Sunday, September 22, 2013

Gearing up for Natalie's big day!

So as I am gearing up for Natalie's big day I keep trying to remember what laboring was like with John. Lol and that was just 15 months ago! Boy does time fly!! It's amazing though what one can seem to forget in just 15 months. I know at the time the labor pains (induced labor on top of that) as excruciatingly painful and as real and raw as it was then...I still can't clearly remember or really wrap my mind around just how painful it was looking back on it now. I think that is truly a miracle of childbirth. You forgive the pain and forget it all at the same time.

As I am entering my 37 week of pregnancy with Natalie this week I know this pain will again be all too real and raw for me soon enough. If you may not know already...I am planning a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) since John's induction ended in a c-section last time. Not only just out of desire to want a vaginal birth, but I want my recovery time to be shortened this time since I will have not only a 15 month old, but also a newborn that needs their mommy. So I am thankful that I have an awesome supportive Doctor who recommended this route for me, and also a wonderful loving, and supportive hubby behind me as well.

Upon speaking with my Doctor on ways to up my chances of a successful VBAC and on top of my own research,  he and I have concluded that eliminating as far along as possible if not forgoing altogether the use of an epidural or any other type of pain medication, which will greatly help my chances (since my Doctor thinks this is what may have slowed and stalled my labor down last time) of having a successful VBAC. So here I am not only attempting a VBAC just 15 months after a ceasearn, which is also major surgery, but I'm also planning on trying to do this whole labor and delivery think au naturel. 

To say I am a little freaked out is an understatement.

I was pretty confident, content, and comfortable about this whole birthing experience up until a week or so ago. Now that it is getting down to the final wire I find myself getting a bit anxious and nervous. I mean I don't know anyone who would not be getting at least a tad nervous about feeling pain as equivalent to being repeatedly stabbed 50 times over and over...ok so that's a little out there...but it's a pain unlike any other and although the miracle of it is that the pain has somewhat been wiped from my memory.....I just know that it's upcoming pain I don't really want to have to feel.

Unfortunately though for us women because of Eve's fall and sin in the garden we have to experience this particular Genesis 3:16 it says, "I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children."
Gee...thanks a lot Eve! I still however can't understand why God chose labor pain as a form of punishment...but have to admit that this is a pretty creative form of punishment. 
But the pain, hardship and turmoil of labor and birthing is outweighed the moment those little ones get into our arms. The moment we birth life into this world, no matter the way we birth, the pain and suffering we had endured up until that point is all ultimately worth it and so much more! Here we are finally getting to hold our  tiny long awaited miracle from our great God that He fashioned and formed with His own hands for 9 months in our wombs. Child birth may cause a great deal of pain, but He brings forth a beauty and a reward from it.

Oh, I marvel at His works!

Ultimately, I and us women In general can truly rest in knowing that laboring and birthing is all a God thing. I just know that He will be with me in those painful moments just like He was with me 15 months before laboring with John and  was with me in that operating room when I had to undergo a section. The miracle of life is all a gift from Him. No matter how painful it was to get them here, and no matter what way He chooses to bring forth our sweet Natalie into this world, I will have to endure some form of pain either from major surgery (cesarean) or pain from laboring and birthing her out vaginally. I trust that God knows the desires of my heart, but I also trust in knowing that, "He also knows the plans He has for each one of us". He has been so good and faithful to Nick and I. He has entrusted us twice now with two little precious, healthy lives and for that we are so thankful, and I truly can not ask for anything more.

So with all that I am due with Natalie in a few short weeks and have been busy preparing myself for her big debut. I want to go into this laboring experience this time focused and relaxed as much as I can with trying to go natural. Last time one thing I wish I would've done with John was have some labor music available. I love music. All types really. Especially music that is uplifting, inspiring, encouraging, positive and of course music that glorifies God. I had a couple friends who used music during their labors and it helped them to breathe and stay focused through contractions. So aside from the the walking, the birthing ball, the warm baths, the red raspberry leaf tea, the prayers and instructions from my Doc I decided to also put together my own laboring playlist...well actually two. One for laboring and one for birthing. I wanted to share my playlists below (they are pretty diverse songs...don't laugh...but these are songs that I've either always loved or that I am currently into at the moment that really uplift me, encourage me, and of course that I love jamming out to)...feel free if you are soon to give birth to copy and use my list as well.

