Friday, January 31, 2014

New Mercies Every Second

I wanted to start out by apologizing for any incoherent thoughts that may appear in this post. I haven't been sleeping a lot.

Happy two weeks Simeon!

The final weeks of pregnancy drag on forever. These weeks are about to fly by.

Lord, help me, I don't know how to write about this stuff or even if it's worth writing about. I feel like I've had all these thoughts pass through my brain and I just wonder if I can make them all sound okay.

Adjusting to three.

This week has been my first week on my own. Monday I kind of walked around as though on eggshells, waiting for something to explode, waiting to be overwhelmed or break down into tears or something like that. It went amazingly well. My mother in law helped me survive the library (the kids were getting bored of our books) and then came over later that afternoon and helped distract the kids while I cleaned and then picked up the rest of the house with us.

Tuesday I went to my Bible study with the three kids. The real challenge was getting them through the 23 degree weather into the church and then back out again.

People brought us dinner or had us over every night except Wednesday. Wednesday I actually cooked. We had taco salad.

Wednesday was also the day when I almost had a breakdown.

Let me explain. Levi hasn't napped all week. Yikes. I've been implementing "quiet time" in the afternoons. For one hour he has to stay in his room and do quiet things like play with his cars or read books. The only thing is that I think he has been needing a nap. But he is resisting sleep in the afternoons big time. Then, he comes out from his quiet time and he's a bit of a beast. He gets crazy and irrational and all I want to do is spank him until he stops this ridiculous behavior. That's when I see the sin in my own heart. My anger is boiling to the surface because he's not doing what I want him to do.

That afternoon was a really bad case.

At one point I remember texting Ben and asking him to pray.
Another time I sent Levi to his room and I went to the window and just cried out to the Lord, "What in the world am I supposed to do?"

Can I just say that the Lord's mercies are new every second? It's not just every morning or every day. It's every second.

At some point that afternoon Levi had my phone. It was locked, but he has figured out how to access my iTunes. He started to play the Rend Collective Campfire album and honestly, I usually don't like my kids to even touch my phone, but that afternoon I let him carry it around the house. He was just listening to the music and enjoying it. It's my favorite album right now (probably why it was cued up) and it just lifted our spirits. It got us through.

Now, am I going to hand my kid my phone every time he is upset? No way. But, I do feel like it was something that the Lord allowed in that moment to just minister to him and to me. We were singing and dancing to the music and it was just good.

Lord, Your mercies are new every second. Help me to remember that at 3 in the morning when I'm struggling to go back to sleep after nursing. Help me to remember even when my kids wake up from naps early or we are struggling to get out of the house on time. Your mercies are new and You help us when we cry out to You. I am poor and frail as a mom. Lord, so many times I have no idea what I'm doing with a newborn, with a two year old and with a four year old. Please lead me Father. I need You every second.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Adjusting to Three

I'm a little nervous. Tomorrow I will have all three kids by myself.


My mom and mother in law have been assigned to "check on me" throughout the day and make sure I'm still alive. Ben is coming home for lunch. Really, I'll be okay. I'm going to live.

I'm praying Simeon sleeps tonight. I let him have a super long nap this afternoon and I'm hoping that won't mess things up too much. My goal these past 9 days has been to feed him often during the day, wake him up and don't let him nap for too long. I feed him a lot in the evenings and I feel like that's given us some pretty good stretches at night. Now if only I could sleep…

With the other kids it's been kind of a rough re-entry into life. Picture one of those plane landings where the pilot didn't quite get it right. There are a bunch of bumps, luggage is falling out of overhead compartments and everyone is kind of holding on for dear life. It's been kind of like that.

On Tuesday afternoon my mom brought the kids back. I wanted them back, we were majorly missing them. The house felt SO empty without them. It had been almost a week since I had seen them.

Pretty soon I noticed that Aria was falling down a lot. She would just be walking across the floor and fall for no reason. That night she kept waking up screaming. I knew something was wrong. Both the kids were coughing, but she was just super irritable. We took them all to the Dr the next day and it turns out she had a major and a minor ear infection. Yikes.

