Thursday, July 29, 2021

Life Update! :)


Hello, friends!

So much has happened in the last few months, it truly feels like it's been years since I last posted anything on this platform. Sometimes it seems like when life changes occur, it both speeds time up and slows it down, all at once. ;)

First of all, I will share that I write this from my recliner--where I have been almost exclusively for the last three weeks. And likely will be for 6 or 7 more. Shortly after July 4 weekend, I very suddenly started having nonstop uterine contractions with any activity whatsoever, including just standing up or walking to the bathroom. I had a Dr. appointment yesterday, and the good news is that baby is growing and developing perfectly, and is healthy and active! The doctor did not think that the type of contractions I'm having are in imminent danger of throwing me into preterm labor, which is also a blessing. Basically they are just very uncomfortable, and wear me out within minutes of trying to do anything other than things I can do from a reclined or lying down position. ;) Thankfully, my husband has been able to work from home during this time, and has done an INCREDIBLE job of taking care of me and Eben, as well as keeping up with his own work. He is amazing! I thing the most difficult thing has been to adjust to basically no movement, as I'm used to being very active and exercising often during my pregnancies. Praying that I will be able to keep up enough of my strength that I can deliver the baby when the time comes!

Our other news, and much bigger news than a couple months of bed rest...

Luke and I believe that God is leading us to go to Germany as missionaries! This was not something we expected, exactly, and it took us a while to wrap our minds around the idea. We spent much time in prayer and fasting, and are excited to see how God will provide for us to be able to do His will. We are not taking any direct steps until several months after the baby comes, as I wouldn't be able to do much traveling right now anyway, so at the moment we are just waiting on The Lord's leadership with timing. The thought of moving overseas is definitely big, and a little bittersweet, but I know we will have grace for everything when we need it!

Life has been a little crazy lately as we have adjusted to so much current and coming change, but we are trying to take one day at a time, and be faithful in the circumstances and place that God has us right now. 

Our little Eben is growing up so fast! He is just over 15 months old now, has a whole mouthful of teeth, and is pitter-pattering around the house as fast as his little feet will take him! He is learning new words every day, it seems. He sure keeps us laughing with all his antics and VERY expressive faces! :) I'm really looking forward to seeing him interact with his baby brother. 

So far, it's seeming like this new little boy is going to be just as active as Eben...he sure loves to wiggle! At my ultrasound yesterday, he was in no less than three entirely different orientations within a 20 minute period. He was flip-flopping from place to place so much, the tech had a hard time seeing some of the things she needed to see! ;) We can't wait to meet this precious new baby, and I am looking forward to another home birth, Lord willing. Once I reach 35 weeks (by September 7), I will be able to be a little less careful about my activity levels, because at that point I'm cleared to give birth at home. I sure wouldn't complain if he were to come a week or two early! ;) We'll see how things work out, though. I'll post my birth story and baby pics here when the time comes!

Well, I think that's about all my news for now...I hope you all are doing well and having a wonderful summer!



Thursday, April 29, 2021

To My Child and Future Children...


To my precious son...

May God grow in you the deep spiritual walk of Enoch, keeping close by the side of The Lord.

May you have the perseverance of Noah, working for long years on a God-appointed task.

May you have the faith of Abraham, waiting on God through seemingly hopeless circumstances.

May you have the integrity of Joseph, choosing holiness no matter the temptation.

May you have the meekness of Moses, humbling yourself to be used of God greatly.

May you have the valour of Joshua, leading courageously when the time is right.

May you have the heart of David, singing praises to God all the days of your life.

May you have the wisdom of Solomon, discerning right from wrong.

May you have the prayer life of Nehemiah, turning to the God of heaven in all circumstances, good or bad.

May you have the patience of Job, trusting God's hand even in the darkest of adversities.

May you have the steadfastness of Isaiah, preaching the Word to a hard hearted people.

May you have the faithfulness of Daniel, not wavering though all about you may change.

May you have the gentleness of John, mingling humility and compassion with strength.

May you have the boldness of Peter, holding fast the Word of God despite past mistakes.

May you have the zeal of John the Baptist, working to prepare others for Christ's message.

May you have the passion of Paul, reaching as many with the Gospel as you possibly can.

May you have the teachable spirit of Timothy, learning from others more grounded in the Word than yourself.

