Thursday, December 29, 2011

Pregnancy again. :) part 27

I am officially 39 weeks. It's 3:22 in the morning and I'm 39 weeks. On the 29th of December. If Aria decided to be born today she would have the same day of the month as Ben's birthday in November and our wedding anniversary in March. I think she's going to be one to make her own way though. :)

I had to get up and eat something. I think I could have gone back to sleep were it not for the gnawing my stomach. I will be very excited when I can JUST sleep. A lot of moms out there are laughing right now.

I feel like I have remained pretty physically fit. I've been forced to be more on top of things here at the end, making sure I am getting exercise, resting, doing yoga, trying not to eat too many sweets (very very difficult during the holiday season, not cool.) I think that has helped contribute to the fact that I'm okay with where I am. I was walking the other day and yeah, my pelvis was kind of hurting, it wasn't the easiest thing to breathe, but I was just thinking about how "used" to being pregnant I am. I feel like I have been pregnant forever. This lends itself to the feeling that you WILL be pregnant forever. I kind of feel like this is an okay mindset for now. I think if I look so forward to getting her out of me that the days will drag by, I just need to keep chugging along, praying, enjoying life, enjoying my family, enjoying my husband (while I still can) because a new baby is coming and she is about to be completely dependent on me in every way.

I remember being surprised at how much I was just needed by Levi. Even when he didn't technically need me I still felt the responsibility for him. I was still recovering from the surgery and that was difficult and took a toll on my body. I wonder what it will be like to recover from a vaginal birth. I have heard horror stories and I have also heard awesome stories. I'm assuming each woman is different. I am also going to assume that it depends on how fit you were during your pregnancy... maybe how much you exercised and ate right, how well your baby was positioned and how smoothly your labor went.

I'm praying that all this yoga, chiropractic work, pelvic rocks, squats, passing up sweets, drinking lots of water, eating lots of fiber, relaxation exercises will pay off.

We shall see :)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Pregnancy again. :) part 26

Aria, will you come in 2011 or 2012? Only Jesus knows :)

Been feeling light contractions, not sure if they are doing much. My appointments have been pretty much like, "Yeah, you're probably not gonna have this baby today." Meaning no dilation. I have an appointment tomorrow and I'm not getting my hopes up. There's something totally mental about birthing and opening up and I don't want to defeat myself, you know? I want to keep imagining that she will be late (this might be a mark for the rest of her life :)) just taking her time and then everything will be beautiful. Who knows?

I'll be thirty nine weeks on Thursday. Aria, I love you already, I am excited that you are almost here. I can't wait to hold you and feed you and just cuddle with you on my chest. I am excited about having a tiny little precious baby to just have. I know you will cry... A LOT... but I'm okay with that. I know it's difficult to be born into a cold, harsh world. I know you have been warm and safe inside my womb and have had the perfect amount of nourishment without having to feel hungry. But believe me, we will both be glad you came out.

There's something I want to tell you. You are being born into a fallen world. That's why this whole process of you coming into the world will be painful for me. You won't remember the pain, but I'm sure I will. We are all sinners, we are all fallen. I am fallen, so is your daddy and even though we love you desperately we will still mess things up. Here's something else you should know, you are already fallen. You will never get it right. There will always be a hunger in your soul, there will always be a struggle with your selfishness and pride. I'm really sorry, I wish it wasn't that way. So many days I wish it wasn't that way...

The most incredible thing is that God provided a way. He is all powerful and yet He decided to come down in the form of a helpless little baby, just like you. Except He wasn't born in a nice hospital, He was born in a stable and dirty, smelly shepherds came to meet Him. He loves the lowly, the ones this world likes to reject... remember that. But there were angels who were rejoicing when He came. This God, He will amaze you. Then He lived among us humans. He was hurt by us and saddened by our fallen, selfish hearts. He loved us desperately. He loves you desperately. So much so that He endured the most brutal punishment for our sake, a death on a cross. I will tell you about it someday when you can understand. He did this so that you would not be fallen any more. If you choose to come into His Kingdom then you get to be His daughter. Wow. This is far greater than being our daughter, let me just tell you. :) He will always know just what you need. He will always provide for you. He will allow you to go through struggles, but He is going to be right there with you. Let me just tell you, this is the best thing ever. I want to weep as I write this because I am thinking of all the difficulty and the joy and peace He has led me through. I pray that for you. I pray that you will see your need for Him. I pray that you will give yourself wholly and completely to Him. He is worth every bit of it.

