To begin and clear the air, I will say that I enjoy a good fairytale story as much as the next girl. I do find a bit of girlish charm in the fact that the Prince met and married a commoner. The heir to the throne of England fell in love with a normal "working class" girl-next-door. That sounds like a Disney movie in my book! And, being a girl, of course I enjoy any wedding....especially a royal one. I thought Kate looked beautiful and her dress was lovely! Fitting for a modern day princess....
However, I believe the whole thing has been severely overdone. We have heard about this wedding for months now. Every TV channel has had coverage of the royal event that took place today at Westminster Abby.The news stated that there were 45 Facebook posts every second! Think about that for a moment. And Twitter? It greatly surpassed the number of Tweets made during the Superbowl. Millions of people here in America set their alarms to sit and watch the wedding of the year.
Now, hear me out: I don't think it was wrong to get up and watch the royal wedding. I don't find anything wrong with sitting down to watch a small piece of history unfold. I, myself, watched the coverage later in the day. I do, however, find it ironic and interesting that many people who got out of bed at 3 a.m. to watch Prince William marry Kate Middleton can't seem to get up out of bed to pray in the morning, or make it to Church on time (if at all) to hear the Word of God being proclaimed. Ironic, that's all.
It is estimated that the royal wedding cost summed up to $70 million. Wow. Really? What a sum. When I read that, I couldn't help but wonder, "What if all that money was spent on a bigger and greater cause?"
To quote one blogger:
WHAT IF instead of a $434,000 dress... Every one of the 88 abandoned and severely special needs children at Sarah's Covenant Home in India got the life saving surgeries and therapies that they needed. What would that look like?
WHAT IF instead of spending $800,000 on the royal flowers..... 320 houses were built for families displaced by the earthquake in Haiti. What would that look like?
WHAT IF instead of the $80,000 cake ordered for the wedding....the financial burden was removed to bring 4 children home to eager and loving families. What would that look like?
WHAT IF the $65,000 that will be used just to clean the streets for the royal wedding procession....was used instead to clean up these streets in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya.What would that look like?
WHAT IF instead of a $600,000 luncheon hosted by Prince Charles....The remaining 144 un-sponsored children at Yezelalem Minch (Ethiopia) were sponsored for the next 12 years- or until most of them are adults- providing them with an education, nutrition and a safe place to grow up. What would that look like?
I have to agree. What if, instead, the hungry were fed, the homeless given homes, the naked clothed? What if, instead, Bibles were printed and distributed? The gospel spread....lives changed for eternity....souls saved.
Like I said, it's been serious overkill. It is history. It is a wedding. That is all. There are far more important issues that need to be obsessed over. Like abortion....which never gets media coverage. Like the sacredness of marriage....which is under enormous attack. Like "one nation under God"....which is becoming non-existent. There's plenty more. Take your pick.
I wish the royal couple marital happiness and pray for their loyalty to their covenant as well as for their salvation. But really....it's not THAT important, is it??
So it has been two weeks since I gave birth to a little boy who has stolen mine and Grant's heart.
How am I doing? What have I learned? What is life like now?
Let me tell you a bit....
Itching. I thought I had itching fits while still cooking baby Nathan. BOY, was I wrong! My skin itches like woah! I have tried Vitamin E oil, Palmer's Coco Butter, Benadryl, Arbonne's RE9 cream, drinking more water, using different soaps... I could coat my skin in lotion and still itch "like woah!" After annoying my doctor with phone calls, I have concluded that it is either hormones, the medicine still in my system, or both.
Sleep. Wait....what is sleep?? I forgot. :p Feedings every two-three hours has been a challenge. I am the type of person who likes to get in bed and crash! I like to fall asleep and not wake up or get up until the sun is up. SO, waking every two hours in the night to feed and change a baby has been....umm...different, to say the least. It is difficult to adjust, but I am trying to use the awake-in-the-middle-of-the-night minutes to pray. It has helped enormously.