After that our goal was the keep her away from Simeon until she had been on her antibiotics for a few days. It's hard to tell a little two year old girl who LOVES babies that she can't go near her baby brother.

My poor little Aria. It's been a rough week for her.

When Aria was first born we noticed that Levi went through a weird transition for about two weeks, just trying to get used to the idea of a new baby around. He was no longer the baby. Maybe he was trying to figure out his roll in this new family. I think Aria is going through that same transition. It's difficult because I think she doesn't know how to express the things that are going on inside of her little heart and mind. She's been throwing a lot of temper tantrums and just disobeying a lot in general.

A few revelations I had:

- Saturday morning she was getting into EVERYTHING she was not supposed to get into. Levi was frustrated with her, I was frustrated, Ben was frustrated. I just had this thought, "she needs to be alone."
She needed a place where she wouldn't be stimulated or bothered and just couldn't get into anything. I told her she was going to have quiet time in her crib. She simply asked for books and I brought her some. She must have been in there for about 30 minutes. She came out and we were all like a new family. I need to remember this alone time stuff.

- Sunday the Lord really spoke to me that I needed to raise my level of nurturing with her. Yes, she needed structure and discipline, but she also just needed to be loved. So we sat and read books on her bed, she got lots of kisses and hugs. She woke up from nap time first and we just piddled around the house, cleaning things up, putting things away. She "helped" me put away the laundry and afterward we did a lot of high fives and fist pumps.

Lord, help me to know the needs of my kids. Help me to see their little hearts and discern what it is that they really need. I'm afraid to move up to three kids. I can't do it on my own. Help me to lean on You. I need You, O I need You, every hour I need You. Thank You that I can trust in You and cry out to You at any and every moment of the day. I pray that I would not do this of my own strength, let me wholly lean on You.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Simeon's Birth Story

Oh Simeon, what a birth story indeed.

I can now for sure say I have had the most different births imaginable. They say every pregnancy is different and every birth is different. I can attest to that. Levi's was the unexpected, two weeks early, breech C section. Aria's was the hard fought for, three day, intense labor, two hours of pushing and crazy tearing VBAC. Simeon's was, well … perfect. Honestly, I look back on the whole thing and I would not change it. That's the first time I can say that about one of my births. I don't even care that he was a week late anymore. If that's what it took to have an amazing, natural delivery, I'll take it.

After Aria's epic birth  I was kind of nervous about having another child naturally again. It was so long and dramatic, so many twists and turns and it was incredibly painful. However, I like to try to live and learn. What I learned from her birth is to rest. Go back to bed and try to relax even when you don't want to. Eat, even when you don't feel like it or you're not really that hungry. Save your energy for the intense contractions at the end and the pushing. When you're in early labor, don't focus on the contractions, focus on relaxing. The baby will come, you just have to relax and let your body do it's work.

I think Aria's birth took so long and was so traumatic because by the end of it all I had no energy to even push her out. I hadn't really slept in three nights, I didn't feed myself well either, thinking I was always just about to push a baby out.

These last weeks of pregnancy have been a huge mind game. You have this date that your baby is "supposed" to come on. You have a Dr measuring you ever week and telling you that you're not dilated or you're measuring big. Everyone else is asking when you're gonna have your baby. But really the worst part is just BEING pregnant. Everything is difficult. You have to pee all the time, even when your bladder is empty, movement is difficult, bending over is impossible, sleeping is terrible, there are no comfortable positions to be in. On top of that your emotions are on the brink. Anything can set you off crying, it's like you're this big ball of hormones walking around, trying to function.

All of this is motivation... to go through the most painful thing you can experience. So that you can have the most amazing gift ever created.

Onto the birth story.

On Simeon's due date I still had no progress. That's the last thing you want to hear. You're body is not opening up, something is wrong with you. That's how it feels at least. Each day I would wake up and wonder, would contractions start today? Each day feels like an entirely new pregnancy. I tried everyone's suggestions to induce, none of it worked. Labor just had to come on it's own.

