Monday, November 12, 2012

Each Life God Creates is Precious

We love our children.  God blessed us with a son, and now we are expecting the birth of a daughter.  Every life is precious and God has illustrated this in our lives over the past year.
            Once again, it took a little while (4-5 months) to get pregnant the second time.  Sadly, we had an early miscarriage.  That experience taught and reminded us how precious life is even at an early stage.  Hunter did his part to distract us, as he took his first steps in the doctor’s office while we waited to meet with the doctor.  Due to the uncertainty, we changed our travel plans to Honduras the following week and I was unable to join Clayton in visiting with our kids we sponsor through Compassion International.

            After the miscarriage, I felt drawn to volunteer at a crisis pregnancy center.  The movie, October Baby, convinced me that this was something that I had to do.  So, I signed up to volunteer before I knew about the next chapter in our lives…
           Less than 2 weeks after the miscarriage (no lie), we were pregnant again.  This one was totally unplanned and unexpected.  The pregnancy has been rough, with concerns in the first and second trimester that we had lost this baby, as well.  The doctor had told us that my pregnancy with Hunter was boring; this one has not been boring.  Our previous experience has made me cautious about everything (and probably a terrible patient!)  The usual first trimester symptoms, nausea and tiredness, lasted until about 17 weeks. 

During the two months in the second trimester that I actually felt good, we repaired our house to be sold, sold it, packed, and moved into a rent house while our new home is being built (all while chasing a busy toddler).  We are excited to move out further into the country and have more space in our home for our family.  Our new neighborhood is a safer place for our young children and it has recreational activities for all of us.  We also chose extra bedrooms for growing our family through adoption.
           So, now we are in the 3rd trimester, 36 weeks.  It’s still not easy.  I have frequent contractions (not pre-term labor) and have been instructed for over a month to stop lifting my 19 month-old son.  Impossible, because he climbs on everything, and he generally has a good time running around and getting into stuff.  And, this Mommy cannot pass up Hunter’s sweet hugs.  As each week passes, I think we might make it another week, maybe even to the due date.

Baby girl, Anna Michelle, named after my mother, mother-in-law, sister, and sister-in-law (all whose middle name is Ann), and my niece and me (middle name Michelle), is due December 7, scheduled to be born by December 4th.
            Hunter is excited about Mommy’s baby and even kisses my belly.  He even points to his own ‘baby’…his belly button.  Of course, he still thinks his own name is Baby rather than Hunter.  The next few months promise to be interesting when an energetic and curious toddler meets a delicate newborn.  Clayton and I are ready for an adventure!

Psalm 139:13-16 – “For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.”

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Getting There in the First Place

It wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be, but it wasn’t easy either. 
I’ve known that I have endometriosis for 6 years and I’ve had problems since I was a teenager because of it.  In 2010, I had a new doctor, who was actually an answer to my prayers because he specialized in endometriosis.  At the beginning of 2010, I visited him with new symptoms that I believed were connected to the endometriosis.  If you know my doctor (and many of you do), you know what his advice was when I said I wanted to treat the endometriosis: get pregnant (at least, start trying).  Well, Clayton and I hadn’t been married for a year and I wasn’t ready.  Plus, I had a hard time thinking that I should have a baby to improve my own health.
The doctor also suspected that I had polycystic ovarian syndrome.  I read up on it (I do that a lot) and talked to a friend with POS, and then I made two major changes in my diet: I drastically cut down sugar and cut out caffeine.  The result was only one cyst in May.
By May, we had also started to try to get pregnant.  This was tough, because we had at least 6 friends who announced their pregnancies around that time.  In fact, five couples from our wedding party were expecting during a two month span.  In July, for the first time, I felt ready to have a child.  In August, I was disappointed that we had not been successful.  I told a close friend (the only friend who knew) that I was in favor of whatever brought God the most glory.  You see, Clayton and I have both always wanted to adopt children.  We were going to have kids one way or another.  Even still, it hurt to try and fail.  It was a rough few days when I shared my feelings with my friend.  The very next day, my sister convinced me to get a pregnancy test, and much to my surprise, it was positive!  God’s timing is absolutely perfect. 
We only tried for 4-5 months.  I know friends who have experienced a great deal more difficulty and I respect them more than they know.  Through pregnancy, adoption, or foster care, regardless of how they come into your life – they are your precious children.
(And by the way, we still plan to adopt.) 