Overwhelmingness. Is that a word?? If not, then I just created it. I don't care how "ready" you think you are, you are never fully prepared to have your first child. It is wonderful but it is VERY overwhelming to think that this little person relies on you for everything. It is overwhelming to think that it is up to you to see that this tiny baby grows in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Everything changes. And if you're not careful, you get overwhelmed. I have had my moments of sitting down and thinking, "What do I do?!" I have been completely overwhelmed in the last two weeks. But aren't you glad that we are never alone in any situation, due to the strength of God? I am!
Weight Loss. I am not back in my pre-pregnancy jeans, yet, but I feel sooooooooo much better to not be in my nine-months-pregnant jeans anymore. I will say that my appetite has shrunk dramatically. I'm trying to remind myself that even though I'm not pregnant anymore, I still need to eat normal and healthy.
Stretch marks. Ew. I'll just say that I will wear my "battle scars" proudly....until they fade away. :p hehe
That's it for now. In short, I'm taking it one glorious day at a time.
WOW! So last time I did a Monday Meandering, I was just a wife. Now, I am a mommy. I am 11 days into parenthood, and I have to say life is.....challenging.... overwhelming.... beautiful.... fulfilling.... sweet.... super scary... rewarding... take your pick. :) Now that I am healing well, I am slowly getting into a routine and learning the needs of my baby. It's difficult but, then again, ALL the greatest gifts and lessons from the Lord usually are hard on our flesh. But it builds us in spirit. :) With that being said, I love mommy-hood!
Now, on to this week....
Bible Study... Proverbs 31
Memory Verse... Proverbs 31:21 "She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household [are] clothed with scarlet." Husband Encouragement... ♥ Pray together (we've been doing this more often, and it is wonderful!) ♥ Seek to serve, not simply be served ♥ Smile at him more every day
Train Them Up... * Read to him, talk to him... * Schedule his awake times, feeding times, and nap times * Build a daytime routine * Learn him so I can know what he needs WHEN he needs it
Personal Goals... * Eat. My appetite has shrunk dramatically since I gave birth. I have to remind myself to eat now. * Begin the mild postpartum exercises I am cleared for * Sleep or rest as much as I can * Journal more
New Habit of the Month... * Smile, even when I don't want to
MUST Do... * Nathan's appointment with the Pediatrician - Friday * Fold laundry....gonna do that today!
Zone... the living room. With so many visitors, I at least want THAT room neat and tidy.
Menu Who knows? Everything is "if-y" right now.
FUN THINGS! * Relaxing today, listening to the rain and thunder
3 things I'm thankful for today... 1. Prayer. 2. Rain and thunder. 3. My husband whom I love more today than yesterday
"Oh that God would give every mother a vision of the glory and splendor of the work that is given to her when a babe is place in her bosom to be nursed and trained! Could she have but one glimpse in to the future of that life as it reaches on into eternity; could she look into it's soul to see its possibilities; could she be made to understand her own personal responsibility for the training of this child, for the development of its life, and for its destiny,--she would see that in all God's world there is no other work so noble and so worthy of her best powers, and she would commit to no others hands the sacred and holy trust given to her."
I cannot believe my little boy is 8 days old. One week and one day. It seems like forever ago when I nervously walked into the hospital, checked in, and found out that I was, indeed, in labor! Sometimes it feels like a dream, then I look at Nathan and realize that it is all very, very real....and very, very good. The past week has been a long one, but our little boy is PRECIOUS! I have discovered that I am more in love with my husband now than I ever have been before. And I have found that my heart has doubled in size. Makes me want to cry just thinking about it all!
Nathan is doing well and Grant and I are literally amazed every day. Our most common phrases are:
"He's SO cute!" and "I can't believe we made that..."
Thank you all for your prayers. We still covet them. Pray that God will be glorified in our lives...as a husband and wife, as parents, and as a family.
I can't believe it's been a year since I stood before Grant in a white wedding gown. SO much has happened!...the biggest thing being, of course, our baby boy who arrived just four days before our anniversary!