May you have the mind of Christ in all things, looking for the day when you'll see Him face to face.

To my dear daughter (if ever God blesses me with one! :)

May you have the strength of Sarah, bearing your children as gifts from the hand of God.

May you have the trust of Rachel, accepting God's leading in the area of the man you will marry.

May you have the faith of Rahab, believing God's promises even when you don't fully understand.

May you have the patience of Hannah, waiting on God to fulfill the desires of your heart.

May you have the hospitality of the woman of Shunem, providing for the needs of the people of God.

May you have the peacemaking heart of Abigail, using your influence to encourage good relationships in those around you.

May you have the inner beauty of Esther, shining your light to everyone who spends time with you.

May you grow towards the ideal of the Proverbs 31 woman, nourishing your heart, your husband, and your home with joyful skill.

May you have the quietness of Mary, choosing to be still and linger at the Saviour's feet.

May you have the servant's heart of Martha, working hard when the time for hard work is right.

May you have the loyalty of Mary Magdalene, following after your Lord at all times.

May you have the faith of the woman healed of the issue of blood, trusting that God is able to do the greatest of miracles through the smallest acts of trust.

May you have the boldness of the woman at the well, telling others of the One who gave you salvation.

May you have the encouraging heart of Priscilla, serving God alongside your husband, even in hard times.

May you have the mind of Christ in all things, looking for the day when you'll see Him face to face.

For those of you who have not yet heard, Luke and I are expecting our second baby this October! He or she is due on our third anniversary (Oct. 12), and we are so excited to be welcoming a new baby into our family. As I carry this little one, I have been thinking more and more about my responsibility to my children as they grow into more knowledge. How I earnestly pray that they will be stronger in The Lord than I am, and that they will continue to grow even if a time comes that I can't teach them the way I would want to!


Monday, February 1, 2021

Kept and Pondered

"But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart."
Luke 2:19

Today I'm talking about part of the Christmas story. It's February, I know. It'll be ok. ;)

I've been considering these verses about Mary lately, and marvelling at the sweet spirit of this young lady whom God called "blessed among women". Side note: Among women, not above! Mary was a sinner in need of a Saviour, just like the rest of us--however, God chose to use her in a mighty way, and there are so many lessons we can learn just from the small amount we do know of her life! 

The first verse I have listed above takes place right after Mary brings baby Jesus into the world, and heard the story of the shepherds' glorious visitation from the angels. 

Let's look at this a little more closely. In our day, with the completed Word of God in our hands, sometimes we gloss over the familiar stories because we know how things turn out in the end. After all, it's the Christmas story! Most of us could probably quote the majority of it. They go to Bethlehem, Jesus is born in the stable, the shepherds come to worship, and everything is beautiful, right? I think sometimes (at least in my case) we don't think to put ourselves into the Bible characters' shoes and consider how things actually must have looked for them in the moment. 

Imagine being 9 months pregnant. Feeling exhausted, huge, sore, and just ready to hold baby on the outside instead of the inside! ;) Then one day, a mandatory taxation decree comes out from a corrupt leader that no one wants in power in the first place. Oh, and by the way, extra bonus, you and your husband have to drop everything and travel 90 miles away (several days in travel alone) to pay these taxes! I'm sure this was absolutely crushing news to hear at such an already challenging time! But they had no choice, so go they did. I can just imagine Mary's mind running over the days, calculating the journey and how soon they could be back, hoping against hope that the baby wouldn't come while they were in a far away city, many miles from neighbors, sisters, or friends to help with the delivery of her first child. 

I'm sure Joseph did his best to help Mary be comfortable on the journey, but long days of travel in the last stage of pregnancy is pretty miserable even in today's world of soft, cushioned car seats, climate control, and the ability to recline in the car. Mary had none of those options. The journey would have been grueling for her, whether they walked or perhaps had a donkey to ride on.

Then, to top it all off, they got to Bethlehem only to find that every last inn was full! No bed or cot to relax on after the long journey, no welcoming hostess offering a drink and a meal to the weary travelers, only a stable filled with straw and the smell of livestock. 

And then, she went into labor.

