Isabella Grace

I spent my pregnancy reading and researching, preparing mentally and physically for labor. I feel like the time I spent preparing was well worth it, but the main thing I learned from labor was that things do not always go as planned.

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I went to the hospital at 3 p.m. on Sunday after I called the hospital and said that my water may have broken at 8:30 that morning – after which I still went to church and to the mall. They said my water had not broken yet (though I’m suspecting it was a hind leak that resealed) and that I was having contractions three minutes apart. I didn’t start feeling the contractions until a little later, and then it was purely back labor. My nurse had me walk the hall for an hour, and then I was admitted for labor – yay!

It was game time and I was ready to go. My nurse knew I didn’t want an epidural or pain medication, and I wanted to be up walking as much as possible. At this point I was thinking I would probably have my baby in the middle of the night. I walked for 40 minutes every hour for probably 4 hours until the contractions were too strong.

Fast forward several hours, they broke my water and an hour later they tell me that I’ve gone from 6 cm to 9 cm! I’m thinking we must be getting close. A few hours later my nurse checks me and says I’m just now at 8 cm – whoever checked me before was mistaken. Needless to say I was a bit frustrated.

Unfortunately, my body seemed to really like sitting at 8 cm. After several hours of being stalled out at 8 cm, I started to panic. I could handle the pain, but the urge to push was too strong. I knew it was way too early, and I couldn’t push without hurting myself and my baby. Finally, my nurse suggests an epidural to help me finish dilating. Though the thought of an epidural terrified me, I agreed (it was really no biggie). Within an hour and a half I was ready fully dilated and ready to push!

They turned my epidural down so that I could feel how to push, and I pushed for two and a half hours, and finally, 23 hours after being admitted to the hospital, at 2:16 p.m. I reached down and pulled my own baby girl to my chest (with guidance from my doctor). It was probably the most special moment of my life.

I didn’t care that I hadn’t slept in 30 hours.

I didn’t care that I had, just a few hours before, told my husband quite seriously that we were never having another kid.

I didn’t care that my plan of having an unmedicated birth went out the window.

I had my baby, and she was perfect.

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Unfortunately, the next several hours didn’t go as planned either as Isabella had trouble breathing on her own due to me being in labor for so long (it’s fairly common, but it was scary nevertheless). She was in the nursery for 7 hours, and we thought she was going to end up going to Children’s Hospital – which was definitely not part of the plan.

We were exhausted and anxious and frustrated. I hadn’t held my baby in hours. My husband had yet to hold her. He had gone to see her in the nursery several times, but I still couldn’t go because my epidural had not worn off. My nurse came in to check my legs and said she’d come back and check me in an hour because I wasn’t able to move as well as I needed to to get up. I looked at Genelle and said, “An hour my big toe! Help me pump my legs and get this epidural to wear off.”

Which is exactly what we did. Twenty minutes later I was in a wheelchair heading to the nursery. It broke my heart to see my sweet little girl with her itty bitty oxygen mask. I sat with her for about 30 minutes, and while I was there she got better. She was breathing well when I left, and we were told she would be with us shortly.

After waiting awhile and still not having our baby brought to us, we were told that she had started to regress, and they would be talking to Children’s Hospital soon to see what to do next. We were scared and tired and all we wanted was our baby.

But finally, I looked at my husband and said, “We can’t be slaves to fear. We have to trust God. No matter what, we’ll figure it out. It’s going to be okay.” It’s funny how the sermon that morning at church was on fear.

A few minutes later, a nurse brought us our little girl, saying they were just going to spot check her throughout the night (she was perfect every time they checked her that night).

Would we still have trusted God if she ended up going to Children’s? Absolutely. But were we praising God that we had her? Absolutely!

Bella is 2 weeks old today, and we fall more in love with her daily. Being a mom is better than I ever imagined. I often stop and think about the long journey it took to get her here – and how every minute was worth it.

And yeah, I take back what I said about not having any more kids.

