Monday, November 28, 2011

Birthing Prayer...Thanksgiving!

If there is one thing I am learning about lately- and quite timely I must say (November's end after all!)- it is the power of a thankful heart. Now don't get me wrong, there is definitely a place for lamentations. I don't believe in "fake it til you make it", pretending you don't feel some thing, or forcing yourself to feel some thing you don't. I don't believe you can will God to do things because you put on a happy face.

But a heart of real Thanksgiving is a special thing.

There is also so much beauty in finding things to be thankful for. And a special blessing in pouring out that Thanksgiving to my Abba. I can't say how thankful I am. Really, this is the first pregnancy I can honestly say I've ENJOYED. Sure, it has had some really rough patches. But I am so thankful to have this new little person inside of me. And so thankful for what God is doing in our family. Thankfulness, really does breed thankfulness...And I feel like I'm about to pop with it.

This is just some thing the Holy Spirit has been speaking to my heart. I prayed long and hard about taking the Hypnobabies course. I know several Mamas who have deep faith and love Jesus, and really enjoyed it and benefited from it. But it didn't feel like it fit in with what God has been doing in me through this pregnancy.

I really believe we have - a lot more power over our bodies and our babies than we give ourselves credit for. I believe this applies to all humans- not just Christians. But as a Christian, as some one who has accepted the gift of New Life through Jesus Christ...I know I am redeemed from the curse...He broke it, and I don't believe we have to wait until heaven to enjoy the benefits. I believe they are ours NOW. This is some thing that I'm still feeling out, waiting and praying through. It's not some thing I have all the answers or could hash out...It's just a deep conviction of my heart.

And so, I thought- why not make my own set prayer for this season? Some thing that would affirm God's work in my heart, affirm the things  I KNOW about my body...And declare the work of Christ in me?

So I wrote tihs prayer, and I have been praying and declaring for this birth. It's also deeply personal, and I debated whether I should post...And decided it might encourage other Mama's waiting to meet their babes.

And so I share...As with any thing, take what speaks Truth to your heart...And pray about the rest.

My Birthing Prayer.

Abba, Thank you for this baby. I can say with Hannah, "For this child I prayed and the Lord has given me what I asked of Him."
Thank you for the healing you've been working in me through this pregnancy. For all you've been teaching me about who I am in Christ. For the joy you've poured out and the delight you've blessed me with while carrying this precious new person. Seriously, what a GIFT!

Thank you that you are The Word, Jesus. And that Your Word has power and authority in my life. Thank you Jesus, that because of what you did on the cross I am fully redeemed and whole. Thank you that I have control over my body, and that I am not subject to my emotions, but that they are subject to your word! Thank you so much that this is my birth right in you. That you intend a healthy and enjoyable pregnancy for me. Thank you that you, "bless my bread and my water and take sickness from my midst."  that you bless every bite baby and I take in and you give me the energy I need to care for my family and myself.

Thank you for this good time, this special season of carrying this child. For the things you are teaching my family, and the ways you are preparing us for the changes ahead. Thank you for good sleep and rest (for you promise your Beloved [me!] sleep!) for drawing me close in the night.

Thank you for wisdom in how to eat, for solid knowledge of nutrition, and that you've made good supplements available to me. Thank you for how you designed my body to work- it's genius! I am your child and my body functions in your perfect design. Jesus, thank you that by your stripes I am healed, and that the curse is GONE!  Thank you that this pregnancy will be the perfect length. My baby is covered and protected in my womb  where you are forming and fashioning him/her. Thank you at the right time you will carry her safely from my womb, down the birth canal, and into my waiting arms. 

Thank you that because I make the Most High my refuge, no sickness, plague, or evil can come near me...For you cover me with Your feathers and under your wings I find refuge. Thank you that you command your angels concerning me to keep me in all my ways. That they lift me up in their hands so I won't even strike my foot against a stone. That they keep me in all my ways.

As I look forward to our birthing time- I ask that you would bless it. That every wave of labor would bring you glory. That you would be exulted in this special time Jesus! Holy Spirit, hover over that time. Bless it soak it with your love. Draw us to you and soak us in your peace. Bless those who are to help us in this work. Holy spirit, pour out wisdom, give eyes to see, and hearts to hear. Let no one walk away from this birth with out being touched by you. Heal. Move. Love on our care providers. May they have the mind of Christ and your perfect wisdom in all things for the delivery. Reign in JOY! 