In His presence is FULLNESS of joy
At His right hand are pleasure forevermore.

But God demonstrates His own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

God so loved this fallen, broken world that He gave His one and only Son, that WHOEVER believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.

Whom have I in heaven but You? The earth has NOTHING I desire besides You.
My heart and my flesh may FAIL, but God is the strength of my life and my portion forever.

Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me."

I love you Aria, I am praying for you.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Pregnancy again. :) part 25

Well, my neck is aching. I think it's from sleeping on my side.

Christmas is in just a few days and tomorrow I will be thirty eight weeks.  I'm officially more pregnant than I've ever been. The strange part is that I'm totally okay with that. Yes, I want her out of my body soon, I want to hold my little girl, but I really feel like I want this to be a good labor. I want to experience what it will be like to go into labor naturally and what my body will do as she comes out.

Which brings me to a very important subject: natural childbirth. It's interesting when you say that you want to have your baby naturally and the reactions that you get. I haven't heard it as much with this pregnancy but with my first one people were always telling me "Just wait until you actually experience labor..." It's just a little bit discouraging. Epidurals are all the rage I guess. It just kind of stinks to be told you're too weak for this. That's all I'm saying. So really, if you are one of those people who says stuff like that, you have no idea what you are saying to a vulnerable mom. If you are a woman who has had an epidural and have "been there" ... I'm just going to say this and I'm going to try to say it as diplomatically as I can: just because you got an epidural or pain medication, I don't know what your circumstances were, doesn't mean that you need to project that on other women. I'm not saying it to tell people to shut up, but I just feel like we need to encourage one another and not drag each other down. If this is a woman's heart cry that they want to TRY for this, don't tell them they will need pain medication. Just tell them you think that's awesome. ... I don't know if that makes sense. I don't want to be offensive and that's not my intent, but I just feel like we are too quick to give advice and forget that listening ears are in a vulnerable place.

Yes, I doubt my ability to withstand massive amounts of pain, but that doesn't meant that I need to be told that I will "need" an epidural. I think I just want to be encouraged to go for it. Women have been giving birth for thousands and thousands of years without medication and they have all lived. I also understand that if I want this to be a successful VBAC then I need to try to do this as naturally as possible (more motivation for me). I'm sure there will be things that I don't expect and surprises down the road, but I want to try to just accept it and deal with the pain as best I can.

Okay, I just had to say that.

I've been practicing relaxation techniques and doing yoga and using essential oils to help get my mind focused on relaxing as much as possible during labor. The best thing to do during contractions is not to push up against them but to just relax through them. I know this a little bit because I did experience labor with Levi. Maybe the part that I'm most concerned about right now is when I get further along. I only made it to a 3 with Levi but he was breech so I didn't kick into hard, steady contractions because his head wasn't engaged. Right now I know that Aria is head down and I'm praying she stays that way. I'm praying she will be anterior facing and we won't have trouble with that positioning either. So many things to worry about... but I don't want to worry.

I want to just be. I want to dwell in the moment and just enjoy this pregnancy for what it is, a beautiful time of creating a child. I'm praying that I will have the willingness and flexibility to just continue.

Right now my main goals of the day are to exercise and then to rest. :) I'm trying not to eat too much sugar, I did just have a big bowl of ice cream though, so that might not be the best :P I always eat worse when Ben isn't here. He's at worship team practice running sound.

Thirty eight weeks tomorrow...

