unique to everyone. It's like a bunch of puzzle pieces. Everyone is there for the same purpose but no one is alike.

I have found an incredible amount of support in the club. I cry when I get responses from my blogs from women who have been in my shoes and had the same feelings. It's like God wants me to write for the ones who have been there and the ones behind me. What would be the purpose of claiming I live my life for Jesus if I just shut my mouth and closed my heart. To me, it's utterly impossible to think about not writing or sharing about this experience, this gift. Every single emotion is poured out since I started writing. Every day I am inspired by moms, Scott's mom and my own mom. When she is born I suppose I will be amidst the ones that say, "It's a lot of work but it's worth every second." Anyone who truly knows me, knows that I love to work anyway :) There's such an intriguing smile behind the ones who say that.

My favorite part of being pregnant is going for a walk and seeing elderly women look at my HUGE belly and I can see beyond their smiling faces. They are remembering their personal story of how they became apart of the mamma's club. It was when maternity clothes were tents and 3-d ultrasounds weren't even thought of. They didn't know anything except a baby was growing and so was their love for it. From biblical times stretched forever into the future there will always be a beautiful story about giving life.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

another part of the process

I can't believe the end is so near! The nursery is done and I think we have most everything we need for this little bundle of joy. Thinking back to the day that I found out I was pregnant does not seem like a distant memory. I can still feel the shock and fear but the process has been a tremendous blessing that I don't regret.

In the past weeks fear came back into the picture. It was paralyzing my joy so I sought answers. I picked up my bible. I found all sorts of verses about fear and peace so I wrote them all down on a piece of paper to take with me to the hospital.

I also stumbled across a website called There was a part about fear that really spoke loud to me.

"Fear is also a powerful tool for Satan to use during pregnancy, labor and birth. Think about the fears that Satan has tried to teach you to live by. Satan tells us to be afraid because labor is so painful, and dangerous. Satan tells us to be afraid to eat because our bodies will remain fat forever. Satan tells us to be afraid to get more rest because others will think we are weak because we are pregnant women. Satan tells us to be afraid to give birth because the baby will have so many needs that we will always be exhausted. Fear that God is not in control. Fear that our bodies are defective. Fear that we are not adequate to the tasks at hand. You see, once you begin to believe some of these fears, you lose your faith in God. You can not believe that God created you adequate for the tasks he set before you and also believe that your body is defective. You can not believe that labor is so painful that no women can handle it and also believe that God is in control of labor. These fears are in direct opposition to the Bible and rather than build your faith, they will destroy it. Rather than encourage you to turn to God, they will encourage you to feel hopeless.
So you must decide now how you will live your life. Will you live your life in response to fear, or will you live your life based on faith in God. Will you be ruled by your worries or your Lord. Will you worry, or will you trust God. Will you live in fear or faith?"

These findings gave me a breakthrough in the fear, then came a third confirmation. After church this past Sunday a woman told me she believed that God wanted me to know that I have what it takes to be a great mother. Instantly, I burst into tears because I knew it was true. I was made for this! What is there to fear if this is what He made me for? He designed me to carry her inside for this long. He designed me to go through labor. He designed me to raise her. Trust in Him alone.

Of course I'm not saying that I'm alone in raising her, Scott will be an amazing dad, no doubt. It's just that Satan got his sketchy lies into my mind to distract me and suck the joy out of me.

We have at most, a couple of weeks left. In the mean time, we are cherishing every moment that is just "us", cherishing the fun of her growing in me, and cherishing the unknown future.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Maternity Pics

We have a video of some of our pics that we took. Our whole goal behind these pics was to show all sides of us as a couple. We took some pics that were silly and just for kicks. We called this the "white trash" photo shoot. For the record, I don't smoke and the bottle of stuff that Scott was hold was an unknown liquid. We really just wanted to be as silly as possible because we love to laugh at ourselves. In 20 years, our daughter will be like, "you guys are weird!" Our goal is to be just as weird and giggly in 20 years and raise our daughter to not judge others and love all as they are. I feel like some of the pics declare proudly, "I got my woman knocked up!" and "I love my man just as he is." If you know Scott and I we try to be as real as we can and we share our hearts and lives with anyone that cares to hear.