Laboring Playlist:

1. Be Alright (Acoustic) - Justin Bieber
2. Bubble Toes -Jack Johnson
3. Empire State of Mind- Alicia Keys
4. Faithful is our God- Hezekiah Walker
5. Ain't No Mountain High Enough- Diana Ross
6. Gravity- Sara Bareilles
7. Give Me Faith- Elevation Worship
8. Hold My Heart- Tenth Avenue North
9. Hanging On- Britt Nicole
10. Only Hope- Mandy Moore
11. Starry Night- Chris August
12. Melodies From Heaven- Kirk Franklin
13. Nothing Is Wasted- Elevation Worship
14. Give Me Jesus- Jeremy Camp
15. Wagon Wheel- Darius Rucker
16. We Belong Together- Mariah Carey
17. You Are So Beautiful- Joe Crocker

Birthing Playlist:

1. Baby- Justin Bieber
2. Breathe- Michelle Branch
3. The Lost Get Found- Britt Nicole
4. Dog Days Are Over- Florence and the Machines
5. Firework- Katy Perry
6. Shackles- Mary Mary
7. Lights- Ellie Goulding
8. God Girl- Jamie Grace
9. One Step At A Time- Jordin Sparks
10. Part of Me- Katy Perry
11. He Is With Us- Love & The Outcome
12. Give Your Heart a Break- Demi Lovato
13. Titanium remix- Sia
14. You Lead- Jamie Grace
15. Crazy Things I Do For Love- Sammie
16. Isn't She Lovely- Stevie Wonder

On top of the play lists I also wanted to use scripture this time to meditate on...

Romans 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

 Isaiah 66:9  "In the same way I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born," says the Lord. "If I cause you the pain, I will not stop you from giving birth to your new nation," says your God."

Psalm 127:3 – “Children are a blessing from the Lord; the fruit of the womb a reward."

Deut 28:4 – “Blessed shall be the offspring of your body and the produce of your ground and the offspring of your beasts, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock.”

Isaiah 46: 3-4 "Listen to me, you who I have upheld since you were concieved, and have carried since birth. Even to your old age and gray hair. I am He who will sustain you! I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you." 

Isaiah 40:29-31 "He gives strength to the weary, and increases the power of the weak. Even youth grow weary and tired, and young men stumble and fall. But, those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint."

Philippians 4:13 "I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength."

As we approach the big day please keep me and baby Natalie in your prayers. Can't wait for her to be in our arms and for you all to  see her!! Thanks guys!!!

Dear Lord, 

Thank you for loving me and being so faithful in all things. Thank you also for another precious life to raise up, to love, to hold, to cherish, and to ultimately give back to you in turn. Lord, I pray that your name be honored no matter what. No matter how Natalie is birthed into this world. I pray that she is healthy and safe and that I am healthy and safe as well. You know my heart, my desires, my worries, and my fears. I place them before your throne. Calm my anxious spirit and give me a spirit of peace. Have your way Lord, and ultimately let your Will be done. For your ways I can not fathom and your Will is always perfect! I trust in you and I love you. It's in your heavenly son Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Natalie's Poem

Natalie's Poem

Oh, tiny little girl. Little joy. Little love.
We are so thankful for another undeserved gift from above.

You came to my womb, nestled in, and took your place.
You're already a blessed little girl in one sweet mysterious face.

You came as one big surprise to us all. 
A special surprise that was unplanned.
But, God had you in mind long before,
He created and formed you with His own hands.

Now we can't even imagine our lives without, 
You, sweet girl, who wasn't even dreamt about.

You have captured our hearts and increased it beyond measure.
Praise God you're another tiny miracle to love and to treasure!

So here we are counting down the glorious days.
Until we are greeted with your, oh so, precious ways.

We are all busy preparing and making room.
For you, Natalie Joy, who will bring more love to our home real soon.

Love you so much,


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Thoughts and Reflections from a Hospital Bag.