Talk about one thing after another! Most likely this felt to Mary and Joseph like the biggest collection of hard and discouraging circumstances they had ever faced. We don't know too much about the details surrounding Christ's birth, so I don't want to take too many liberties with the story...but giving birth is no joke, no matter your circumstances or surroundings. I don't know if she only had Joseph with her, or if he was able to find a midwife or another kindly woman to help deliver the baby, but can you imagine how different this whole situation was than how Mary had envisioned and hoped it would be? It must have been hard at the time to see the purpose behind all of these hardships. And yet, prophecy after prophecy of the coming Messiah was being fulfilled.

We don't know how long Mary was in labor, but eventually, Jesus was safely born. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in the trough used for feeding animals. What a bed for the King of kings on His first night in this world in human flesh!

At this point of the night, I'm sure all Mary wanted to do was to rest, recover, and enjoy her tiny new baby, but suddenly on the door step was a group of shepherds wanting to see the newborn Jesus. They told an incredible story of angels announcing the birth of this child, in this town, on this night. They worshipped at the feet of the infant, and left rejoicing and spreading the news of all they had seen.

And now we come to this verse..."But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart." How much did Joseph and Mary comprehend about the vast significance of this child's birth? We don't know that answer, but we do know that Mary kept all these things that had happened, and meditated on them. She treasured these events, and brought them back to her heart and mind long into the future. What a precious attitude to have! If anyone would have a "right" to complain, to mourn ruined plans, to be angry over all that had gone "totally wrong", it would be Mary! Very little about this situation was under her control. It may have felt so overwhelming in the moment. And yet, she chose instead to focus her heart with quiet wonder on the workings of God that night. She didn't become bitter or frustrated, she didn't fret about the future, she didn't insist on her "rights"...she kept and pondered.

What a precious lesson for us to learn! In a world that feels upside down, out of control, and chaotic, a world where everything seems to be going wrong and falling apart, God is at work. He has not lost track of His perfect plan along the way. His hands are here, right now, moving hearts and controlling events. 2,000 years ago, He used a corrupt leader and an overbearing edict to bring Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem so the prophecies of Christ's birth would be fulfilled. Today, He can use any person, any circumstance, to further His will. And when this life seems most discouraging, may we choose, as Mary did, to be still and ponder the works of our God.

Friday, December 4, 2020

10 Gift Ideas for a New or Expecting Mama


Hey, everyone!

I hope you are all having a lovely December so far! I got my Christmas decor put up last week and am loving all the cozy lights and Christmas music more than ever before. I feel like every year that goes by makes me love the Christmas season and the deep significance of what we celebrate at this time of year even more. So thankful for our Saviour and His willingness to come to earth in human flesh! 

I don't know if you are the same way, but for me it can sometimes be hard to pick out Christmas gifts that are thoughtful and personal, but also not out of my budget. That's why I really love gift idea lists. ;) Not the kind that are like "You could get your man tickets to a Caribbean cruise! Here's a link for 10% off your purchase of $2500 or more!" ...Ok, thanks for that, I'll tuck that away for whenever I happen to become a millionaire. ;) No, I like the ones that just give some simple ideas in an actually affordable price range...things that we normal people could feasibly pull off. :) So today I'd like to give you some gift ideas for the mamas you may know. And no, this is NOT a list of hints for myself, haha! These are just things that I have either received or have thought of as being really nice and helpful things for a new or even a second or third time mom. :) They're in a range of prices, but all under $40. I'll include links where I can!

1. Pink Salt Lamp

These lamps are sooo nice for having in baby's nursery for late night feedings or diaper changes! They give such a soft, warm light that is bright enough to get things done by, but not glaring or harsh. I loved using this when Eben was little and not sleeping through the night yet!

2. Diapers.

No, seriously. Diapers are expensive over time!! ;P And they go soooo fast!! Getting diapers as a gift is actually a huge blessing because you have to get them one way or another.

3. (For an expecting Mama) Postpartum Gift Kit

Protein packed snackspost-birth healing spray, (SO amazing for helping things heal after natural birth!) and an electric or microwaveable heating pad are all super useful items to include. If I had to recommend just one though, it would be the spray. ;)

4. Foot soak/massage tub

These things are incredibly fill it with warm water and it vibrates and does bubbles...ahh! :) (A bonus item to include would be some magnesium flakes to add into the water! :)

5. Fuzzy Socks or Slippers

I know I'm not the only one who lives in these things. ;)

6. A Shutterfly Gift Card

Or any other photo service, really. I know for me this is something I have a hard time splurging on, but being able to order a photo book or get some sweet personalized household items is really special!