The other part of our shoot was a bit more serious because there is a side of us that loves deeply and is completely passionate about each other and life. We want her to live her dreams out and have goals. Life gets serious sometimes and that's when we love hard and hold onto each other. God gives us relationships and grows our faith through them. If it weren't for Him planning our daughter's life, I wouldn't have learned so much about myself and my husband. We are grateful.

There are pictures of just me in there that show a side of me that I NEVER show. If you have followed my blog than you know how much a struggled with body image. It still makes me cry to think back to that time where my heart, mind, and body were all over the map trying to grasp all that I could control. God has done a remarkable job at speaking truth into my life. These pictures are to show my daughter that our bodies are beautiful and God's creation is perfect. I'm heavier than I ever have been (yes, I know I am pregnant) but I have conquered that stupid scale thing, I have exposed myself as a baby belly baring mama. Before I was pregnant, I would have looked at these pics and gasped if I saw a roll of fat or if my thighs touched. Now, I cry because God's makeover is more beautiful than I could ever imagine.

Jacquelyn's photography team did a wonderful job at capturing us. Thank you.

Here's the video: copy and paste this in a new window to view

Sunday, July 10, 2011

This 4th of July

I didn't Facebook announce what I did for the 4th of July but I thought I should document this.

I may be vocal about my aches and pains but I also have a weird way of denying that this baby is actually going to come out. I know that they say that she will but really, I have no clue what that looks like or feels like. It's all hearsay in my opinion. I keep saying that I can't wait to meet her but who meets like this? Hey there! You just put my pain scale on a level 76, deformed my body for 9 months, tore through my vagina, and then screamed bloody murder after you took your first real breaths of oxygen in a polluted world. There's no shaking hands or even a cordial introduction. We will meet in a way that I have never met anyone before. Her poor little body, being forced through such a little tunnel and then exposed to lights, action, camera. It's all so beautiful and gruesome at the same time.

Last Saturday, I was walking around with my mom and I had the ol' Braxton Hicks (such a lame way to describe your uterus contracting). Along with it, I had some cramping so I briefly complained and then moved on. At 2am I woke up with stronger contractions and cramping. They were frequent so I did what anyone would do when presented with concerning pre-term labor symptoms, I googled it. Google told me to call the 1st nurse, so I woke Scott up and told him what was going on. He told me to call 1st nurse. I ignored both of them and tried to go back to sleep. At 7am the symptoms of pre-term labor woke me up again. I guzzled some water, convinced Scott to walk with me for a little while, then rested on my left side. They didn't go away so I asked Scott for the number to 1st nurse. She told me to rest for a couple of hours and call back if it continued. I rested, went to church, then took a nap, and ignored my symptoms and my husband's concerns. Finally, at 7pm Scott handed me the phone and it rang to the 1st nurse. I was forced to tell her what was going on. She advised me to time the contractions for an hour then call back. Scott started the timer. "Okay, I'm having one." One minute later, "Okay, it stopped." Four to five minutes later, "Okay, I'm having one." One minute later, "Okay, it stopped." We continued that for an hour and I called 1st nurse back. Apparently, it was a busy night because I was on hold for 15 minutes. In that 15 minutes I was suddenly in pain, not a little but a lot. There wasn't a warning of pain, it just appeared and I was hunched over walking around the house trying to get ready to go to the hospital. Scott was a maniac who was much less in denial than I was. He was writing lists of things we needed to take to the hospital, packing a bag, telling me that this could be for real and I needed to take it more seriously. We didn't have a car seat yet so I joked we could just walk her home since we live so close. He didn't think it was funny and soberly told me that he would pick one up while I was in the hospital. I hobbled to the car and wondered what the neighbors were thinking. I'm sure with Scott running around throwing things in the car, then me coming out of the house saying I wanted an epidural gave it away.