So, I decided to go ahead and pack Natalie's hospital bag tonight just to get it done and out of the way. I figured I'd probably wind up forgetting if anything since these last few weeks  this whole pregnancy my mind as been a little off kilter. Hehe. Probably due to the influx of female hormones coming from both sides here. :)

As I was going through some of Natalie's outfits and deciding on what to bring and what she will wear while our stay there I came across these little duck footie pants that John wore in the hospital. We winded up letting John wear them for his little hospital pics (something that we told ourselves we'd never do, but was the first to jump on them the next day when the photographers came around). Anywho...I had them placed in the back of one of her drawers since they were unisex. I figured at some point in the newborn stage she would probably wear them too. Come to think of it, I believe they were one of the first pieces of clothing items we got as a gift for John before we knew he was going to be a boy. So here I was packing through joyful tears and reflecting back on John. After holding them for those few momenys of reflection I decided to go ahead and pack these duck footie pants for Natalie to wear for part of her stay and her hospital pics too. But, of course I had to add a cute little yellow bow for her to wear with it. :)

It's hard to believe that I was doing this almost 14 months ago with John, packing his hospital bag and getting ready to bring him into the world. I can remember before packing those little duck footie pj's in his bag I thought to myself,"oh my gosh, he is going to be so tiny", and was afraid and nervous knowing that I was getting ready to care for something so small and fragile. Something so small that relied solely on me. How in the world would I ever know what to do?

When Nick came back to see John and I in recovery after my c-section he saw me breast feeding John for the first time and he said, "how do you know how to do that?" Truth is, I didn't....I had no clue. I never read a book on it or asked any questions. Never went to a breastfeeding class or even watched a video, but it came so natural and second nature to me the moment they laid him on my chest.

What I find so beautiful about the gift of motherhood is that you do ultimately know what to do, because God has placed such an natural instinct and gift in us. The natural born ability to know the instinct of protection, their cries, their cues, birthing, breastfeeding, and even just holding them and changing their diaper. Although, there are some things every new mom needs help with, and questions we are always asking along the way, but ultimately the instinct is just there and its truly a beautiful gift from our great God.

I love how when I posted this picture on Instagram earlier in an attempt to jot down my feelings without having to write a blog post (but you see where that brought my blog. I just can't escape from it...and that's OK because I love writing) a friend wrote underneath my post that, "they are the most treasured gift from God." #madeinhisimage. Oh, she could not be more right.

How beautiful are we, His handiwork, His masterpiece. The true image of God. A newborn baby in all their innocence, beauty and even down to the sweet smelling of their soft, new skin is the most purest, sweetest and closest handiwork's of God that we get to witness first hand. They, we, are a true reflection of Him. We are made in His image. What's even more amazing is that we get to assist in such a miracle act of God from conceiving, carrying and birthing a human being into this world. It blows my mind, and it's so wild and breathtaking to me all at the same time to think about; the very hands of God forming and fashioning a human being in a mothers womb. Truly, "they are the most treasured gift of God."

So on ending thoughts....I am looking forward to holding and meeting our sweet, new miracle. I am excited about the newborn phase all over again too. I see some of my friends who are getting ready to be first time moms and I see in them the exact feelings I went through; a little apprehension, panic, fear, and some nervousness of hoping you do it all right and knowing what to do at all. But, if your a first time mom and find yourself reading this post and i could tell you any piece of just to relax. You will be completely amazed and in awe the moment they get into your arms. It's the most natural thing ever. You will know what to do...and if you need help or have questions, mother's that have come before are always willing to help. 

Thank you Lord for creating life through me once again, and for choosing me to be a mother to two precious handiwork's. It's truly a treasured gift that I don't deserve, but I am so thankful and help me to always be thankful for such treasured gifts.

Monday, September 9, 2013

God speaks...even through a Disney movie.

One of my all time favorite Disney movies has always been Cinderella. So of course I was super excited when I flipped on the Disney channel during John's milk time earlier today to see the original animated Cinderella movie playing! John got a tremendous kick out of the little mice like I always did!

What was pretty amazing though about this one particular time that I got to watch it was I heard something I've never heard before coming from the Fairy Godmother; one of the most beautiful lines ever was said in a Disney movie, maybe in any movie and it just so happen that I turned it on just in time to hear it. It could not of been more perfect timing for such a season that I find myself and so many of my friends and family members in. I truly felt like it was the Lord ministering to me and giving me a little word to share. Kind of funny, but pretty cool that God would speak to me through a Disney movie. Hehe. Not sure how to take that. But hey...He spoke to Moses through a burning bush!