7. A Cute and Comfy Maternity Hoodie

Especially at the end of my pregnancy, I lived in all the soft, stretchy things I had. If they looked cute, that was just a bonus. ;) Basically I felt like a 2 ton walrus, and I wasn't about to be even more uncomfortable in order to look nice, haha!

8. A date with her hubby. :)

If the parents are comfortable with it, an offer to watch the baby/kiddos for even an hour so they can go grab a coffee together is seriously SO awesome!! This doesn't even take any money (unless you included a gift card or something), it's only a time commitment. And wow, will it ever be appreciated! :) Dates definitely get more complicated when little ones enter the picture (not that they aren't 1000% worth it, of course!!) Just saying. ;)

9. A month or two of a grocery shopping subscription like Instacart or Walmart+

I have had groceries delivered once or twice due to just NOT feeling up to taking an infant out grocery's truly pretty amazing to be able to stay home and have your groceries show up on the porch. ;D I'm sure this isn't for everyone, but it can be a huge blessing to alleviate that need for bundling up a fussy baby and going out to the store, especially if it has to be done during the day when her man is at work! :)

10. A One-Line-A-Day Journal

I have kept one of these very consistently for almost 6 years now. There is a space for every day, just a sentence or two...looking back on them years later is just SO special. As a busy mama, most of the time one or two lines is all I have the time or energy for, so this type of book is perfect!! :)

And there you have it! I hope this little list has sparked a good idea for your Christmas shopping! God bless you all in this beautiful season!



Thursday, November 12, 2020

What They Didn't Tell Me About Marriage

Well, would you look at that, I'm back again less than two months since I blogged last! ;) Today's topic is something I've had on my heart for quite a while, and debated with myself about sharing. But, as you can see, I've decided to go ahead and do it, so here we go!

Marriage. As young women we all have both preconceptions about it as well as a lot of voices of advice and thoughts on the subject clamoring for our attention. Especially after I got engaged, I heard SO many pieces of "wisdom" from sources of all types. Out of all these tidbits, I noticed a common thread. A statement I heard over and over from all different people.

"Marriage is hard!!"

Variations of this statement include referring to it as hard work, an uphill battle, or, my favorite, being told that "The honeymoon stage will wear off one of these days" like it's a painkiller currently sparing us from the agonizing reality that is married life. 

It's November of 2020, and we've now been married for over two years. I realize that is not very long compared to many, and some people will completely dismiss my statements in this post because I don't have enough marriage experience under my belt to qualify to say anything. Perhaps they are right. However, I can't help but think that maybe they are the ones missing out.

Maybe I'm living in a delusion, but if someone were to come up to me and ask how I would describe marriage, "hard" would NOT be one of the first adjectives to come to my mind! Are there hard moments? Sure. Is my life automatically a shining bed of roses just because I wear a band on my left hand? Nope. There have been times that a difficult conversation needed to be had, and part of me felt like avoiding that talk instead of working things through until we both felt that the issue was resolved. There have been times when sickness or stress at work made it a little more difficult to have grace with each other's shortcomings. But Luke and I live together. We share our lives, our meals, our and why would I willingly choose to live at odds with someone I have to see that often?! ;)

I am not writing this post as a marriage advice column, because I definitely don't feel qualified for that! However, I just want to share a few things that most people didn't emphasize to me when talking about married life. Things I share with you as encouragement and testimony to God's goodness and grace. 

They didn't tell me how incredible it is to have someone as your life partner, your team mate, someone who is always in your corner, so to speak. Someone who is willing to help you get back up when you stumble, forgive and extend grace when you need it, and encourage your heart when you're down.

They didn't tell me how many hundreds of ways marriage could teach me about my Saviour. The parallels and examples I would see through the relationship that my husband and I share.

They didn't tell me the joy that would come after pushing through and having that hard conversation or apologizing when I'm wrong even when it felt uncomfortable and took some humility.

They didn't tell me the fulfillment I'd experience through choosing to cherish another person, finding new ways to make their heart rejoice, and loving them more deeply every day...yes, even after the "honeymoon phase" is past. Side note: That phrase still kind of bugs me because you can act like newlyweds whether you've been married for 5 minutes or 50 years. Letting the romance die is not something that just happens automatically once you've been married for a few years and had kids. 