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Mommy seeing Bella in the nursery
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Daddy holding Bella for the first time

 

 

Newborn Photos Photo Credit: Cherish Bickel Photography

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A Letter to our Baby

Little One,

Right now you are still so small – not even half a pound! Part of me wants to keep you with me like this forever, safe and sound, but that’s not how this works: soon you are going to be in this world and subject to all the wonderful and not-so-wonderful things that come with it. It’s going to be such a wonderful, exciting, and terrifying journey raising you, Little One, and Daddy and I can’t wait.

I pray that you see love in our household everyday, that you see Daddy and I love each other and love you with the love of Jesus.

I pray that you always choose to see the best in people, despite what others may be saying, and that you always have a kind word to offer.

I pray that you always find that you can come to Daddy or me with anything, knowing that we will always be here for you.

I pray that you always find it in your heart to extend grace and mercy.

I pray that you always see people as people, not as their problems.

I pray that you remember that it is okay to make mistakes and to be wrong because that is how we grow and learn.

I pray that you remember that just because you don’t always see God actively working in your life that it doesn’t mean that He isn’t working in the background.

And I pray that you never doubt how much your Daddy and I love you, because it already cannot be put into words how much we do.

You are such a blessing, Little One, and I can’t wait to meet you.

Love, Mommy

Photo Credit:unsplash-logoKate Krivanec

Just Do It

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

-Chinese proverb

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How often do we find ourselves saying, “I want to do           ” or “Someday I’m going       to           “? If you’re anything like me, the answer is probably “much too often.” What I have realized lately is that if you want to do something, just do it.

You want to learn to paint? Buy supplies. You want to write? Put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). You want to exercise more? Find a gym.

We become obsessed with waiting for the right time to do things, but most of the time, there is no “right time.” Why start tomorrow when there is a perfectly good today? Take the first step, even if the first step is just researching what you want to do and figuring out what supplies or resources you need.

We also let the possibility of failure become a stumbling block to us. One of my professors once wisely said, “If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing wrong.” What he meant was that if something is really worth your time, it’s worth the knowledge you gain from your mistakes. Every mistake is an opportunity for growth. I dabble in crocheting, and a friend of mine wanted a hat for Christmas. I think I started over on the darn thing about seven times. I was doing something wrong, and it took patience and the willingness to try again to get it right. The finished product, though not perfect, looked a lot better than if I would have just given up and left it a half-done mess.

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If you are wanting to try something new, stop being your own worst enemy. Also, it’s okay to do something simply because you enjoy it and not because you’re going to show it to the world. Who cares if your paintings aren’t masterpieces? If you enjoy doing it, don’t stop! Don’t let the voices of the world or the voices in your head stop you. Just do it.

With love,

B

Photo credit:unsplash-logoChristopher Sardegna

Your Journey

Our journeys as followers of Christ look similar – or should – in some ways. We should be living a life that shines the Light of Christ into the dark, our love for people should imitate the love that Christ has, and so on. But what God has revealed to me lately is that our specific journeys look quite different from one another – and that’s okay. One of the things that will never cease to amaze me about our God is how personal He is. He gives us different gifts so that as one Body of Christ we can function, every seperate piece different, but needed. The way we have quiet time with Him may look different. Our journeys with Christ are different because we are different. Christianity is not a cookie cutter faith. God has a plan, a mission, for each of us, and they aren’t all the same. Some are called to go overseas and spread the Gospel, some are called to spread the Gospel in their home town, at the job that they work. Some are called to lead a church, some are called to lead their family.

Aside from the bigger things, the small details of our journeys are different. What is wise for me may be unwise for you, and vice versa. The Spirit knows what I struggle with and warns me in certain situations and I become aware that it would be unwise for me to make a certain decision. While for you, on the other hand, it would be no problem.

Don’t expect your life as a follower of Christ to mirror the lives of other believers. There should definitely be some foundational similarities, but past that, they may be quite different. God speaks to each of us in a different way, He is a personal God. Stop looking for Him to reveal Himself to you the way He did to someone you know, open your heart and allow Him to speak to you in the way that you need Him to. Ask the Spirit to guide you in the decisions you make, His counsel is above all others’. Desire an intimate, personal relationship with God, and trust Him on the journey, your journey. 

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Photo Credit: Aneta Ivanova