It really helped one night to talk to my friend and doula Katie. She helped me with all this mind gaming and told me that when he is ready, he will come out. I can't force anything. It so helped me just release the whole situation.

As it turned out that the next day the contractions started. It's interesting because you're so excited to finally experience real labor, the stuff you have been waiting for that will end this whole thing and bring this beautiful baby into your arms. However, I remember feeling those first contractions and thinking, Oh dear, am I really going to do this? Can I handle this? The good thing is that you start to get used to them. I kept moving and trying to stay busy. The kids were a great distraction, playing with them, doing the laundry and just keeping busy around the house in general.

Ben had had a weird night at work the evening before and had gone to bed at 2 so he was going to work late. At one point he saw me leaning on the counter and asked what I was doing.
Me: "Oh, just breathing, trying to relax into a contraction."
Ben: "Oh, okay."
Me: "Don't get your hopes up, we are probably not going to have a baby today."
Ben: "Yeah, probably not today."

He went off to work around 9 and I stayed home with the kids. I had contractions maybe about every 15 minutes, but they were nothing I couldn't function through.

After lunch me and the kids went on a walk. Partially to wear out the kids for naps and partially to see if they would help with labor. I asked Levi if he wanted to go for a walk and he said "yeah! I want baby Simeon to come!"

That afternoon the kids napped at the same time (woot!) and I was able to lay down. I listened to a CD called Earth Mama Angel Baby VBAC Preparation. It's basically a woman talking you through contractions with soft music in the background. I highly recommend something like that for dealing with contractions. They helped me relax and remember that the pain is a good thing. She talks through a lot of visualization and relaxation techniques.

When I got up from the nap I found I had lost part of my mucus plug. I thought, okay, this could happen soon. I was still having contractions about every ten minutes. My mother in law texted me and asked if we had dinner plans. I was so thankful I didn't have to cook dinner that night! This is how the Lord really provided, I asked her if they could keep the kids that night just in case something did happen in the middle of the night, that way we wouldn't have to worry about them and just be able to go to the hospital if we needed.

I had let my friend Katie know that I lost my mucus plug and I had been contracting all day. She was so encouraging and excited. She was probably more hopeful than I was that I would have a baby soon. The encouragement was just what I needed.

Ben got home from work and we went on to his parents house. He asked me how many contractions I'd had that day, had it been five or so? I realized then how little I had communicated about my labor. I had had them all day, sometimes 10, 20 or 30 minutes apart. I had just been trying to deny it all day. I told him that I was probably in early labor. We thought that since his parents were taking the kids that we would go see a movie. He wanted to go see the Hobbit and it would start at eight.

We had dinner with Ben's parents and it was great. There were a few times during contractions that I would pause and just be kind of quiet, I would apologize and Ben's dad was like, I know what you were doing. I was thankful they were so understanding.

We put the kids down and headed off. In the car I was just thinking, I don't know if I want to go see a movie while contracting like this, I don't want to wear myself out with staying up late, especially if I might have a baby tomorrow, it would probably be best to just go home and rest. I asked Ben if he was okay with seeing it a different time. He was pretty tired from his prior evening of sleep, so we went home.

I took an Ambien around 8, Ben read from our book to me and I got into Deep Knee Chest Position (It's where you get on your knees and chest with your butt in the air, they say to do it with a posterior baby for 20 minutes or a few good contractions) just in case Simeon was still posterior. I thought maybe I had been having some back labor and I wanted to see if I could turn him. Aria was posterior for about two days of my labor with her. That's one reason why it took so long.

Then we got into bed. I put on my visualization CD and slept as best I could.

At this point, for those readers who have not experienced a contraction, I will try to explain it, because it is like no other pain I have ever experienced in my life. It's this pain that comes from deep inside your pelvis and moves slowly up your body and completely takes over. Almost as though your body was trying to split itself open, one wave at a time. That's not even a very good explanation… what am I talking about?

On with the story.

I woke up around 10 pm and was pretty hungry. I fixed myself a bowl of cheerios and thought, maybe I should time these contractions. They seemed to be coming a lot more frequently and for a longer period of time. With Aria I made the mistake of over-timing my contractions. It was like watching a pot trying to boil. I think it kept me from truly resting during labor. But at this point with Simeon I thought it would be helpful to know their frequency.