They didn't tell me what a gift it would be to be able to serve my husband when he needs me. Obviously I hate it when he's sick or hurting, but being able to give him the comfort and support he needs during those times is so precious to me! 

They didn't tell me that the physical relationship within marriage is, in my opinion, as close to heaven on earth as it gets. Yes, I said that. ;)

They didn't tell me how much more deeply I'd love my husband now than the day we got married. How seeing him play with our son would melt my heart. How wonderful waking up next to my best friend would be...not just the first one or two times, but hundreds of days in. 

I don't want to put marriage on a higher pedestal than it belongs. In no way am I saying that marriage is the be all end all of life and if you're single you have a sorry existence. I'm not saying that AT ALL. But I feel like way too many people talk down about marriage, and to put it bluntly, I'm really sick of hearing it. I'm tired of seeing young women get married, put little to no effort into their own attitudes, thoughts, and actions, and then blame their husband when marriage isn't as sparkly and perfect as they had hoped. If you are placing responsibility for your heart attitudes onto your husband, of COURSE your marriage will suffer! As will your spiritual walk, your church life, and your day to day living...your husband cannot ever take the place of God.

To sum up, what I'm saying is that marriage can be good. Really, really good. And I truly feel sorry for all those who can only describe it as "hard", because I don't believe it has to be. Through God's grace and help, it can be glorious


Friday, October 16, 2020

My Natural Home Birth Story


Well, it's been a while! ;) I'm not at a point in my life where I'm able to schedule posts, so I'm just posting when I can, and right now that's about every 4-6 months. Haha!

Anyway, I did a poll on Instagram to gauge interest in me sharing my birth story on here, and there was a lot of good response, plus today is Eben's 6 month birthday, so I thought it would be as good a time as any to here goes! :)

As many of you know, I was not planning a home birth at first. For the vast majority of my pregnancy, I was seeing a group of three midwives at one of my local hospitals. I had considered doing a home birth with future babies, but didn't want to do it with my first one. Fast forward to March 23, beginning of ridiculous hospital restrictions, general public panic, and lockdowns getting into full swing. I was 37 weeks along. That afternoon, I got an email from one of my midwives informing me that all three of them had been removed from labor and delivery.

I have NO. CLUE. what their reasoning was on that one. Anyway, basically I was going to be delivering with whatever random OB happened to be on call when I went into labor. Ok, disappointing, sure, but I can handle that. But. They further informed me that my husband could "probably" be with me during the birth (how magnanimous!) but would have to leave immediately as soon as I had the baby. ?!?!?! I called Luke at work and promptly burst into tears as I told him what had happened. That day, we decided to dig hard into researching a couple different midwives in the area, and see if any of them would be willing to take me on as a home birth client at a ridiculously late time in my pregnancy. Praise The Lord, they were willing to work with me, we had a generous financial gift given to us, and everything fell into place for me to give birth at home with a local midwife and her daughter!

All that was left was to wait...and wait, and wait. ;P I went through a TON of prodromal labor. Three weeks before my due date I had 6 hours of pretty hard contractions--they got to a minute long and 3 minutes apart...and then finally died out completely. A week later, same thing, almost 18 hours of on and off contractions, some getting very hard and close together, but eventually petering out. It was an INCREDIBLY frustrating and exhausting waiting period! I felt very well prepared for the actual labor, but all the false starts were getting to me physically and emotionally. My poor husband had so much to put up with during this time, as I did not handle it nearly as well as I should have! :(

Finally, my due date came (April 14). At 3 am, I woke up with some fluid leaking, and was extremely excited because I was hoping at some point my water would break so I could just GO INTO LABOR already! :'D I continued to leak slowly all morning, and at 1 pm my midwife, Sabrina, came to check things out. She asked if we wanted to keep waiting, or try some more hardcore induction methods. (I had been trying to self induce with literally every method I could find, for the past two weeks. I was walking between 3 and 4 miles per day, eating pineapple, I'd tried castor oil, you name it, I'd done it. ;P) I wholeheartedly voted yes to trying to induce. I was nervous that Eben was going to be huge and I'd need a hospital transfer, which I ABSOLUTELY didn't want under any circumstances!! She stripped my membranes and gave me some homeopathic things to take and instructions to follow to try to get things going. The rest of that day and all day Wednesday we kept on trying so hard. Sabrina told me if I got to 72 hours of my water having been ruptured, I'd need to go to the hospital. By 9 pm on April 15, we were up to 68 hours. I was getting desperate. FINALLY, at 10 pm, things started happening. I started noticing my contractions coming harder and closer together, and by 11:00, I told Luke I thought it was time to call Sabrina and have her come, as well as get my Mom on her way. (She lives about 2 hours away, and was just going to come and hang out in the other room to be around right afterwards.)