Sunday, July 3, 2011


I really didn’t enjoy being pregnant.  I respected the miracle of pregnancy, the little life being formed inside of me.  That part was amazing; it was the side effects I disliked.  I told people “Pregnancy is over-rated” and I just couldn’t understand how some women said they loved it.  Days before baby’s arrival, I even devised a top 10 list of things I wouldn’t miss about being pregnant (among them reflux, nosebleeds, not being able to sleep on my side…).  Yet, once the baby was born, I missed being pregnant.  I felt like I hadn’t enjoyed it enough.  It’s difficult to explain.  It’s looking forward to something, expecting it to happen, but not realizing how absolutely amazing it will be.  How much more amazing would it have been to go through the experience truly recognizing the outcome.  (Maybe, this is a glimpse of something we should anticipate with even more expectation.) 

We make our plans and Jesse Hunter makes his arrival (his way).
Sure, we recognized that we were not in charge.  Clayton and I disagreed with our childbirth instructor who said that we could plan most of the aspects of our baby’s birth.  We said that you really have no control.  You can make plans, but God is ultimately in control.  We were right.  Up until 38 ½ weeks, our doctor said our pregnancy was boring (normal, annoying side effects, but no complications).  We were eager to see the ultrasound, because we hadn’t seen his picture since 20 weeks.  And, when we saw the picture, the little turkey was breech (turkey = affectionate term).  I had been so convinced that he was in the right position, because I could feel his feet at the top of my belly.  What I didn’t know was that his head was apparently right next to his feet.  So, I took a 1 ½ page birth plan and tore out the paragraph that was still relevant.  I knew breech meant c-section.  Disappointed and trying to keep in the tears, I went home and researched breech births and c-sections until I was convinced that we had made the best decision for our baby (and we had).  Clayton told me that he wished I wouldn’t read about it, but I did and the tears came later.  It took me a day to soak it in and find the positives in the situation.  Hunter’s birthday was now on the calendar.  It was nice to be able to tell our friends and family when our baby would be born before it actually happened.
And apparently it was really meant to be his birthday.  The day before the c-section, I had told our doctor and his wife at church that the c-section takes the surprise element out of the whole situation.  Not quite.  My water broke at 1:45 a.m. on the day that the c-section was scheduled for 8:30 a.m.  I had 4 hours of labor and my c-section was moved up two hours.  There was my confirmation that it was meant to be Hunter’s birthday.
So, Hunter came into the world His [God’s] way and his [Hunter’s] way.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I Love Being a Mommy

Being a mother is more amazing than I had imagined.  Hunter is 10 weeks old and full of life.  I love to watch how he experiences the world.  It seems like every day he has a new experience - a first time for something.  God gave us a happy and energetic baby boy.  He entrusted us with this child, and I consider being a parent a privilege.  It is taking me longer to type this blog, as I watch Hunter kick his busy little legs, smile, laugh, and blow bubbles.  Everyone says that they grow so fast, and I am taking in every moment.

His Name
His full name is Jesse Hunter.  Both Clayton and I thought of the name Jesse and mentioned it on the drive to church (we rarely agreed on a name).  This was December and a few days before Christmas.  At church, we sang a hymn and read a verse that noted Jesus as the root of Jesse.  The name Jesse means "God's gift" or "God exists."  How appropriate as we consider this child a gift from our God who loves us dearly, and He does exist!

Our Little Family - May 2011