Thursday, May 31, 2012

Not enough and okay with it....... well trying to be :0)

     Since  I have had Mercy it has become abundantly clear that I am not sufficient to be a mom to these children. I mean lets face it becoming a mother brings every character flaw you've ever had into the blinding light of day. I do not have the patience to teach my three year old, potty train my two year old and give all the love a five month old needs. Add in a husband, household, garden and blogging and forget it!

  I have those in my life who totally support me and constantly tell me what a great job I am doing. To those I think, Ha if you only knew how incompetent I really am you wouldn't say that. Then I have others who are constantly "helping" by pinning up pants i put on the kids that may be a little big. Asking if I ever give them water when there is milk in their cups or milk when there is water in there. Why don't I give them juice?

     Then there are those that show up unannounced and find reasons to go to every room in my house and comment on what is done and not done. Yes they really do, just ask my husband. Everyday I think man I have to get this floor swept or Oh No! the laundry is out in the living room waiting to be put away. There is a sink full of dishes in there and the table isn't wiped down from breakfast. What if someone shows up and sees just how crappy I am at this mom, wife, homemaker thing.
     The women in my family are housekeeping wizards! At a great-great aunts funeral the pastor actually said well if there was a messy corner in heaven its clean now! She was the only woman that I can honestly say I would eat off her front porch! Are you kidding me?! Where did that gene go when God was building my DNA? I can't even keep the table a place to eat most days.

     So recently and by recently I mean today. I began thinking after I had a on my knees cry out to Jesus moment. Why do these people bother me? Those that support me know that what good comes out of me is from God. Those that say I'm not enough even if only through their action are right. I am not enough not nearly.  Why can't I be secure in that fact? I am no less because I have to go DAILY sometimes hourly to the cross to get the strength to make it through the day.

     Here is why I think I feel the way I do and why you might also. How many times do you see pinterest boards of a perfect life? How often do you decide someone is the perfect mom because you see their kids all done up for church? Or the perfect housekeeper because when you come have dinner with them the house is pristine, so pristine that it could just never look any other way? How often do you think I am just not fun enough when you see someone post a craft they've done with their kids, not realizing its not like they do this every day.

     There are times when life is just plain hard. Not everything can get done that needs to be done. There is also the trap (yes I have fallen into it more than I can count) of being those people that tear someone down because someone struggles with an area God may have blessed you in.Whether it be cleaning, parenting, wifedom whatever. I think we do it to just feel a moments peace. Peace from the constant inner panic we feel at the massiveness of our call as women.We women put so much pressure on each other to compete to be the best and not show weakness. This is divisive and hurtful but most of all this is not biblical.

Tit 2:3The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
Tit 2:4That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
Tit 2:5To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
Pro 31:25 Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
Pro 31:26She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
      We as women need to stick together. We should support each other.We should avoid comparing ourselves to others. If you are further along in one aspect of life encourage a younger woman in that area. Learn to live securely in the fact that we are not enough, we are not perfect and there is only one who is.

     So as God works on my character I am going to try and remember  I don't have to be perfect. Someone has already done that and He is the one I learn from. When things overwhelm me I will take them one day at a time, Eventually I will be transformed in the twinkling of an eye into perfection and today is really not a long time to wait. And the next opportunity God grants me to lift up another mama and tell her how special she is I will do it joyfully. In birth, in motherhood, in child training, in homemaking, or wifedom. Where ever I can serve I will. Thank you to those in my life who edify me and teach me from a Godly perspective.

     So tomorrow is another day. When I have cleaned up pee for the fifth time, answered the sixtieth question my three year old asked in a minute and put things on hold to love on my crying baby, I will breath, I will pray and I will rest securely in the fact that I am not enough.


Monday, May 28, 2012

The Birth Book- Delivery and Deliverance WARNING photos included

Part One- Conner
Part Two- Grace
Part Three- The Education
Part Four- D-day

      Dr. Kristen just happened to be in the office late that day and by the time we got back from getting his check it was 5:30pm Monday, December 19th. They said they would try and fit me in to just come in and they'd see. So while I'm there I am thinking I cannot handle a contraction here in front of anyone. My husband had to take the check to the bank so I was alone and hiding tears. As I came in she had someone in the office and one in the waiting room. The receptionist told me someone just canceled and they'd see me regardless.