So, I downloaded a free contraction timer and started timing them. They were about 2 1/2 minutes apart and lasting 45 seconds or so. I still didn't think I needed to go to the hospital because with Aria I had contractions like that a day before I birthed her. So, I went back to bed and laid down. I thought, I just need to lay down and maybe these will slow down. It was getting harder to relax during the contractions and taking all of my energy to focus through them.

Then I felt a pop.

When your water breaks, it kind of feels like a water balloon gave out inside of you. I got up just to make sure and went to the bathroom. Yep, I was leaking fluid.

I called Katie and told her my water broke. Thankfully she was still awake, studying for midwifery school. It was around 11 pm. She asked what the fluid looked like. I told her it was kind of greenish. She said, "You need to go to the hospital. Do you want me to come to your house first or just meet me there?" I told her I would meet her there. She was like, "Oh my gosh Jody, wait, you're totally contracting right now aren't you?! You're gonna have a baby! I'm so excited!" You have to know Katie in order to understand the way words just roll out of her mouth in her enthusiasm, the more excited she is, the faster they come. It was so encouraging to hear her voice and her excitement, I finally thought, I'm gonna have a baby soon! It might have been the first time I had allowed myself to believe that I was close to having a baby.

And then hard labor really hit. I went in and woke up Ben. I told him my water broke and we needed to go to the hospital. All I remember is him asking me if I needed to take a shower or if there was anything I needed to do before we left. At this point contractions were so intense I could not stand up on my own during them. I was on my hands and knees focusing and telling him I think we needed to leave.  At that point remembered I could moan through the pain and that helped.

The mercy was that I had a few breaks between these intense contractions in the 15 minutes it took us to leave the house. I could pick myself up, put on my shoes and head down the hallway. Then I would have a contraction and get down on the floor. When the contraction was finished I would pick myself up again and get my coat on. I would have another contraction and lean against the wall, it would end and then we made our way to the car.

I put on my headphones and listened to relaxing music on the drive there. I was simply trying not to lose it in the midst of the intensity.

Katie was waiting for us with a wheelchair. Had it not been for her I would not have made it into the hospital. I don't think any of us knew how close I was to delivery. I was quietly trying to survive contractions. Even I didn't think I was minutes away from delivery. Honestly, there were no thoughts going through my head except to breathe.

We got to the labor and delivery front desk and they handed me a clipboard to fill out. I remember thinking, can't someone else fill this out for me? Do I really have to do this right now? But I honestly couldn't talk very well or think very well, so I filled it out. Like a champion. You gotta love hospitals. In their defense, I don't think Ben or Katie had any idea how far along I was, otherwise they probably would have filled out the paperwork for me. Katie said I was just quietly breathing and concentrating.

They wheeled me in and Katie very gently said, "Okay Jody, let's get out of the wheelchair, get your gown on and get into bed, do you want to go to the bathroom first?" I think she had picked up that my contractions were taking all of my energy to focus through. I couldn't think and didn't answer, but I contracted and then felt the urge to push. So I pushed, still in the wheelchair, still fully dressed.

Katie looked at the nurses and announced, "She's pushing!"
Someone asked, "How much is she dilated? Is she ready?"
Katie said, "I don't know, she still has her pants on!"

Somehow we got my clothes off, gown on and I got into bed. Katie checked me and told me I was fully dilated. "She's ready!" She announced.

They called the Dr. They didn't have time to put an IV in me or monitor me, I was ready to just push this baby out.

I remember laying on my side, contracting and thinking, I really want to get on my hands and knees. For no other reason than I had heard that's the position you have to least amount of tearing. I know, it sounds crazy and undignified, but really, is there a dignified way to push a baby out? No. There is not.