Sabrina and her daughter came and from the first I was so impressed with how quiet and non intrusive they were. They spoke with Luke in very quiet voices about how things had been going (I was already needing to breathe/vocalize some through contractions because they were pretty hard at that point.) They set up the birthing pool and after a while I got in. The water was SO nice!! It helped immensely as I worked through each contraction. Luke was such an incredible birth partner, reminding me quietly to breathe when I started to get overwhelmed and tense up with the pain. 

Throughout the night, things stayed about the same. The water was wonderful, but also relaxed me so much that I had to get out and walk or do squats to keep the contractions going. That was NOT fun...I'm in labor, for goodness' sake, I don't feel like working out right now!!? :'D At about 5 am, things ground to a halt. Just stopped. After 7 hours of hard labor, my contractions were gone. I was beyond discouraged. Sabrina asked me what I'd done that was most effective at causing contractions, and I said it was castor oil, so she suggested I take a dose and we all lie down and rest for a bit while it kicked in. It felt so strange and defeating to go to bed at this point!! I grabbed about a half hour of sleep, then went to the kitchen for a drink. Luke came out of the bedroom and was talking to me, and all of a sudden I had a hard contraction, and knew I was going to throw up. :( He grabbed a bucket, and I heaved until I had nothing left. This was actually an encouraging sign for me, because I knew that it probably meant the contractions were going to start coming again stronger. They did indeed! For the next 5 hours, they steadily increased in intensity, though frequency was very up and down, and I was still having to force them to come by doing squats and/or walking. I threw up either three or four more times during this period...that time is honestly kind of hazy for me because I was so worn out from the pain and vomiting. Sabrina mostly stayed in the back bedroom, letting Luke and I be alone and work through my labor together, which I really appreciated. Finally at 11 am, Sabrina asked to check me. I was at 7.5 cm, 100% effaced. I got up from the couch (lying on my back during contractions was torture, literally the worst pain I've ever experienced...I spent the entirety of my labor in an upright position except for two contractions while Sabrina checked me or the baby)...she said that the next 2.5 cm should go a lot faster.

Did they ever!!

About 3 minutes after she checked me, the next contraction came. I was standing leaning over the banister of the stairs while Luke pushed on my hips to ease the pain, and suddenly there was a massive "pop" and a rush of fluid. I yelled to Sabrina that something had happened, and immediately felt the urge to push. My water had fully broken (finally!) and I had gone from 7.5 to 10 cm in less than 5 minutes. And so the hard part began. ;) I pushed for 2.5 hours. Hardest work EVER!!! I went back and forth from the birth pool to the toilet (having contractions on the toilet was SO hard and painful, but seemed to be more effective than when I was in the water, so I very reluctantly bore with it. ;) 

During the final half hour, I was kneeling in the water, with Luke putting pressure on my back, and Sabrina and her daughter pushing on my hips on both sides. All three of them were pushing with all their weight during my contractions, and still I was wishing so much that I could have more. Three weeks after I had Eben, my hips were still bruised and sore from all the counter pressure they did! :'D I could not be more grateful for how strong and supportive Luke was during this time. He didn't leave my side except to get something to try to help me, or grab my water glass, etc. He was incredible! At 1 pm, I could finally start to feel progress and tell that baby was almost here! For about 5 pushes, he kept coming further out and then retreating back, which was kind of discouraging, but I knew this was probably helping me not to tear, so a blessing in disguise. 