Thank you for Love. For what you have created because of it. Right now, in the wonderful name of Jesus I say fear has no place in this birth. Jesus is Lord and He is LOVE... And His perfect love casts out fear!

Right now, I speak to my body and my baby in Jesus' name. To every organ and system: function properly and perfectly- as you were intended to do from the beginning. Placenta, stay attached correctly, keep giving proper nutrients to my baby through the umbilical cord. Cord, stay in a place where baby gets full nutrients and oxygen through out labor. Uterus, be strong and efficient. You are whole and perfect. Contract well, cervix: open smoothly and easily. I am relaxed and embrace every wave that brings my baby closer to my arms. After the birth uterus contract easily and smoothly allowing for minimal bleeding. 
Sweet baby, You were made to be born. At the right time, move into the perfect position for your birth. In a position where rotating down will be smooth and easy. Head resting evenly on the cervix, chin tucked and hands away from your face. 

Body, be relaxed and at peace... Work well. You were made for this.

Holy Spirit, I welcome you into every step of the birthing process. Saturate in your love and peace. Surround and prepare us. Bless the girls, touch their hearts and prepare them for the new baby. Pour out your grace and wisdom for Ryan and I as we walk with them into this new season for our family. May our hearts be full of Thanksgiving and our hands open with joy. Jesus- be glorified. I ask all this in your precious name.


1Sam 1:27, Ex 23:25, Psalm 127:2, Gen 49:25, Mal. 3:11,  Duet. 7:13,  Isa. 44:2, Gal 1:15, Psalm 139: Jer 1:5, Ps. 71:6, Ps. 22:9,10 Ps 91:10-123John 2 , Isa. 54:13, Eph 1:17,18. Prov 3:3,4.  1John 4:16. 1John 4:18. Matt 8:17. Deut 28

Scriptures to meditate on:

Psalm 112:6-8
Surely the righteous will never be shaken; 
   they will be remembered forever. 
They will have no fear of bad news; 
   their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the LORD. 
Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear; 
   in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.
Isaiah 41:10
 So do not fear, for I am with you; 
   do not be dismayed, for I am your God. 
I will strengthen you and help you; 
   I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Psalm 27:1
The LORD is my light and my salvation— 
   whom shall I fear? 
The LORD is the stronghold of my life— 
   of whom shall I be afraid?

John 14:27
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

1 John 4:18
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

Philippians 4:7-8

 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

You will keep in perfect peace
   those whose minds are steadfast,
   because they trust in you.

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Collecting Silence...

I wish it was possible. I wish I could grab every moment of it I could find and keep it, and then when I need it pull it out and wrap myself up in it.

I'm starting to get to the challenging part of pregnancy. The part where every thing is starting to feel real. The part where I find myself easily overwhelmed...Sensory things; sticky hands, screaming children, squeaky doors, back ground noise, clothing sitting funny, the baby sitting funny, touch, sight, smell, sound...You know, every thing. Is just TOO MUCH. It makes me want to cry. I feel really cranky and touched out. It's exhausting.

I can't help but enjoy (even with all their noise) these two little stinkers. 

Consequently I'm not sleeping too great at night, every night lately has been a bit rough...If it's not the girls having a hard time, it's my bladder (or a combination there in). It could be worse, and I think I've gotten "extracurriculars" pared down enough where we're all getting by. But it is frustrating, many nights lately I'm finding it hard to get back to sleep...Some times I lay there for just 15ish minutes...Other nights (like last night) it's hours. And I need those times. It's the ONLY time I have the energy- more importantly time and space- for that kind of thinking...For the processing...And prayer.

But I'm pretty worn out. I think I preferred all the crazy and intense dreams I was having for a long stretch. Ebb and flow...seasons and all that stuff, I suppose.

This season happens to be my favorite...
I haven't craved many special treats this pregnancy. I actually still have a hard time eating at all. I mean I get HUNGRY, but it's not like I remember other pregnancies being the, "Oh I'm pregnant, I'll take 2 of whatever that delicious amazing thing is NOW...Make it three."
Food, in all honesty, is a pain in the neck. It's some thing I put in me (and I put some really good, healthy stuff in there!) to keep me going...Not much more.

Where was I going with that?

Oh right.  Silence, I CRAVE it. If I could eat silence, wear it, wash in it...I would.

