Thursday, June 20, 2013

My Birth Plan...turned into His Plan!

For those that know me knows that I had a unplanned c-section delivery with my son last July. But, many may not how much it was a struggle for me afterwards to come to terms with not being able to deliver my child naturally and vaginally...the way I had planned. Over the last 11 months that my precious son has been in this world I have had time to really reflect back on that day, and time to pray over this upcoming delivery with my sweet girl. This issue is something that many months ago I was ashamed and quite embarrassed to talk about. Ashamed, because how could I ask for anything more? We went through several pregnancy losses and now I was sitting here holding my miracle child who we have prayed for and longed for...who is so active, healthy, beautiful and just a joy.  Embarrassed, because it seems so ridiculous to get hung up on and distraught on how I delivered my child. But, some how this was a huge struggle for me and really mattered. I know this is a very sensitive subject for many mothers. I never quite understood it or grasped it before when I would hear other mothers talk about this same struggle...until I actually lived it out. I am so unbelievably at a place now of peace on this, and I finally wanted to share my story in hopes it could be of some help or encouragement for other mothers who are or have gone through same thing. What you will read here are my true feelings and real, open and honest as I could be.

I reflect...

With my son I read, studied, watched, documented and prepared myself in so many ways to have a natural, unmedicated, and vaginal delivery. It seriously consumed me. I ate, breathed, and slept all of it! I was petrified and scared out of my mind when I saw a documentary just months before my delivery on epidurals, inductions and c-sections, so that was out of the loop for me! I did not want neither of them and was completely against it...and as far as I was concerned was not going to happen to me what so ever! It was not apart of this birth plan I had dreamed and envisioned. I had watched birth after birth on youtube, was glued to documentaries on c-sections, and studied different pain management techniques. I was going to have this prefect vaginal and unmedicated delivery...and no one was going to intervene or take that away from me. All in all...I had gained this amazing appreciation and love for birthing. As rough, raw, intense and real as it was beautiful to me and I could not wait to experience it all with my son.

The plan...

Well...things did not go according to my birth plan. My blood pressure kept elevating towards the end of my pregnancy, but my doctor was hopeful and took precautionary measures for me as much as he could because he knew what my heart and my desires were. When I went in a couple days after my due date for my check up they found protein in my urine, and a huge spike in my blood pressure. So my doctor wanted to induce me that day. He informed me that getting the baby out is the only thing that will prevent a woman who has pre-eclampsia from going into eclampsia which can cause some huge tragedies...which I already knew from previous studying. I was saddened, and afraid because I knew that this put me at a higher risk for a c-section, and also put me in a place where I would probably more than likely need some type of pain relief other than the natural techniques I had studied and practiced because of how strong contractions are with synthetic drugs that are used to jump start labor, ie. pitocin. I was crushed, but I was hopeful. So I got induced later that evening. Then my water was broken the next morning. Hours later I could not take any more back labor so I opted for the of the things that I was completely against. Nevertheless...I was pain free and could rest.

Many hours later, I had not progressed much at all. I was stuck at so many centimeters dilated. My doctor was trying to remain hopeful for me and kept saying let's wait...and would give me a couple more hours. Then after the hours passed...John's heart rate kept dropping, and the fact my water had been broken for over 14 hours already he wanted to proceed with the c-section because the risk of infection to the womb was greatly high. I was prepped and headed to the operating room for my first major surgery ever. I honestly did not think a thing of it at the time...I had already been through so much that day and day before that I was just wanted this over and my little man here.

When I finally got to hold him for the first time in recovery... it felt like at that moment everything I went through to get him in my arms was all trivial. Here I was holding a perfectly healthy and beautifully fashioned and formed miracle from our great God. What else more could anyone ask of?