But, on a more serious note I was at the part in the movie where Cinderella just ran out behind the mansion in the garden heartbroken and her dress ripped to shreds by her evil step sisters. She plummets down onto the stone bench soaking it with tears until she is greeted with her fairy Godmother. I can't believe as many times as I have watched this movie that I never caught or even paid attention to what the fairy Godmother tells Cinderella in the next few moments that unfold. I mean...I know she tells about the spell being broken at midnight and she goes on to turn the pumpkin into a carriage and the mice into stage coach gentleman etc, but what she actually says is pretty profound.

Even miracles take a little time.
Here is a brief recap of the conversation:

Cinderella: There's nothing left to believe in. Nothing.
Fairy Godmother: Nothing, my dear? Oh, now you don't really mean that.
Cinderella: Oh, but I do! 
Fairy GodmotherNonsense, child! If you'd lost all your faith, I couldn't be here, and here I am! Oh, come now. Dry those tears. You can't go to the ball looking like that.
Cinderella: The ball? Oh, but I'm not... 
Fairy Godmother:Of course you are. But we'll have to hurry, because even miracles take a little time.

It was at that moment I looked up from folding my twentieth pair of socks and felt like I just had an divine appointment with the Lord...yup...through a Disney movie.

Oh, but as crazy as that could not be more true! Miracles do take time, because they are in His time.

You know patience has never really been my thing. It is such a weakness of mine. I never want to wait or be patient for anything and my faith has taken a dive numerous of times because of it. But, God has had to purposely put me in situations and circumstances in my life to where I have had to learn to trust and wait on Him. To wait for His miracles, which helps me produce patience, and in turn strengthens my faith.

There were so many people that ran through my mind and heart when I heard those words. A sweet friend I know who want's so desperately to conceive a child. To a hardworking man who is at the time unemployed and can't catch a break in finding a job to provide for his family. To that woman who has given up on Mr. Right. To a son or daughter caught up in the wrong crowd. To a dear family members fading health. To a friendship that needs some serious healing, and to a marriage that so desperately needs to be restored. Oh, there are just so many others that I could list that come to mind that are in need of a miracle today. But, these are just some of the everyday miracles we so yearn to see come forth. Things we don't want to wait or be patient for. We seem to have this "now" mentality. But, our ways are not God's ways and thats not His mentality. We must trust and wait upon Him patiently to bring forth these miracles in our lives. Is it easy? No. But is it worth it? Absolutely! Because His ways are perfect and good!

So if you are finding yourself like Cinderella these days, running low on faith and patience, and in dire need of a miracle...then remember to wait on the Lord because...

Even miracles take a little time


Corey T

Friday, September 6, 2013

A Heartbreaking Loss...and God's Hope.

I just learned some pretty devastating news from a dear friend a couple days ago. She gave birth to her precious little boy at 29 weeks and eventually lost him 10 days later.

I had no idea.

I had not spoken with her in a few months due to the busyness of summer, and just life in general. She was really heavy on my I emailed her to check and see how her pregnancy was going and when her expectant due date was again. I was going to ask her where she was registered, what name they choose, how far along they were in the nursery, when her shower was and if they found out the gender yet. I was really excited for her because this was her first baby and I just knew since she was such a beautiful friend and person that she was going to be an even more beautiful mother.  But, before I could even finish reading the opening lines to the email she replied with my heart sank. As I read the words..."Well...I have some sad news..." I did not want to read any further. I knew what she was going to say next because I have once replied with those same empty words.

As I typed my reply back through tears my heart became so heavy. Even as I type now my heart is still heavy for my dear friend and her sweet little boy. What has broken my heart even more is that through all of this she has questioned her faith in God and is now in the process of trying to recover that faith.