      I was standing against the wall and rocking and moaning and still had no idea that this was real labor since it had been going on for days. I thought it was just that I was wearing down not that they were really getting stronger. Kristen asked her next patient if they'd mind letting me go ahead and she was lovely and did. She felt for position and it was good and applied counter pressure to my hips and it was like the pain just went away and the moan went to a hum during the contractions.

      When my husband came in she told us that we need to just go have the midwife check and see how things were going to relieve my mind. I was concerned they'd stay late or have to come in after hours just to send me home. I really did not get it. But I was having flashbacks of going in with Conner and being sent home again and again. She said she'd explain all that to them and let them know I was coming.

     We arrived at the birth center at around 7pm and I was trying to apologize for calling them in when I was sure they'd send me home. They assured me there was no inconvenience and that Kristen let them know I was coming. They checked my progress and told me I wasn't going anywhere. My midwives prayed over me and being the therapist they are saw I was holding back. One of them stopped and said something to the effect of this: If you are feeling like your not strong enough, like something is going to happen, or your holding anything back let go of it. It's in your head, you can do this give it to God. I just cried and this peace fell over me.

     Although I never really thought I'd have a water birth I kept going back to how much the shower helped. So when they offered the tub as a place to labor I jumped at it. We settled in with my IPOD playing our songs for birth and my husband reading our scriptures. Those who we called to be there and watch the children had them giggling downstairs which helped me through quite a few contractions. The videographer and photographer arrived. I barely even noticed they were there. It was like God himself stopped what He was doing and came down to be in that room. His words were so reassuring.

     There was no way I was leaving the tub but didnt really realize I was kinda past the point of no return, I got sick and the midwife asked me if I felt like pushing. I didnt but soon after the pressure was soo strong I found myself pushing. I checked and could feel her head. They kept trying to get tones but I was growling and fussing. She crowned and her head was out in just a few pushes. They were all commenting when she opened her eyes and was just patiently waiting, blinking at them. With a few more pushes she was out and I had her in my arms. I pushed for 26 minutes and she was born at 9:38pm only two and a half hours after I arrived. At 7lbs 9oz 20 inches long. Mercy Lea Quinn. On her brother's third birthday only about an hour after he was born.

     The kids and friends there came up to meet her and the most wonderful group of women prayed over her life and dedicated her to God. One of the best things was after we were checked for bleeding issues and vitals and got cleared..... we went home. That's right we went home. I felt so amazing! No drugs, no reactions, fully capable of walking. And in my own bed by 2am.

     As I laid down with her that night I knew my whole world had changed. My faith had changed and in turn my hope for the impossible in life had been assured. Line upon line, precept upon precept. My God is able. My God showed his self strong. My God came and talked with me in the cool evening. He brought me through my valleys and mountains and honored my faith in Him. She will be a living reminder all her days of what God can and will do!!! She was here and my journey of faith was completed. But this is where the road to mercy really begins. Without His merciful hand this life would seem like wandering in the desert. Praise God for all He has done.

The Birth Book- Part four (D-Day)

    Part One- Conner
    Part Two- Grace
    Part Three- The education

      December 15th a Thursday I started having contractions. My due date was the 14th so I began fighting the phone calls, messages, emails, and drop-ins to check if she was here. They had already begun approaching the due date. I would try to stay positive and just say she'll come when the Lord says. My contractions were about an hour apart for a while and then nothing for a few hours then an hour apart again and they were fairly noticeable. I had my last appointment and we laughed about how I wanted her to wait till after Conner's birthday party on Sunday.

      A good friend of mine had just had her third and contractions, painful ones, went on for days with that little bundle of joy. I really hadn't considered this much as something that would happen to me though because my only experience was them coming out of nowhere hard and fast. Then Friday came contractions were an hour apart all day a few being more intense. I prepped for the party in case she came and I wasn't able it would be easy for someone to take over. Some of them made me want to stay quiet and kind of go in my head and it was hard to talk which happened several times over the phone with family and friends. Husband and I had long decided that we were not telling anyone when we went into labor because sooo many were worried, frightened, critical of the whole decision to have our baby drug free and with a midwife. We didn't want to have to stave off those who would help themselves into the situation which also meant excluding people I would really have loved to share with simply because one tells one who tells two you know how it works.