Ben asked me if I needed anything and I said, "I want to get on my hands and knees, can you help me?" He and Katie helped me onto my hands and knees and then I just started pushing with all that I had. I'm just gonna be honest, I wasn't quiet then. I was terrified. It is a scary moment to push a baby out naturally. You know it is going to be painful and you just want to run away. But you can't. You cannot run away from your own body. The only reason you decide to push is because that's the only way all of this madness can end. It's the culminating point of the pregnancy, the labor, all of that pain. It comes to the climax and you just make the decision to push so that you can end it and see your beautiful, hard-earned baby.

They said the Dr came in looking like he had just woken up with his hair all disheveled. I think by the time he got to me Simeon's head was already out. I honestly had no idea of his presence, all I knew is that I had to get this over with. Katie coached me through the pushing. I knew to wait for Simeon to turn before I pushed his shoulders out. It might have taken me five minutes. I can't remember, it just happened.

And then Simeon was there.

And the pain was over.

They took him and cleaned him off. He didn't start crying immediately, plus his heart rate had been so low on the monitors, they needed to aspirate him and make sure he was okay. I laid down on the bed and they put him on me and covered us in a warm blanket.

Deep sigh.

I can't believe I just did that.

And there he was, perfect and beautiful.

Ben and I looked at each other like, what just happened?

Katie was totally pumped, I had just pushed a baby out in a matter of minutes, like a warrior or something. It was ridiculous.

Thank You Lord, for this precious baby. Thank You for the miracle of birth, the holiness of bringing a human being into this world. Lord, thank You for sustaining me through the pain and difficulty. I can honestly say, "I cried out to the Lord and He delivered me from all my fears" Ps 34:4. I was so afraid of a long delivery, so afraid of tearing and being at the hospital for a long time and being monitored constantly. The Lord kept me from all of that. He answered every prayer about this birth. Lord, thank You. You are my Sustainer and my Deliverer. Thank You.

Notes: Simeon was 8 lbs 7 oz 21 inches long and his head was 14 1/4
I did tear just a little bit and required a stitch or two.

Sunday, January 12, 2014


Do I want to blog about being overdue? No, not really.

Do I want to be overdue? No way.

Do I want to endure another natural childbirth? Heck no!

It looks like I've gotten myself into quite a predicament. I don't really want to do any of these things, but here I am, doing them.

Just had to write out a few things that have happened this week:
- My brother and sister in law left with their sweet kids to go to Thailand
- Aria turned 2
- A tree fell in our front yard due to an ice storm on Simeon's due date.
- I got pinkeye, then Levi got pinkeye and an ear infection
- We all had colds

… so maybe it's a good thing that we haven't had him yet.

So, I'm only overdue by about 3 days. Due date shmoo date right now. That's how it feels right now. It feels like my body will never go into labor. I keep waiting and waiting, wondering if this will be a real contraction or just one of those dumb braxton hicks. (Can you tell I have a bad attitude? Lord, help me!)

Maybe I have a bad attitude because I haven't dilated at all. Every time I go to the Dr. he says that Baby Simeon is still really high and that I've had no progress. "You mean, none of this tightening, none of this pressure means anything?" Maybe that's the discouraging part. If I wasn't feeling anything, then I would just think, okay, that's fine, I understand. But, I have felt some things and I do feel a lot of pressure, and then to know that there's nothing really going on is kind of like a punch in the gut. I understand, it's not his fault that I haven't progressed, but really, can we please just get this show on the road?

I feel like I'm a ticking time bomb. That will go off very slowly. Very, very slowly.

The good thing about surviving one natural birth is that you can actually anticipate the depth of the pain you will experience. I feel like I'm mentally building up this expectation of unimaginable pain. Anything I feel right now as a contraction is basically a piece of cake.

Looking back on Aria's birth I want to just rest. I think that's the main thing that was lacking in that scenario. It was such a build up of anticipation. Can I VBAC? Will my body be able to do this? I wanted everyone to be there, it was full of drama and the unknown. I wanted things to happen and for some reason I feel like I forced things to happen. I don't know if that's possible, we will see.

I want this birth to be quiet. I want to just let things happen. I want to rest a lot. Walk when I need to and not push myself so hard. I want to not be afraid of pauses in my labor, but just to take things as they come. I want to just try and relax as much as I can into the pain, and just let things happen.