Well, flash forward to a few days later when we brought John home from the hospital. Baby blues and a little bit of post-partum depression kicked in. It was the scariest thing ever for me. Looking back on it...I would go through a thousand c-sections, a million epidurals and endless amounts of contractions and inductions again to never have to go through those first few weeks home with him the way I did. I was so numb...I was emotionally distraught...and I felt like I could not bond with my son. I knew I loved him, but I found it hard to bond with him. I felt like there was just a zero connection between us, and I blamed all of this on my c-section. I felt like the way I delivered him had failed him. It wasn't natural. It wasn't the way God intended for a woman to birth. I felt like I had been cheated out of a natural delivery.  What's even worse was that I knew my feelings and thoughts were ridiculous but, I was in a dark place that I couldn't come out from. This should of been such a joyful time...but somehow I found myself so down and gloomy and so distraught over John's birth.
You know society has painted this stupid, ridiculous and fabricated picture of c-sections. It's almost looked as if you have a c-section...your not a real mom, you didn't really give birth, your body is broke, you were guilt tripped into doing this unnatural thing for your child by a doctor, your a failure, you were "too posh to push" and the list goes on...or at least these are the lies I had believed and I know so many other mothers personally have believed. I know that not all c-sections that are performed are because of the best interest of the mother or child, or because it was even medically necessary. But, why do people have to be on such a power kick about them...why can't we just be excited that a beautiful baby was born into this world?

God's plan...

A few months after I had John...God really began to deal with me severely on this issue. Many times in the depths of my thoughts, gloom and sadness...His voice would resonate through my heart and mind the scripture found in Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you...". Oh, how marvelous are His plans?! John's birth was a part of His plan. It was His plan. His birth was nothing more than a miracle act from God. Every baby conceived is a miracle from God. If we believe that...then who sold us section mothers into thinking the way our little ones are birthed or get here into our arms is not a miracle or is not right? This is one band wagon of motherhood that I will no longer allow myself to get wrapped up in. Who are we to say...this way a mother birthed waš not the right way or this mother's way was the only way it should be? If we are followers of Christ then we must believe that..."all things work together for good" - Romans 8:28.

A place of peace...

While having much time to pray, reflect and heal I have finally come to a place where I am at peace with my son's delivery. When I look at him...I get so lost in his beautiful smile, his radiating eyes, his curious personality, and his zest, hunger and strong-willedness for life that I feel he already has at 11 months old. This little life has rocked every inch of my world and being. He has taught me so much about life, friendship, faith, trust and love in such a sweet short amount of time and with no words said. He is truly an angel and it makes everything we went through together to be celebrated.

My thoughts now on my c-section...

I now give praise to God for medical technology and for the advancements in modern medicine! For without it I could of been like so many mothers thousands of years ago that didn't quite make it and neither did their baby. If only they had the opportunity in medical advancements to have had a c-section then they could of lived to see what I see everyday in my sweet spirited son. As for the baby blues and is nothing new under the sun. After reaching out to my doctor, and several mothers in the natural, medicated, home birthing, vbac (vaginal birth after Cesarean), and c-section communities and listening to their stories on struggling with baby blues and PPD...that sometimes that is just what mothers go through after labor and delivery and has nothing to do with how you deliver. Now when I look at my scar its no longer just a scar in my flesh that I did not want...but a "battle scar" , that I truly embrace and honored to have. When I see it I am reminded of how strong I was that day for my son and how much I am so thankful that I had such an awesome supportive doctor who walked me through ever step, and a hubby who was proud to be in that operating room cheering me on. Its another mark of motherhood, and another badge of honor that I get to so proudly wear along with the stretch marks, sagging skin, and varicose veins. For its what brought life into this world. Something I will be so ever grateful for.

Looking forward...

As I approach labor and delivery with our Natalie Joy...I'm growing more and more eager and excited to see her, hold her and to see Gods plan up close and personal of how He chooses to bring her into this world. Even though my doctor is 100% pro-vbac (vaginal birth after cesarean) and is going to allow for me to try for a vbac I am completely at peace if it were to not work out and I have to undergo another section. This time I am ready for whatever Gods plans are for me and her because He had them planned in advance and I have just got to trust in that. I've come to learn that it's not how you brought your little one into this world...its what you did with their little lives once their here.

So I am hopeful and trusting the Lord that if it be in His will He will grant my request of vbac. But, it does not consume me like birth planning did with John and it is not my top priority when I go into labor. I just at the end of it all want to be holding my sweet baby girl, as healthy and safe as she can be and for those first few weeks at home be a healthy one. A time of bonding and a time of pure joy for me and my family. This is my greatest desire and prayer.

 Ending thoughts...

Be encouraged that God already has your birth story and delivery planned out. This in itself is so freeing to know. The God that creates has you and your little one in the palm of His hand. He knows our desires, but He also knows what's best. Trust in that, and remember it doesn't matter how they get here in this long as they get here healthy and and safely in our arms. I pray this post finds you well.

Thank you for taking the time to read my heart.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Stop...and Rest!