     This went on through Saturday and I was a mess. I alternated between sobbing that she was not coming and I was going to end up having another c-section. Then I'd sob after reading my scriptures. God was able and I was ashamed at my lack of faith in my God. Who has always shown his self mighty in my life. I wasn't getting sleep, I was taking care of two little ones and hiding the fact that I was having contractions from those around me. It was the perfect storm and my wonderful, amazing husband was sailing the seas with perfect calm and assurance. Soooo.... Sunday comes we have morning service and then Conner's party. Everyone was asking all about the baby, why wasn't she here yet, what will I do if she doesn't come, wouldn't it be funny if she was born Monday on Conner's birthday. And if not I might as well just wait till Christmas. HA!!! Christmas??!!!

     I had to excuse myself a couple of times when the contractions were much more than I could hide. We went through Sunday evening service to not arouse suspicion and while the children's Christmas play was going on I had a dooozy. One of our youth mouthed, "Are you okay?" When my face turned especially red. Lol I just winked and put my finger to my mouth motioning shhhh. She smiled knowingly. I don't know why but that moment made me feel like this is it, wont be long now.

     We went home and this went on all night. The next morning I took a hot shower which helped tremendously. They increased to every thirty minutes some longer some shorter to fifteen minutes not really steady. I bounced on a ball which took the pressure off when the contractions hit. We needed to get my husbands check which meant a 30 minute drive to his office. I had a good cry about how I couldn't take it anymore and I had done this for days!! What if this wasn't even labor and I was so incapable of handling pain that these were braxton hicks and I was about to have a nervous breakdown. These should have been queues to me all taught in birth class. They were to my husband but he let me go through them knowing I think I wouldn't believe him. He said I should call my midwife so I did. She suggested I see the chiropractor I'd seen all through my pregnancy and make sure the baby wasn't in a bad position. So we made our way to get his check and to see the chiropractor.

continued in birth-book-delivery-and-deliverance

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Birth Book- Part Three (The road to Mercy pre- labor)

    Part One- Conner
    Part Two- Grace

 After all that happened with my first two births I began researching before we even got pregnant. I talked to everyone who had any information. We happened upon a birthing center who after a phone call sent me a mound of  information, statistics and websites galore to glean from whatever I could. I read and re-read vbac (vaginal birth after cesarean) stories. When we actually became pregnant I called every doctor on my insurance list to find a doctor who would allow vba2c's. I honestly called around thirty and found only a handful. I narrowed from there according to location, hospital etc. I was still not seriously considering a midwife falling into the notion that they were outdated and unsafe. I found a doctor that did vbacs and made an appointment.

      On my first appt I only saw the nurse who told me that the doctor in fact would not do a vbac because I had had two previous c-sections and my children would not be far enough apart according to ACOG which is the group doctors love to blame for not allowing women to vbac but in actuality she was wrong. According to current recommendations women who have had one or two previous c-sections with lower transverse incisions ( think bikini line) with children spaced at least 18 months apart (which mine were) should be allowed a TOL (trial of labor). She told me however that I should discuss it with the doctor and make another appt. I expressed that I was not interested in a repeat cesarean and that I was disappointed that the receptionist had assured me that the doctor did perform vba2c's. She said I should come again after getting all the initial papers and blood work done so that I could discuss my options with her and in the meantime she would see if she could get the name of a doctor she'd heard about that would do a vbac for anyone...... just anyone.

     So my next appointment came and I am waiting with my son and daughter. When the doctor comes in she automatically takes a defensive stance. She  behaved as if I was calling her whole education into question, rather than trying to make informed decisions. I wanted to bring the research I'd done to a human being and ask why? Why did my previous doctor act as if I was trying to kill myself and my child. Why did so many women have success in vbacing after repeat cesarean outside hospitals but were not being aloud to in a "safe" setting? When I started to ask questions she cut me off, when she spoke about vbacs she spoke in very general terms and had no idea about rates of success, and the major fear which is the scar from surgery basically tearing back open during labor she talked so much about..... she didn't even know the facts on that either.