I can relate to this completely for I am no stranger to questioning one's faith, to second guessing who God is, His will, His ways, and His truth. I have been there and it is a place I hope to never go again. It is such an empty, lonely feeling when you feel like the one true source of comfort, truth and hope has turned His back on you and is nowhere to be felt or found. It is devastating on so many levels. It is ultimately more trying and painful to walk around pretending that you believe God is good, and excited about being His child and who He is when deep inside you are one big confused, lonely, saddened, and afraid person who questions all of who He is.

As I started to write back to my friend I had no idea what to type. I wanted to reach through the computer and just wrap my arms around her. I wanted to tell her anything else uplifting and encouraging instead of uplifting God and encouraging her with His truth because I was afraid she would be turned off by it and reject it since at this point she is questioning her faith in Him.

But, ultimately I couldn't.

God has been way to good, too faithful, too loving, too giving, too forgiving, and too promising for me not to share just how good and faithful He has been and what He has done through me. Through my losses and pain.

So I wrote back to my friend and shared with her what I went through. Before I go any further...just want to add that In sharing through this blog post the email that I wrote to her I pray that any mother out there that may be going through or have gone through any type of pregnancy loss, still born birth, child loss or miscarriage that this will minister, uplift and be of some encouragement to you. I also want to bring God glory as it is His glory that is due.

So this is pretty much what I wrote back to my friend:

Oh my Ana!! That is so heartbreaking and devastating. I don't 100% know the pain and heartache you went through or continue to go through because I have never lost a child that far along, but I do know about loss, testing of ones faith, questioning God and hope. You may not know, but I had several miscarriages before we got pregnant with my first. They were back to back miscarriages and one was actually twins. I was about 10 weeks with the twins, and the first miscarriage was around 6 weeks. I still saw a heartbeat, and even though their little bodies were not fully developed I trusted and knew that God was still forming them. They had life... and then they were ripped apart from one of the most sacred places on this earth...a mother's womb. My womb. I questioned my faith in God, His will, who He was...why He would give life and then take it away, and then when we finally got pregnant month's later with my son John that whole pregnancy was one big faith test. I was a mess up until the day I delivered him...I was so afraid I was going to loose him. 

But, I learned so much looking back on it. I learned that, "God is the author and giver of life" 1 John His word it says "He gives and takes away...blessed be the name of the Lord." - Job 1:21. "He fashions and forms us in our mother's womb" Psalm 139:13. Ultimately we live in a fallen world, it is broken and nothing is perfect. We can however have reassurance though that, "He works together all things for our good...and that He knows the plans for us...and they are plans to not harm us, but to give us hope and a future."  Romans 8:28, Jeremiah 29:11. For whatever reason...the Lord knew I could handle a loss. He doesn't give us nothing more than we can handle. It ultimately brought Him glory. 

Through my journey of loss I have reached other women and have comforted them in their distress, grief, heartache and pain. It stinks that it had to be my little ones that brought about such healing to other women, but this life is not about is about serving, loving, giving ourselves away and being the hands and feet of Jesus. It wasn't until a few weeks after John's birth as I was going over through some paperwork from previous doctors visits I had kept with the twins and John's hospital bills that I noticed that the day I miscarried the twins was July 17th, 2011....the day I gave birth to John was July 17th 2012. It was exactly to the day a year later that the Lord gave us back what was taken from us. You see Ana...His ways are not our ways...we can not fathom the depths, the richness and the wonders of His love. He never said this life would be easy...but that only following and loving Him would be worth it. He is an awesome God...and His mercies endure forever! He never leaves us nor forsakes us...and always gives us back ten fold because He loves us. We just have to trust Him. There is no doubt...God has a plan for you through all of this hurt, and through your loss. Just trust Him. 

This pregnancy with Natalie has been a lot easier on me, because I have learned that my daughters life is truly in the hands of God. Life is His...He creates, He takes away, but He is steadfast and true and promises that His ways are good. That he will give us hope and a future. We have to trust in that. 

There is no doubt that our little ones are laying so perfectly peaceful in His arms as I type and one day we will be reunited with them. I am praying for you girl. I love you bunches and my heart aches as I type this for you because losing your own flesh and blood is never matter how old or far along they are. It still hurts, the pain is still real. It will take time to heal, but just trust in Jesus for the healing. 

I am always here for you girl. Always! I love you chick.