Monday, December 19, 2011

Stuff I am learning part 2

I hate trying to name my blogs. I always look up at that "Title" line with resentment. I have never really liked naming songs I wrote or poems... usually the more important the thing is the more difficult it is to name... I'm not even going to try to talk about naming children. Maybe I just have some sort of paranoia of the permanency of a name.

Oh well.

I'm trying to really find a place in the Word to rest and study. It's been difficult because I don't always have time to sit and read. I learn stuff when I read, it's good, but it doesn't feel like huge, deep lessons, maybe as it has in the past, you know?

I want to be wise.

I want to be ready for when Christ comes.

I don't want to waste my life.

I want my heart to be right and true.

I want to love God with all of my heart, soul, mind and strength. I want Him to be the reason why I wake up every morning and the reason I keep persevering through the day. I don't want to miss what He is saying. I want to be aware of the fact that He is right there with me, listening to what I am listening to, seeing what I am seeing... The thing is, He knows my heart as well. There are no acts I can put on for Him that deceive Him into thinking I'm this really great person. He sees right through me. Scary to think about.

This morning I happened to read this. Probably because my Bible just flipped open to it.

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own son in the likeness of sinful man to be a SIN OFFERING. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do nt life according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit. Romans 8:1-4

What?! Jesus gave Himself up so that I (me, with my wrong motives and sinful heart) would be covered and the law would be fulfilled in me? He made me look like I had done everything right while he became a sin offering?

Lord, help me to live my life on my knees in light of this today. I am in awe.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Pregnancy again. :) part 24


Yes, trying to be prepared for this new little life to come out of me. Preparing our house, preparing my body, preparing our time and schedule... I tried to nap today and I did for a little bit, but it wasn't as long as I would have liked it to be. I was up again last night from about 3-5:30 then woke up at 6 to tell Ben to get up. :) I was able to go back to bed until about 7:30 when I was forced out of bed by Levi's cries to get out of his crib. If only I had a child who slept until 8 every day. He's usually up by 7 but sometimes it's earlier, sometimes later.

It's definitely more challenging to be pregnant and have children, that's for sure. I'm trying to count my blessings in that I'm probably getting a good amount of exercise by chasing him around, picking him up, things like that. I was reading the other day about how a little bit of stress during pregnancy is good. I'm wishing I could go on more walks but time and energy keep alluding me. I think the best time I could go on a walk would be in the afternoon when Levi is napping. But I'm not going to leave the house with him alone and sleeping in it, as tempting as that is.

I'm still doing yoga at three in the morning when I wake up in the middle of the night.

I'm knee deep in laundry, washing adorable little clothes for Aria some friends have given me. I feel so blessed. Girl clothes are so different than boy clothes... everything is pretty or cute... I love it. It's like she's surrounded by beauty from her first moments in life. In a way I guess we are training them to love pink and hearts and flowers. I'm thinking about how different she will be from Levi and how she might want to wear dresses and tutus and have dolls and just all the little feminine things. I'm really looking forward to that.

My neck is still hurting and my lower back often hurts after a long day. I think she's definitely dropping. She's head down and loves to kick and press her little legs against my abdominal muscles. I'm very excited about the fact that she's head down and always paying attention to when she wiggles around. It's crazy to have a separate being inside of you. Not that I have huge amounts of control of what goes inside of me anyways, but it's like she just decides that it's time to exercise when I would like nothing more than to sleep. This is why I didn't get much of a nap today.

Everything else is looking good. My doctor approved my birth plan, with the exception that if Aria is not handling contractions that I would stay monitored just to make sure she's okay. I can totally understand that and I am okay with it.

I have been practicing/listening to guided relaxation CD's, I'm not sure I did this much with Levi, but I really enjoy them. I hope they help my labor... I think they will.

I have a few more things to do this afternoon, so I will get going. I can't wait to share Aria's birth story on here... maybe some pictures too. :)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Pregnancy again. :) part 23

It's 3:49 in the morning and I just finished a 20 min yoga session. Do I do this on purpose?

Absolutely not.

This might be helpful though for getting me ready for 2 am feedings... there's always a bright side.