Lord, I pray that this labor would be shorter. I pray that it would be soon. I don't want to go to the Dr. again on Thursday. I pray that You would give me strength. Help me not to be afraid. Help me to remember that in the end, I get to hold a sweet baby boy. Thank You for the beauty of childbirth. Help me to remember Your Son on the cross and the pain that He endured to bring life into the world.

Something I've been trying to wrap my head around is this: It was because of sin that women bear a curse as we bring life into the world. Jesus took on that curse, took on our sin and died so that abundant life could come to us. He had the ultimate labor and delivery, my pain is but a shadow of this curse that He took.

You are faithful Lord.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Happy Birthday Aria

Dear sweet Aria. 

Happy Birthday. 

I'm really sorry this is two days late. I'm going to blame… well, no one really, it's just that being a mom of two little ones and about to birth a third is not easy. You may find this out someday. It's not easy, but it's worth it. 

Sweetsie Love is probably my favorite pet name for you. You just are that. This little blond head, bouncing from one thing to the next. You have the sweetest little voice, yet you do pack a powerful punch. Your daddy and your brother are probably the best judge of that. It doesn't change the fact that you are precious though. 

You are a quiet ball of energy. You don't talk much and you sure can yell if you want to, but for the most part, you are quietly getting into little things around the house. We will find you in our bathroom sink, chewing on a toothbrush, in the tub, sliding down the side, or jumping onto the floor below. You love to jump. A trampoline park recently opened down the street and you are all about it. You were protesting getting in the van the other day and then I asked you if you wanted to jump and you immediately went into cooperation mode. You are unafraid. You jump off of couches, off of beds, down the stairs, I wish I had your bravery. Although, I'm looking forward to when you have better depth perception and can see that you realistically can't jump from one piece of furniture to the next. 

You are determined. Determined to put on your own shoes, your own skirt, and anything else you could possibly do yourself. The only one you really seem to listen to is your big brother. But even then, you seem to get tired of obeying him after a while. At the tender age of two you have been using the word "No" quite frequently. It rolls of your tongue beautifully as you elongate the N sound and finish with an absolute O! 

You love music. Right now it's all about dancing. I will ask you to sing a song with me and you start out singing, but it's not long before you can't contain yourself any more and break out into a prance around the room. When we were at Mimi's house you could be found playing the piano several times a day. I don't think that Levi did this as much. You seem to be very interested in the piano, this excites me. 

You are my little song. 

You are joyful, funny, quiet, determined and just plain amazing. 

Lord, thank You for giving me this precious little girl. Let me treasure her. Let me tell her how beautiful she is inside and out. Let me express Your love to her as well. 

I love you Aria. 

Your Mama

Just wanted to post a few pics that the amazing Barb Raney took. Thank you Barb, for capturing our little girl so beautifully. 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Due Date

It's 5:30 am and I'm awake.

Technically I've probably been up since about 4:30, but I think I've finally just decided, what's the use of laying in bed and thinking and thinking and thinking.

No signs of labor yet, except for a few minor contractions. Simeon might be dropping, I'm just feeling a lot more pressure down low and feel like my lungs and ribs aren't quite so crowded. I really don't put much stock in that though, because I had thought Aria had dropped and I think she hadn't.

I'm just trying not to obsess over this delivery like I did with Aria. If a contraction comes, I just try to ignore it. Lord, help me with this. Help me to just keep going, to rest when I need to, and to move when I need to.

Yesterday I went to the grocery store with the kids and then came home and made a few freezer meals. The kids did great, other than when we got to the toy section I started to smell something coming from Aria. No one was there and I didn't want to drag Levi away from the toys, cross the store and go to the bathroom to change her. I gave myself a nine-months-pregnant pass. I laid my coat down on the floor and changed her right there. I didn't want her sitting in her poop since she gets diaper rashes in about .2 seconds. It was just one of those moments where you are not proud of what you have done, you just think, I'm trying to get by.