      I brought up the fact that with each "elective" repeat cesarean the risk of complications for me and baby met or exceeded the risk of my scar rupturing. She did not address that she instead had the nerve to tell me I needed to consider permanent birth control after this birth. That I needed to consider if we could provide for all these children after all what was I wanting 10 kids. Beside the fact that that is NONE of her business it was obvious what she was saying. I am the professional you are an idiot. I explained that my husband and I were trusting God with our family (that's another post) and could possibly have more children. In that event I wanted to make the best decision I could for our family now which is why I was coming to her for answers.

      With that she explained that I would either need to agree to a repeat "elective" cesarean (the elective is in quotes because I wasn't electing to do anything!) or she would discontinue care. Needless to say I took care of that on my own. As I was leaving her nurse who parroted everything she said and basically tried to strong arm me into agreeing to a section said, Oh I got the name of the doctor who does vbacs for anyone who goes to see him, If you want to go to someone like that I mean........Seriously?!

     I felt so alone and scared. I went home and prayed I told God that this child came from Him and that I wanted His will. That He had put this desire in my heart to have a baby the way He designed. This was the beginning of a new faith and reliance on God. I was totally out of my element. I had a life in my hands and I wasn't about to put it in that doctor's hands without hearing the audible voice of God. I knew He had brought me to this place for His good purpose. If He wanted this He would have to make a way. And make a way He did.

      As I was pouring over all the research I'd done I came back across the email from the midwife who sent me all the links to vbac research. I called and made an appointment to just see if nothing else I could have an intelligent conversation. By this time I was far enough along to find out the sex of the baby and we set up an appointment for that as well at a local diagnostic center. When I met my midwife I instantly knew in my heart that this is where I was supposed to be. They were Christians so my faith and beliefs had a place in the conversation. They spoke of the dangers of vbac'ing in a real and understandable way. Both for and against. They were fully equipped and hospital supported in case of emergency.They encouraged my right to take charge of my body, my child and my birth. But I wasn't out of the woods yet.

     Several things would have to be cleared up before they'd take me as a patient. God made a way at every turn. My previous scars had to be sutured a certain way, they were. We had to make sure the placenta had not attached near my scar as it would increase the chance the scar could rupture. Not only was it not near the scar but it was completely opposite the scar. And for safety the difference between the children should preferably be 18 months. My children are each almost to the day 18 months apart :). God made a way and assured me I was in His will. Oh and did I mention that to do this I could not have any pain medication during birth? :)

     My midwife required that I see a chiropractor as often as I had appointments with them. For optimal postioning throughout pregnancy. And that I take a birthing class (hoping to have a guest post from my instructor soon in the meantime if your searching for a birth instructor check her out at Birth Boot Camp ) to be prepared for the birth and at every appointment worked through any fear and emotion I was holding on to.

      My family was unsure and being that the only understanding of midwives they had was from some FICTIONAL Amish books they happened to be reading lets just say it didn't go over to well when they found out. It was a constant struggle to hold on to the dream my God had put in my heart. I stayed in scripture ( I will post the scripture I stood on in a later post), prayer and hope. My husband and I began our birthing classes and as we learned all the statistics to interventions leading to cesarean it became clear how my perfect birth spiraled out of control with my first child. I became empowered, I realized how I really had no idea what was happening to my body when I went into labor and that my fear of pain was eased by really understanding the process. So now we would just hurry up and wait.

The day before I had Mercy at my son's birthday party. I was in labor.

Monday, May 14, 2012

A second infancy- Do we cheat our children by not caring for our elderly?

     Before I even begin this let me say I know there are a myriad of reasons that some elderly treasures are unable to be cared for at home. I am in no way passing judgement on anyone for their decisions. Right for you or wrong for you it is a personal decision.

     I have a great aunt who is 84. She helped my mother in many ways as a child from sitting for her, to helping with bills, buying school clothes and supplies and of course "helped" by spoiling me rotten. Oh how we pay for our youth in our children. I am currently experiencing the "bad guy" complex with Grace.