The constant talking, questions, noise, questions, noise, questions...and questions (throw in some whining for good measure) have me kind of numb.  I am finding the further a long I get the harder it is to keep my "battery" charged. I feel like maybe I am becoming a hermit. Or maybe a Mama bear, wanting to tuck myself in until winters end. I feel like Newby is drawing more from me: even emotionally I am more aware of her...Another part to bring into balance...A new person, who will very soon, be here in the flesh needing love and care.

31 weeks..
I guess I feel like this pregnancy has been so introverted that I'm alienating all my friends...Maybe even hubbers a bit.  I keep thinking...Oh I want to text that person...I want to call them and see how they are doing... I should at least FB them. But I'm too...Overly content and busy (inside) to chat much.

I wish I was an extrovert...Charged on talking with people...Charged on being around people. It would certainly make life easier. But perhaps that pity party is for another time.

But I'm not an extrovert...I'm me. And so I'm embracing what I need this season. Stolen bits of silence... Walks alone..naps...and getting us outside whenever possible (and behavior and patience levels will allow!)

Right now...I'm embracing where I'm at: a Mama bear preparing for winter...Soaking up what I need, when I can get it.
Some seasons...It's just really good to be alone...Embrace the silence. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

What Do I Know?

And not in a sarcastic "What do *I* know" kind of way...But seriously, what do I know? In this moment about every thing I'm sorting through- what do I know.

I know that I feel and see a certain new and precious persons feet rubbing back and forth near my breasts.
I feel bumps and nudges and it makes me smile.

I know I love this little person and I want the absolute best, safest, and most gentle start to this only beginning she'll ((let's just use the female pronouns as I'm used to it), ever get.

I know I want quiet, dark, peaceful, respectful, gentle, wise and loving hands and help when I do my work of bringing this precious person into the world. I know I want the absolute absence of fear or rush: on any ones part. I want a joyous birth...I want to be able to be present.

I know the last 4.5 years (counting Roo's gestation, obviously) on this journey of motherhood have stretched me, changed me, and changed me again. And I keep changing...I hope I'll always keep changing. Even if maybe it seems inconsistent, or like I'm not sure who I am (or more what I'm doing- which I totally don't!). I hope I never close up and stop growing...

I know that my Friend and Savior is trying to tell me some thing important...Wanting to open doors I haven't let Him before.

I know He has big plans for this birth. This little persons life, though she'll have her own life story, her beginning is deeply impacting mine...As her older sisters have and are.

I know what I don't want too...

And when I think of those things the fear creeps in...The "maybe I shoulds..." The questions.  The things that make me feel so inconsistent...Make me wonder what I should do, for real.

And here I sit. Belly bouncing. Clock ticking... Due date pending...Time nearing.

And I don't really have answers.

The past couple of months have all been about waiting. Am I pushing things off because I'm afraid to think about this baby's arrival? To face the work? I don't think it's that.  I'm not scared of pain. It's not the discomfort I am worried about at all. I'm ready for the hard work. My body (I've worked quite hard!) is strong and able. I look forward to that day honestly, I get almost jittery when I think of the exhilaration of the start and the finish. The thought of getting to experience LIFE again. What an incredible moment holding brand new Friendly to my bare chest. To feel her warm wet body rest on the outside of my belly. That precious first moment of our eyes locking and her little yell: she was okay. She had arrived. We had done it.

I look forward to that victory again.

Are the things I feel so reluctant to act on things I need to lay aside? Is it my instincts  (or maybe even Him) saying, "that's not necessary... really....that's not necessary at all...Just trust" Or is it my fears? Because some of the things I am putting off won't be pleasant for me. I can't seem to get a full peace either way. So I've been waiting...And waiting...And baby could arrive any where from the next 8-12 weeks.

I need some clarity. And some gumption to know that I stuck to my guns and did the best thing- no matter what.

So I guess all I can do is keep going and hope for another turn in the road...And suddenly I'll see....

In the end, it is what it is, what it is.


Perhaps, to dream...

My kids need to get out of the house. It has been a very long couple of days with Daylight Savings Time ending.

I've been cranky this week. I still feel raw, too many emotions...Too much shifting... Too much to work through. There is so much I'm processing right now, I wish I had more time to think. To BE. To sleep. My sleep hasn't been overly restful lately. It always seems to go that way, whenever I have a lot I'm working through, I do a lot of it in my dreams. Which is good, some times really eye opening. But it makes everything seem exhausting and draining.