Right now I am really wishing my neck would stop hurting. I think tomorrow I'm going to ask Ben to rub it as hard as he can.  Usually when he does that it is extremely painful but the results are amazing. My stiff muscles go to putty, I keep thinking while he is rubbing, "This is a good thing, I am going to be so glad after this is over." Maybe this is  more preparation for childbirth. I'm sure I will be thinking that throughout the birthing process. :)

I also realized during this yoga session that I was hungry. Only in pregnancy does your body wake up in the middle of the night and decide that it is hungry. Only in pregnancy are you forced to satisfy that hunger or else you will be just lying in your bed, awake, trying to talk yourself out of the fact that you are physically hungry... "I can't be hungry, that's ridiculous, all I have done is sleep for the past 4 hours, I wasn't hungry when I went to bed, I don't need to eat anything, I've already gained plenty of weight..." the list goes on and on. When really, all you have to do is get up and have some cereal, let it go down and sit for a minute and then your body graciously allows you to climb back into bed and go to sleep and you wake up hungry again in the morning. It's kind of amazing I guess if you think about it. It's like your body is building this little body inside of you and realizes that it needs some more fuel and wakes you up to let you know.

So, that's when I blog. It's now about 4 so I should be heading to bed about now. Maybe a little more stretching and maybe a bit of reading. That's enough of the blogging :)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Poured out

I woke up this morning thinking about being "poured out" I think it's in Colossians where Paul talks about being poured out like a drink offering, maybe I am wrong about the place, but I definitely remember the thought.

I've been reading in Matthew and came across this verse: Then Jesus said to his disciples: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it." 16:24-25

He goes on about gaining the whole world and yet losing your soul. I look around at the culture I live in and that is what I see. We have gained the whole stinking world, but we have for sure lost our souls.

I often want thanks and recognition for what I have done, but really, that's a bunch of junk. Lord, help me to be okay with being poured out, emptied, persecuted...

Right now it's "Help me to be okay with laying my body aside." I am at those final stages of childbearing where it becomes really tough physically. Breathing, moving, sleeping... I have a tendency to complain about these things. But Lord, this is my sacrifice right now, help me to lay down on the altar and give up myself for You. Help me to give up my life for this little child inside of me as she develops and grows. Help me to lay myself down as I go through the pain of labor, the hardships, I want to be a living and holy sacrifice. Greater love has no man than he who lays down his life for another. Maybe that's what this whole birthing/childbearing process is about... it's the beginning of living a life of sacrificial love.

And someday this little one inside of me might break my heart... in fact, the likelihood of that happening is very great. Lord, this is getting very personal. Help me to love as You have loved. Maybe I will know an inkling of what You have experienced for my sake.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Pregnancy again. :) part 22

Blog? What? I have a blog? It feels like I have forgotten about blogging, about life, about everything. I'm going to blame it on pregnancy brain. I think I probably blogged a few weeks ago... but even then, I can't really remember. It feels like it was a few weeks ago.

Time goes by. There's nothing you can do to slow it down, nothing you can do to speed it up. Each day has the same amount of hours, same amount of minutes and seconds. ... though it doesn't always feel that way. These last few weeks seem to have flown by. Or maybe they have jumbled by, I don't know.

I have decided to start walking :). I want Aria out of my body... soon. Really, I think I will just be walking the .7 miles around my neighborhood every day, so it's not a big deal. It's just really cold. I also need to be making sure and doing my yoga as well as my "guided relaxation" with Belleruth Naperstack (I love her name, sometimes I just say Naperstack to myself just because I like how it sounds). I just got my first ever prenatal massage today and it was AMAZING. My doula, Cora, does an incredible job. If you want her number for a massage, just message me and I will hook you up. She is incredible.

I need to start working on my Belly Mapping workbook. I have read all of it and know the techniques for finding out how she is positioned, but I really need to start drawing pictures of her and really mapping out and tracking where she is in the womb. For the most part I can feel little tiny feet pushing up at the top of my belly and I can feel a solid back at the right side, but it will be good to just spend some time every day interacting with her and just feeling for where she is at.