As a mother you hardly ever get to rest. Your work is never done. When trying to keep up the demands of a house, your children, and the expectations of your husband sometimes moments that you get a few minutes to yourself to sit down and suddenly find yourself emptying out the dishwasher, folding that last pile of laundry or in my case writing a blog post on resting :). Lots of times us mothers are the last ones to lay our heads down at night. We are too busy making sure lunches are packed, clothes are laid out, and finding ourselves picking up after all the others who are sleeping so peacefully in their beds. Then before you know its the booty crack of dawn and our feet have to hit the floor again ready to take on the day...because everyone depends on...Mama.

But us mothers need to rest! We need to get a good nights sleep. A well rested mother is super beneficial to her family. Restlessness and lack of sleep can cause many problems. It can cloud your thinking, make you grouchy, overwhelmed, frustrated, leave you open to spiritual attacks, and cause you not to walk in the fruit of the spirit. It can also cause us to make unwise choices and irrational decisions; choices and decisions that we would not usually make with a well rested mind.

Quick story...a week ago I was running on fumes. Had not been getting much sleep at all. Just when I finally got my little one pretty much sleeping through the night you would think I would learn and get my butt to sleep too...but no...I have been to busy trying to be Super MOM...(Let me just say...why do we need to try and be Super mom? Why do we feel as if we need to live up and compete to the other mothers around us? I know I for one have tried and failed miserably when trying to meet and live up to be like mother A & B. So why can't we just be the mother who God has called us to be? God has put a high calling on each of our lives as a individual calling. So just be that mother.) and trying to do too many things at one time on little to no sleep! Don't want to go into full detail because it could take a while...but in my attempts to rush and clean our bathrooms while my son was taking his afternoon nap, my sleep deprivation kicked in and clouded my thinking. It caused me to flood our bathroom upstairs with water. The water then seeped into the floor, which is the ceiling to to our kitchen, and flooded parts of our kitchen. Now our home looks like NASA with plastic containment sheets up everywhere blocking off certain areas and rooms. A demolition team winded up having to come in and take out a part of our ceiling, pull up all of our floors because of water damage and mold and now we are having to replace all of it! Thankfully we have homeowners insurance...but this was a complete headache. All in all...if I had been getting much needed rest I probably would of been a little more coherent and focused on what I was doing. So its vital we get sleep! The laundry can wait to be folded in the morning, bathrooms can be put off to be cleaned later...and the dishes can be left for another day. Just stop...go to bed and get some rest!

But getting a good nights rest is not all of us mothers need to do to be the best mothers we can be, and to be beneficial to our family.

We need to also rest in the presence of God. 

Christ tells us in Matthew 11:28 "Come unto me, all (mothers) who are weary and heavy burdened and I will give you rest."

This type of rest is different. Because this type of rest He is referring to is only found in Christ. It is soaking in His word, being drenched in His presence, feeling secure in Him, and allowing His peace to only fill our soul. We need to recharge and refuel ourselves spiritually daily. It keeps us focused, balanced, filled up, steadfast, rooted in the fruits of the spirit, and a peace in knowing that our mothering is only secure in Him so that we do not fall prey to the pressures around us to try and compete or live up to other mothers, and be this some sort of fabricated Super Mom. It's letting His perfect peace fill us up in a way that nothing else a way that all other things have left us empty and only filling temporary voids. When we are drenched in His presence we can be salt and light to our children and family.

His word, is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our paths for all...even mothers...we should use it daily to set us on the the right track to raise our children...not society or anyone else.

So this is something that God has been poking and prodding at my heart with recently. That I need to let everything else go and get a good nights rest daily...even if that mean's as soon as my little mans body hits the my body needs to hit the bed! Also, not only that, but to truly rest in Him daily as well. Sometimes It seems as if we don't have time for anything else on our plate with the crazy list of chores and demands for the day...but we have to make time for our Lord. After all He is the one that gave us the gift of motherhood...let us give Him back our hearts.

I pray that God pokes and prods at your mothering heart today too. His rest is best!

"Lord help me to not live up to the demands and pressures of this world to be this and that, but to be the mother you have called me to be. Help me to lay all other things aside...things that are not important for the moment and to rest my tired eyes and body, and Lord I pray that I find my security, and peace only in Christ...and your word! Help me to soak and just rest in your presence daily because your kind of rest is the best. I love you. Amen"

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Afraid of Having Two Under Two?