For the first time in my life I went to the ER for my own issues. I have been there several times with friends and family but never for myself and I took pride in that. It's a silly thing to take pride in but I guess I also felt blessed that I've never been an unhealthy person or had an accident that put me in there. They offered me a wheel chair to ride in to labor and delivery but I refused. I slowly walked the hall then tripped on my flip flop which scared Scott and the nurse but I recovered with a laugh and some joke about needing a wheel chair.

They put us in the observation room, of course told me to put that stupid gown on so they could examine my insides and hook me up to a monitor and IV. Within a second of putting the monitor on, we saw the heart beat and contractions. Contractions were every 2-2 1/2 minutes. Within 15 minutes a midwife came in and examined me. I wasn't dilated so she told the nurse to give me the shot to stop contractions. I have never been hooked up with an IV and it made me nervous. Then, they told me that the meds to stop contractions could make my heart race and that made me nervous too. I never take more than Tylenol for anything so I told the nurse I was nervous about all the side affects. She said, "yeah, I would be too but those are just symptoms that might happen." Thanks????? Not very comforting to say the least. It didn't make me feel any better that she was an employee at the cookie place just a year prior and now she was sticking me with an IV. I would rather take a cookie from her.

The first dose didn't work for more than an hour before the contractions were back to every 2 minutes. I was praying they would stop and Scott was praying that we would get to meet her soon. I asked him if he wanted to meet the healthy version of her that we could take home or have to leave her in the hospital for a while to help her lungs develop more. He agreed that it was a good idea to be able to take her home.

They gave me a second dose of meds that sure enough, made me jittery and my heart race. It stopped the contractions though. I really dislike being in the hospital. I couldn't eat, I couldn't get up without disconnecting the monitor cords, and taking my IV with me to the restroom while flashing Scott with my gaping gown. We were there for nearly 12 hours and then the midwife told me we could leave. After being disconnected and given discharge papers I told Scott to hand me my cloths and I was out of that place like a bat out of hell (I've never used that saying before but I feel it was a necessary for drama).

After that experience, I lengthened the list of things I need to bring to the hospital and added a few things to the "birth plan" that I have written up to make myself feel like I have control over how this is all going to go down. We both felt a little disappointed because it wasn't time yet but now I am cherishing the alone time with Scott as a couple until we become a three person family.

Happy Independence Day! I still have another human growing inside of me!

If It Were My Plan

If it were my plan...

I would not have been able to rely on my God in such a deep, humble way
I would not have appreciated such deep sacrificial love from my husband
I would not be able to relate to others who experience depression
I would not been able to see how much I can handle
I would not have felt true joy in the miracle of a growing baby
I would not believe that God's plan truly is better than mine
I would not believe that ALL babies are miracles
I would not have seen how selfish I was
I would not have experienced such unique support from family and friends
I would not be able to laugh at myself
I would not be able to feel so comfortable in such different skin
I would not be able to slow my roll to see life in a week by week perspective
I would not be able to use my stomach as a table
I would not have cried until my eyes had no more tears
I would not be able to feel completely out of control
I would not been able to appreciate a simple walk with my mom or dad
I would not have seen how much people care about someone they don't even know yet
I would not have been able to appreciate riding a bike
I would not have been able to see the sacrifices made by my parents
I would not have prayed so hard
I would not have shared my struggles
I would not have been able to see how strong mothers are
I would not be able to feel growing life inside of me
I would have taken for granted the ability to bend over with ease
I would have taken for granted the ability to run for miles and miles
I would have taken for granted the hours I could spend on my feet without aching
I would have taken for granted being able to hold my bladder for longer than 1 minute
I would not have seen how much love Scott has for our baby
I would not have seen how well Scott takes care of me

I know there are several other things that I have not mentioned but this pretty much covers most of it. I'm so thankful for God's plan, it's perfect, just perfect.