I'm starting to pare down my life. My piano and voice lessons have stopped, I'm going to put Crisis Pregnancy Center on hold for a few months until I'm back on my feet and I think (as much as I hate to say this) I'm going to peter down on the worship team. Though I will still be in much prayer for the team and try to be an encouragement to them. I'm praying about how involved I can be with everything, but I'm just getting so physically tired these days that I don't think I can DO much.

One thing I am absolutely NOT ready for is: Christmas. Gifts? I need to buy gifts? Tree? We need to put up a tree? I do have a nativity scene out (thanks to mom and dad) and a garland with lights on our mantle. We have converted the dining room (since we never use it) into a play room for Levi and have put up multi colored icicle lights. So really, that's about all I've done for Christmas so far. I'm pretty sure Christmas will come and I will not have gifts until Christmas Eve and even then I will have to send Ben to the store to get them. ... poor Ben. Gift cards work great. :)

That's all I can think to write about for now. Pregnancy brain is really getting to me these days. I feel like I am forgetting something...

Sunday, December 4, 2011

and the Word became flesh

This lyric is hitting me hard this morning:

Fragile fingers sent to heal us
Tender brow prepared for thorn
Tiny heart whose blood will save us
Unto us is born
Unto us is born

Let me not forget this season that sweet baby Jesus, infant, child, precious little Jesus was born with the brutality of the cross in mind.

Let this be a sobering season as I realize it is my sins he came to wash away. It is my debt that he came into the world to ransom. I am in need of this tiny babe born in a manger, I am in need of of the precious blood of this sinless child, fully God and yet fully man.

I cannot comprehend You Lord, but I do know that You are good.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Pregnancy again. :) part 21

Sickness. I hate being sick. I hate colds, just the runny nose, the way they drag on and on, the sore throat, the achy feeling...

Over Thanksgiving we encountered a lot of sickness. Levi got croup, my sister in laws kids had pneumonia and an ear infection. There was just green snot all over the place. I did pretty well not to get any of it, try to wash my hands a lot and so forth. When we got back I was less careful with Levi. I figured I hadn't contracted what he had yet and I had shared a few drinks with him and so it didn't matter. Well, around Wednesday I started to feel my throat get scratchy... not cool. I've been pumping the vitamin C, trying to stay away from sugar, get rest, using lavender to help open up my sinuses (I so need to post about what I am learning about essential oils, they are AMAZING), yesterday I put on some medicated chest rub around my throat... it's weird though because my neck started aching. It's mainly the back of my neck. I can barely hold up my head without some pain. I keep stretching it and Ben rubbed it last night, I just don't know what is wrong. I think it is muscular, but I might call my chiropractor again just to see if he can fix it. (You can read about how he fixed my rib here).

I'm wondering if I have some swollen glands and that is what is causing it. Maybe it's because I am constantly leaning forward. I have to lean over to wash the dishes, do the laundry, even just walking around I feel like I have this huge weight out in front of me. This is true though, I DO have a weight in front of me.

All the aches and pains of pregnancy are starting to get to me. I feel like they are God's way of motivating the mother to PUSH her baby out. Ha ha! Seriously though, I am really starting to get ready for this whole birthing thing. Nothing can truly prepare you for it because you have no idea what kind of pain it will be for sure. I know what early labor feels like, but I have not yet been through several hours of labor and transition and actually birthing naturally. I feel like with the C section I took some kind of weird short cut and skipped all of that. It wasn't personal, it wasn't victorious, it was just surgery and he was out. I am so thankful for the medical technology available, don't get me wrong, but I am also praying that we won't have to use it this time around. I remember my sister in law telling me how cool it was to actually FEEL her baby come out of her body and what an experience that was. She had a VBAC too with her second child. I'm hoping our stories will be similar. :)

Lord, please heal me. Help me to know what to do with all of this neck stuff. Help it not to effect my attitude, help me to be a good mom to my little boy today.