Well no more time for introspection: kiddos are down...I need to run and nap too.

This is where I wish I was sitting right now...

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Due Date Week...Of baby J.

Yesterday was Baby J's due date. Last week was HARD... The day ended up being sweet some how...Like there was a special grace over it. I did all my crying in the couple of days before - it was like my body just HAD to cry. I'm not one to cry easily, so when this happens it feels strange.

 Saturday I woke up to feel Newby jump and wiggle at the sounds big sisters were making when they came in to snuggle with us in the "big bed".  I took pictures (last post) of my big  round belly...And I think I'm starting to feel ready to move on. Ready for birth again. For this sweet little life growing inside. Not that I'll ever forget  Jacob...But this due date has been hanging over my head for months. Not in a huge way. But in a subtle there-ness, I don't know how to explain. That sweet lost baby is always on my heart, especially because Newby wouldn't exist if we hadn't lost Jacob.

And now I'm passed that milestone...And I'm facing Newby's upcoming birth. I've made some big changes a while ago: I switched care providers. I wasn't feeling a peace about using the MW I used with Friendly. That woman will always have a special place in my heart. But instinct just kept screaming "change some thing...keep looking!" So I have. And I have SO much peace about my choice and I'm really excited about it.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Projects (Knitting)

Have I mentioned how much I love knitting? I do.

This is a picture of the soaker I completed last week: 

And a picture of my progress...

Newby peeking out there too. <3 

My current project...A dinosaur...
Not knitting in the round, just the only size 5 needles I own!

I hope to make a turtle and 2 "hot dog dogs" (all from this awesome book)...The girls especially requested the dogs for Christmas gifts...Need to finish up this dino (my practice at making toys) and then we'll attempt the Polka dot stripey dog. *I* want the turtle...But I think it will be Newby's early Christmas gift....if I get a chance. I'm getting pretty fast but it's hard to find time where I can knit during the day...It's fun to see if I can sneak in a row here and there!

Off to knit!!

Let's Go Back to Middle School..Shall we? And Yes, I'm a bit Nuerotic

This has been a super hard week. Not because of the usual stuff, the girls have actually been a joy (more or less) to hang out with...Grace.

This week has been hard because of a few things...

1) We had a freak October snow storm and lost electricity for 48 hours. It was cold, it was very exhausting as the girls didn't like the cold or the strange routine (ie, going over to Nana's house a lot, and also not being able to turn on lights [this disturbed Roo especially]). And a certain 2 year old- who hasn't been sleeping well the past couple of weeks in general- REALLY didn't like the very chilly temps in our apartment at night. We didn't sleep very well for those couple of nights. Add to that being 7months pregnant and well it wasn't fun.

2) This would have been Jacob's due date week. And as thrilled as I am to have Newby squirming around in there I can't say how much I miss that sweet little baby we lost last March....It has deeply impacted so many things I've been working through this pregnancy. I miss my baby.

3) A friend isn't speaking to me right now. I was rude...Or more, unclear and I should have just had the maturity to say "I don't want to talk about it right now." But instead, in my sleep deprived emotional state, shivering in my bed with the power out... We got in a convo via text that went awry. It was stupid. It was so very middle school. Not that any thing really rude was said, I mean there was no name calling...I just worded things wrong and we just shouldn't have gone there.

When I think on it, I can't really understand why the question was asked in the first place... Why would it matter how I feel about the situation? It's a call HER family needed to make. Am I sad about the change in dynamic? Yes. Her family is busier now. And I'm a little jealous of the thought of the new dynamic for them: the thought of being able to get outside help would be wonderful! We're stretched to the max right now - toddlered OUT so to speak- but it is what it is...It comes down to choice and consequence: we made different choices and are in a different place in life. That's okay. This too shall pass for us (eventually) It's just some times hard to swallow.
 Does it change things? Yes... For me it does.

So to give a bit of background, she put her kids (near my kids ages) in an educational-daycare program 3 days a week. She's had a hard time (understandably) balancing her part-time work (personal business she owns) and meeting her kids needs. I've worked 20 hours a week, nights and weekends, while pregnant and parenting my (then) 1 year old...I did that for nearly 9mos, I get it...Had I had the option to make some changes and get some extra support (in whatever form I felt was right for Roo): I TOTALLY WOULD HAVE. I didn't, and it was hell...I don't wish that on any one. I'm glad she could make these changes. The full-time-at-home-parenting gig is a hard job: add another outside job in and it takes a lot of creativity...And if the option is available to get outside help- do it!