Someone asked me the other day if I was afraid or nervous in anyway of having two under two and having my little ones so close together in age? As I am 21 weeks pregnant today with our second I started seriously thinking about this question? Truth is...right now, in this moment, I don't know.

I don't really know...because I don't really know what to expect having two little ones so close together. It's almost just like how I didn't know what to expect with just having one. I didn't know that you are on call 24/7...7 days a week. I wasn't aware that you will never get a full 8 hours sleep again or when getting yourself ready to go somewhere comes completely last and lots of times you don't have time to really get ready the cute way you want to. I was blind to the fact that your dreams and goals are on the back burner and that you sometimes can't finish your meal...because either baby want's your undivided attention or only want's to eat off your plate. No one really told me that you sometimes will have to cut shopping trips or visits to a friend or family members house short because they are being too fussy...and that lot of activities revolve around their eating and napping schedules. I have been faced with passing up buying those cute sandals I have been waiting to get on my feet because I know I have to buy formula and diapers instead. There are times where I get bit because my little man is teething. I regularly get pooped on, peeped on, thrown up on, burped on, slobbered on, cried on, and scratched by his hang nails more than you can count on a daily basis. There are times where sitting down to type a blog is like a true miracle especially, times that by ten, if I get all my house work and laundry done for the day which is so rare because of chasing him around....and the list goes on.

Now times that all of that by soon to be two under two.

But...when I say all of that out loud. To me...and really any mother, its just a typical day in the neighborhood of motherhood. It doesn't raise any eyebrows or cause us to gasp. It doesn't really freak us out or scare us from having children or trying to get pregnant again with the baby #2, 3 or 4 heck for some even number 7. It's just what mothers do. It's instinct for us. Not gonna lie...having just exhausting, its crazy, it's nuts at times. At times you want to pull your hair out if your little one wakes up one more time in the middle of the night. Sometimes you want to crawl up in the fetal position in the shower because their are just days when nothing you do will satisfy little man. You pick them up...and they want down. You let them down and they want to be picked up. You give them a bottle and they just want some cheerios instead. You fix them oatmeal for breakfast and they just want to play in it instead of eating it. You pull them away from danger and they throw a you rained on their parade. They fall off couches and beds, find lent to eat off floors, put bugs in their mouth, play in their diapers, eat their boogers, scream bloody murder in the other room only to find they were testing out their voice. They try to drink the bath water in the tub, and try to climb out of the tub. They can destroy a room in a matter of minutes only to be picked up and its destroyed again 30 minutes later...and all too frequently steam cleaning your carpets because of all their bodily functions that leak out some way or another is like a weekly family function.

So now we are getting ready to times all of that by two under two.

But, with that said...with just one...there are still those sweet tender moments where their giggle melts your heart. Where their first little words, the only words they can say and said often, just send you over the moon. Where their eyes light up and in doing does your soul. Where they crawl or stumble over everyone in the room just to get to you. Where they reach up only to you for you to love them. Where they fall asleep only in mommy's arms. Where they rather lay on the couch with mommy at nap time than in their own cribs. Where each snore while they are sleeping is like the sweetest song ever heard.Where you see a little one out with their mother while you are out having some mommy alone time and it makes you want to rush home to them because you miss the heck out of 'em. Moment's where they reach a milestone and you are so proud. Where your heart breaks because they are hurt or sick. Where you spy on them while they are playing so contently in their rooms and it lights up your world to see them so happy and content.  The cute moments when you are awaken by a little finger going up your nose during nap time and you can't help but bust out in laughter. Those moments and so many more can not be measured, or calculated, numbered or bottled up.

Now times all of that by two under two!

To makes the thought and the reality of soon having two under two so exciting and so worth every drop! Oh I am sure there are going to be many frustrating, exhausting, and stressful days ahead. Trying to manage a home, serve my husband and now having soon to be two under two to serve, raise, nurture, and love, but God has blessed us with these two little lives in such a short amount of time. When you know that children are a blessing from the Lord how could that really make anyone afraid?? The author and giver of life has entrusted us with their sweet little lives. He will not give us nothing more than we can handle...and I am completely humbled and honored by the fact that He knows we can handle it.

God has given us a double blessing!!

So let me revisit the question. Am I afraid or nervous of having two under two? I would be lieing If I didn't say I was a tad bit nervous. But, I can't wait!!!!