Even at this incredibly advanced stage of labor, my contractions were anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes apart. In fact, once his head was out, it was 5 minutes before the final contraction came that brought him the rest of the way!! I was so exhausted, I think I actually fell asleep in between birthing his head and his body. I'd been in labor for 15 1/2 hours at this point. At 1:30 pm, baby Eben Gray was born into his daddy's arms. I will never forget pulling him up and holding his tiny body against mine. All I could say was "Oh, baby, oh my sweet baby!!" Luke teared up as he wrapped his arms around us both and we just looked at our precious new member of the family. God was SO GOOD to bring Eben here safe and sound!!

Afterwards, I moved to the floor to birth the placenta and make sure everything was on track to begin healing...I had some tearing, but not bad enough to warrant stitching, thankfully! On the whole, I feel like I healed remarkably quickly and smoothly. (Besides the ridiculous amounts of sleep deprivation that followed. That was really really hard...all I wanted was to sleep for about three days solid after all that labor, but obviously that was not an option with a newborn! ;P) Every mother faces that, though, so I definitely gained a new respect for all that my own mom went through to birth and care for me! <3 

To wrap things up, I'd just like to say a few things I loved about home birth, and why I would definitely do it again. 

First off, it was quiet and I was in total control of the environment. I had the lights low and all the comforts of home readily available to me. There were no beeping monitors or nurses/doctors bustling in and out. There was no IV port in my arm or hand. It was just a gentle atmosphere all around, because it was home! I also loved that there was no pressure from my midwife in the area of vaccines or shots. I did not want those for my baby, and I know I probably would have had to fight for that choice if I'd been in the hospital. Lastly, my labor was focused around letting my body bring the baby here naturally and without being rushed or pressured. As long as I needed them, my midwives were here and available. Afterwards, they cleaned everything up, put laundry in, helped me shower and get settled in bed to rest and feed the baby, and made sure I got a good meal. It felt overall like a loving and personal experience, which is kind of the opposite of how I usually feel when in a hospital setting of any kind. I have become so fascinated with the natural birth process over the last year or so, and it amazes me how God has designed our bodies to bring our little ones into the world! Though I would never have chosen the circumstances of our switch to a home birth, I can confidently say that I am SO grateful for the experience we had, and I am excited and hopeful that it will work out to have any future babies God blesses us with at home as well.

I know I rambled on for a while there, but to be fair, you asked for it! ;P I hope you all are having a lovely fall! Until next time,


Thursday, May 21, 2020

Long Overdue Announcement...!

Hello, friends! much has happened since I last posted!!

As I'm sure most of you have guessed by now, we had our little boy join the family. :) Eben Gray was born on April 16 (How is he already a month old?!) at 1:30 p.m. He weighed 7lb, 10 oz...not so big as we expected considering that he was 2 days late and I was approximately the size of a tanker truck! ;P His name is pronounced just like "even" but with a B.

Due to the COVID craziness, we actually ended up switching our birth plan from midwife assisted hospital birth to home birth at 37 weeks along. This was a pretty drastic decision to make so late in the game, but it was made easier by the fact that I would potentially have had to give birth without my husband if we had stuck with going to the hospital!! That wasn't something I even wanted to consider. I couldn't imagine having Luke miss such a precious event as the birth of our first child! (I also couldn't imagine going through labor without his support!)

As difficult as the circumstances of the switch were, I honestly am so thankful we did a home birth. It was such a calm and non invasive experience compared to the hospital. We had all the comforts of our own home, complete control over the environment, no beeping monitors or bright lights or people coming in and out...all around it was just a sweet experience. Plus, I got to do a water birth, which I wanted all along, but our hospital didn't allow, so I had given up on that idea. While our midwife was here and available for us throughout the labor, she mostly just stayed in another room within earshot and let Luke and I be alone as we went through the hard work of bringing Eben into the world together.

I was in hard labor for 15 1/2 hours, with 2 1/2 hours of pushing time. It was so, so difficult and exhausting, but obviously very worth it for our sweet little man! Luke was SUCH an incredible help and comfort to me through all the long hours of pain. He stayed by my side every moment, encouraging and supporting me both physically and mentally. I am truly blessed with a wonderful husband!

Little Eben has been such a joy to us over the short time we have had him in our home. He is a very serious little chap...still haven't seen him smile except by accident in his sleep! ;)

Here are a few pictures for you! :)

And here is one from his 1-month pics a few days ago.

We are quite in love with our little peanut! :) So thankful for a safe delivery and a sweet healthy son!