That all said (and where I know it came across all wrong) when kids start preschool, daycare, elementary school...Or heck, church nursery...There is an adjustment period. It's called, sickness. I don't have the benefit of 3 days a week to accomplish things kid-free...I don't get a break except when Ryan is home (and he's been a rock of a Hubby!)... It's not personal. They made a pretty big change in their lives, and that meant I had to evaluate if that would change things for us.  At this point in time I am not going to hang out with people whose immune systems are in an adjustment period. I don't want all the colds and bugs with out the benefit involved (kids getting a great little school experience and I get a break!)

In all honesty, I haven't been hanging out with anyone much lately. I haven't felt the need to socialize as I'm tired and have a lot to do to prep for Newby. But we also have other things going on too... Honestly, I am  at my limit. I'm stressed about finances (we're scraping by, but we're not exactly sure how: again grace). Hanging out with people costs money (food to share? Money. Gas to get there? Money). If you've ever been broke, living paycheck to paycheck, you understand. It's embarrassing. But I know it won't last forever and I just need to suck it up and do what I need to do right now. This time next year Newby (Lord willing) will be a big bouncing infant and I can start helping financially more...But for my mental health right now, Ryan and I have agreed we just need to keep doing what we're doing and limit extra expenses. That means staying home, washing hands, feeding the kids really well (on a budget, but it's possible) and giving them their vitamins. And avoiding the $70 in copays (combined) involved if they both get sick enough to need a trip to the doctor.

Which leads back to sickness...I can't take any more than any right now. I'm exhausted...My kids aren't the docile sleepy kind of sick kids. They turn into bears...And the whining, on a normal day it's bad, when they are sick it makes me want to scream (and some times I do). And they don't sleep well when they are sick, at least not for the first few days...They get achey and miserable and keep me and Ryan up most of the night... Add to that the stress and worry. And the fact that there are 2 of them...It's not just 3 or 4 days of sickness...It's usually 6-10 days as they go back to back. NOT OKAY right now.

 Especially since we're already sleep deprived. We've been trying to help Friendly with her tummy troubles- she's had an xray and been checked out...there is no blockages but she's been in so much pain. So we cut out gluten, and now dairy, and I think we're finally seeing some improvement! But in this process she's been up 3-5 times a night for the last SEVERAL weeks (months?)..Crying about a belly ache...And passing gas like nobodies business. It's been so hard. And it's been a challenge to find soothing techniques with her as she has fully weaned... There is no tried true way to comfort her.

 So we are awake a lot at night.

Add a bad cold into the mix (4 or 5 nights of listening to whining and sniffling and dealing with fevers),  or a couple of nights up cleaning up vomit...or vomiting myself: that sounds like more than I can handle right now. So to avoid sickies, I've been almost neurotic about where we go and what the girls touch... I make them wash their hands with hot soapy water whenever we walk in the door. And I've been avoiding people who are around a lot of other people (whether it's because they have olders in school, or have their own kids in preschool). Will this be forever? No. It's probably mostly hormones that are making me feel so DONE. Is it personal, do I find these people with lives walking germs? No. But I know I needed to put some boundaries in place, for my health, and that's that.

So I've funneled life down. When my friend asked about the change they made I told her about my worry about sickness...And I guess the long and short of it is that I made it sound like her kids are walking petrie dishes now that they are in daycare. That was not my intent or my point. I have nothing against "school", daycare, or whatever.  Though I'm *personally* not a fan of kids being all herded together into small spaces for hours a day- the germaphobe in me shivers at the thought! I know that the kids have fun, are well taken care of, and can definitely benefit if the alternative is being around a stressed-out parent who doesn't want any thing to do with them some days (and any stay-at-home parent who won't admit to having those days is lying!!).

So all that has been nice icing on this horrible-painful cake of a week....A week I've been dreading since March 8th when I lost J.

There are a few other things I feel like I need to write about...Mainly baby and birth processing stuff. But I don't have the time right now...Friendly just hit Roo on the head with a block and they are both screaming...I've spent the last 10 minutes trying to soothe...Need to close.

So all that to say: it's been a bad week. I hate drama. I miss my baby... And a few good cries over the next few days will probably help a lot.