Yesterday was also Aria's birthday. I need to blog about that. I think it deserves it's own post though. I am wanting to look back through the pictures of her birth and just remember it.

She was my little VBAC, and she has been one determined girl ever since.

I felt like yesterday in the middle of all the meal-fixing that the Lord just showed me I only have a few days left with only two kids. After I have baby Simeon I might be otherwise occupied for a bit and I just felt the need to sit on the floor and enjoy them. They were extra cuddly yesterday, maybe a little extra needy. It's like they know there's going to be a huge change coming. I'm thankful to the Lord that somehow (I really don't know how I got everything done yesterday) I was able to sit and read with them, play a bit of trains and just enjoy them.

It's interesting this time around because I get to really explain to Levi what to expect from his new little brother. Simeon won't do much, so it's Levi's job to help out as much as he can. Also, that Levi needs to dress himself every morning. Levi can dress himself, but it's just a question of whether he will or not. If Aria could dress herself, she would. Yesterday she put on her own shoes, on the wrong feet. I tried to correct her and she screamed, insisting that they were fine. So, I let her wear them on the wrong feet. All through the grocery store. She didn't seem to mind.

The Lord has been showing me lately that I need to praise Him, and then my joy will overflow from that. I was getting really resentful that I was waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to go back to sleep. I was worried that I wasn't resting enough and that I wouldn't be able to get through my day. But I've started using those wee hours of the morning to just worship God and read his Word. He has so much sustained me, I can't even believe what I have been able to do.

Lord, would You continue to sustain me? Through these next days of waiting for labor to begin. Lord, the storm of labor, the pain and the difficulty? Would you sustain me then? Thank You that You are a good God, that You are the lifter of my head. You carry me through. I am looking forward to being on the other side of things and saying, Wow, I can't believe I made it through that, I can't believe I did that.

Let this Psalm be in me:

I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul shall make its boast in the Lord;
The humble shall hear of it and be glad.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
And let us exalt His name together.

I sought the Lord and He heard me,
and delivered me from all my fears.

Monday, January 6, 2014

39 Weeks, Oh My

I'm now 39 weeks and a few days pregnant. 

Time to blog. 

What is life like right now? It's hard. Uncomfortable. Anxious. Annoying. 

It's so strange to think that my due date is Thursday. All this time I've been telling everyone January 9th and now, it's just Thursday. I'm due Thursday. 

However, Ben and I have no high hopes that this baby will be here by then. We know that Aria's labor and delivery was past schedule, so that's what we are expecting for this one. I keep making plans and try to hold nothing tightly.

It's been an emotional week. I"m chalking it up to being pregnant and all the hormones that are surging through my body. Maybe also the lack of sleep. I seem to consistently wake up throughout the night and It's been difficult to go back to sleep starting around 3 or 4 am. So, I've basically been up since about 3 this morning with maybe a few naps in the later hours. 

Yesterday morning I got really angry at Ben. We had a miss communication and then I blew up in front of the kids. It was not a pretty moment. I felt terrible. Then I just cried, and got mascara all over Ben's shirt. 

I've pretty much cried every day for the past week. Mostly, I think it's exhaustion. 

This morning as Ben was getting ready to go to work I broke down again. (why am I talking about all of this? Who the heck wants to read all of this?!) Anyways, I think it was just from being awake for most of the morning and already feeling defeated and it was only 8 am. I get worried that I won't be rested if I suddenly go into labor, then I will have another exhaustingly long labor like I did with Aria. 

I think I finally realized that I've been trying to just do it all myself. 

I think I can pull myself up by my own bootstraps. It's up to me to get enough sleep, up to me to get my kids going, keep my house clean, fix meals, do the laundry... 

But really, it needs to be up to Christ. 

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

Lord, I am struggling with fleshing this out. My emotions take over, my fears take over, my exhaustion and humanity take over. I need You. Oh how I need You. Every hour I need You. You are teaching me to depend on You in this frail time and I've been ignoring You. Incline my ear to You. I am weak, but You are so strong. I give these next weeks to You and ask that You would teach me to walk in utter dependence on You. 

Thank You for Your faithfulness.