     She had no children and did not marry until she was 71! Her husband passed a couple of years back and she is alone now.  She is remarkably healthy and able at her age. I truly believe it is due to her taking care of both of her parents as they aged. The bible clearly states:

Eph 6:2Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) (3)That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

     I remember her taking care of my papaw and how she loved him. He passed when I was five so that should tell you what an imprint that kind of care makes on a child. A while ago she fell while milling around outside and could not get herself up. It took her hours to drag herself to a place where she could pull herself up and get inside. The feeling that overcame me when she told me what had happened I don't have words for. It came crashing down on me that the woman I'd seen be so strong and physically lift a grown man to care for him was becoming as feeble as he was then.

     I began to think about what will happen when she is unable to care for herself. She has always said she wanted to go to a nursing home. The thought of the woman who would come running at every whim being put in the hands of another devastates me. I have made it clear that IF I have any say she will be staying with us PERIOD. The bible declares:

1Ti_5:8But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

     Again I am not saying that it is right for everyone to care for their elderly family in home. Each situation is different and requires much consideration. But I stay at home, I am of able body, she has no conditions for which it would be dangerous for me to care for her.

     I think of my children and how much it would benefit them to see and also be a part of her care as she ages. She is very concerned about being a burden. But what a gift it is to give someone you love care and be with them in their time of need. What an example to our children of respect for their elders, sacrifice of time, and energy well spent. Again the bible says:

1 Timothy 5:4 ESV
But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God.
Proverbs 23:22 ESV     
Listen to your father who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old.
Pro 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

     It seems to me like the majority of our elderly generation are cared for by home health workers or nursing homes or assisted living homes. What message do we send our children. That when we are old we are useless and have no experience or wisdom to impart. That our lives should not be disrupted or inconvenienced by those who cared for us? That we are on our own in this world and should not depend on each other in time of need?

     I guess what I am saying is I want my children to hold value and respect for our golden oldies. That they see them as ones to be reverenced and regarded. That they would seek council and wisdom from them. I mean I hope when I am old they wont be so busy that they throw me in a home and barely remember to come by on holidays. These beautiful blessings I pour my blood, sweat and tears into day in and day out. I hope I train my children in the way they should go. And I hope I have given you something to think about and search Gods word for. What a blessing we could give our children by honoring our elders with care and respect.

     I worked at an assisted living home for my first job and the woman I sat with would have moments of clarity and I remember her saying, " It's a second infancy I am in. Both times with diapers and unsteady feet." She was a character! Let it be an honor to tread the waters of age with our loved ones.

     If you are caring for a loved one in home please comment and share any practical ways you honor your keepsake and ways you work through the struggles of blending your family.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

A book of remembrance

‎2Ti_1:5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also. 

A blog I enjoy quoted this verse in a post and it got me to thinking:

      This verse strikes in me the importance of our roles as mothers. It may be one of the less looked to verses for moms but these women perpetuated faith to the next generation! I hope my kids grow up and take what faith God gives me, learn from it and put it to use in this life. Not living a life dismissive of an "antiquated religion". I want them to see and remember what God has done so they can lean on HIM and say I've seen God do this. He will do it for me!!!!  And because He loves me I WILL live for Him!!!!

     So that being said I would encourage you to begin a book of remembrance. It can be anything from a scrapbook with pictures and stories to a piece of paper that says We prayed for: X     We stepped out in faith by: X     God answered us this day by doing:X adding verses you believed on and prayed on helps also.

     This can help in several ways. When you are struggling with a situation you can look back on what God has done. It can be passed down to show the coming generations how God has worked in your family. Making real Gods power, love and favor over their lives. I in no way want to encourage anything to take the place of looking to Gods word for faith and renewal let me clear that up. But I see in the stories of faith in the bible the importance which heritage plays. Always remembering what God delivered them from. I think it would be good to give our children the same thing. We as Americans have lost so much of our heritage and what we believe. All that is going on in the media declares it.

Our duty is to pray for our leaders, our country and leave it in God's hands. However what we do have control over is how we lead our families. How we prepare our children to be a heritage to the Lord. I hope this inspires you. Happy Mother's Day ladies remember, the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. Or as a book I am reading puts it, " The hand that rocks the cradle, needs the hand that rules the world." - The hand that rocks the cradle by Sharilyn Martin and Sue Hooley.

Happy Mother's Day You ROCK!!