As I finished typing out that email to her...I was so overwhelmed with Gods love. To see His faithfulness written out, lived out, and to this day 2 1/2 years later using my losses and pain to again comfort another and to bring about His glory brings me great joy to serve and love such an awesome God and Savior. Little did I know what I went through then would one day have such significant purpose and play such apart in peoples lives. Thank you God for showing me your love, your goodness, mercy, and blessing me and Nick when I know I personally don't deserve such great of blessings. You are truly a God of such beautiful wonder.

In closing this post...I just want to say that if you find yourself in a situation like my dear, sweet friend Ana...just please never give up hoping, praying, serving, loving, and trusting in such a faithful God. Jesus is truly faithful and the only God of hope.

and....if you could please keep my friend uplifted in prayer. Stand in the gap for her and intercede on her behalf that God's love will just overwhelm her and that she will experience joy, His goodness and His unfailing love in a new way. A way like never before.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.


Corey T.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

34 Weeks Pregnancy Survey...update!!

Wow! This time flew by...and in 6 or so weeks we will literally be holding our little girl! God has been so good and faithful! Here is my 34 week pregnancy survey update!

About You 
Age: 28 (had a birthday since the last update)
Height: 5'3"
About The Father 
Age: 34
Height: 5'7"

About Your Pregnancy 

Is this your first pregnancy:  No, I  had 3 before.
When did you find out you were pregnant: Around 6 weeks 
Was it planned: No, definitely a complete surprise...but a huge blessing!

What was your first reaction: See blog post "Mama's Due with Baby#2"
Who was with you when you found out: No one
Who was the first person you told: Hubby
How far along are you: 34 weeks 3 days
Symptoms: Extremely exhausted, occasional nausea, braxton hicks, sciatic nerve pain, leg cramps, hot flashes, food cravings, emotional, insomnia, HEARTBURN!!!
What is your due date: Oct 15th, 2013 
Do you know the sex of the baby: Yes!! It's a girl!!!!!!! 
Have you picked out names: Yes...her name is Natalie Joy Travaglini
Do you have stretch marks: None yet. 
Pre-pregnancy & Total weight gain so far: I was 175 lbs before I got pregnant with Natalie. Well...I never lost all my baby weight with John. I lost about 27 of it, but still had a little over 25 to go. (Yes...I gained like 55 ish-60 pounds with John). So far according to my last checkup 2 weeks ago I have gained 19 pounds this pregnancy with Natalie. That is huge compared to with John. By this time in the pregnancy with him I had gained about 45 or so.
Sleep: Soooo exhausted! I could sleep all day every day, but at night time I have complete and total insomnia! My usual bedtime is somewhere between 3-3:30 am
Movement: She is super active! More active than John was...especially at night!

Cravings: It's like so random these days, but mostly dark chocolate dove icecream bars, and carbonated beverages. 
Belly Button in or out?: Def in at the moment.
Best Moments this week: I took some beautiful cherished bump silhouette pics! We had a wonderful mini family getaway to the mountains. Finally have her nursery completed and will be posting a new blog on that soon! Hitting 34 weeks and realizing that I only have a little under 6 weeks to go until she's here....unless of course she decides to come late :) 

What are you looking forward to: My shower and celebrating her arrival. Holding her and seeing who she favors. Seeing John's reaction to her. Nursing her and doing the whole newborn thing again. Believe it or not...birthing (I believe its beautiful, real, raw and womanly no matter which way they have to come!) Being a mommy to two and expanding our family by two more feet :)

About the birth 
Home or hospital birth: Hospital 
Natural or medicated birth: Leaving it up in God's hands. Would love to do vaginal and unmedicated birth, but more than anything just want her safe and here already!
Who will be in the delivery room with you: Nick definitely, but possibly mom and mil.
Will you breastfeed: Want to really try longer this time and make it a goal of at least 3-6 months.
Do you think you'll need a c-section: Had one with John, and hoping to do a VBAC this time. My Doctor is very supportive and so is hubby. So leaving this one up to the Lord. It's all in His hands. I just want healthy baby and delivery.
Will you cry when you hold the baby for the first time: Of course!
Would you let someone videotape the birth: Um...hecks no!!
Are you excited about the birth, or scared?: Anxious...but soooo excited!

Mommy loves you Natalie Joy!