Sunday was our first anniversary. It was very different from what I had expected. I didn't expect to be shortly home from the hospital with a tiny little bundle in my arms. But I also didn't expect the day to be so sweet. Both Grant's Mom and my Mom fixed us a romantic dinner, took care of Nathan for us for hours, and hid themselves in the nursery while we enjoyed some time alone to reflect back on the past year. Of course, it wasn't long before we both tip-toed into the nursery to try to pull our baby away from two giddy grandmothers!
A lot can happen in one year. In one years' time, Grant and I both learned an awful lot. We had our share of ups and downs. We had some amazingly sweet and beautiful moments together! We had road trips, revivals, prison meetings, friends gatherings, a mission trip to Israel, and experienced pregnancy and the first chapter of parenthood together.
The years ahead look blurry and I can't see what's up ahead any more than he can. But we both know that the Lord can see....and He is in control. He blessed us with a glorious first year together....and I can't wait for many more up ahead in the years to come.
I would like you all to meet my sweet son, Nathan James. Born yesterday evening, I am completely in love already with this precious little boy. I could sit and stare at him for hours and I don't want him out of my sight. Though I was up for over 36 hours, last night I didn't want to fall asleep. I just wanted to look at him. He is precious.
Many have asked about labor and how Nathan came so I will attempt to jot it down now.
Everything began Tuesday evening, April 12. My day was a normal one. I picked up the house and rested a lot throughout the day. At around 6 p.m. my water broke. At the time, however, I wasn't so sure. It wasn't like I had expected it to be. I called my Mom. I called my Doctor. Both said the same thing - "watch it closely for a while." So I did. Grant and I got ready and headed to a revival service in a nearby town. It was hard to concentrate throughout the singing and preaching and by the end of the service, I was pretty sure my water had, indeed, broken! So I called my Doctor again and explained everything I had experienced in the past two hours. I was told to come in for a check, but it sounded like I was beginning the labor process. So Grant and I grabbed our bags and headed to Little Rock.
Once we got to the hospital, I was checked and found out - to my surprise (even though I somewhat expected it) - that my water was broken and that I was dilated to 3 cm. Contractions started immediately and began coming at 3-6 minutes apart, each one not lasting very long. By then it was 10:30 p.m. and so we settled in for a long night.....and a long night it was! I was up all night in active labor with contractions, which soon began getting very intense and causing extreme pain in my lower back. For hours we tried different positions to relieve the pain, we tried a warm bath, hot towels, etc. Though it helped for a time, after a while the contractions were too intense. At 5 a.m. I was dilated to 5 cm and my back pains were almost unbearable. By 7 a.m. I decided that I needed an Epidural. I found out, later, that I would have had to have had one eventually anyway due to small complications. After I was given pain meds, my contractions were less intense and my back pain was gone, which gave me some time to rest a little.
It was estimated by the nurses that at the rate I was going, I would probably deliver around noon. This excited me! Unfortunately, though, I wouldn't.
By 10 a.m. I was dilated to 8 cm and Grant's and my family were there, anxiously waiting with us.
Then at 11:45 a.m. I was told that I dilated to 10 and should begin pushing. So push I did. Nathan's head was seen but he moved so slowly that, after a little while, I was told to sit up, allowing gravity to move him down more. We would push again later. At 12:30 p.m. I began pushing again and pushed for over an hour with little progress. Rinse and repeat.
By 2:30 I was getting tired and frustrated. I couldn't understand what was holding him up inside or why my pushing wasn't making that big of a difference. Just when I felt too tired to stay awake, I felt a surge of energy and adrenaline shoot through my body. I know, without a doubt, that someone was praying for me at that time. So we kept pushing and, funny as it sounds, we were able to laugh in between contractions. Though I was still frustrated and confused, I was still able to enjoy the process and laugh...even though it was painful and exhausting.
By 4 p.m. it was beginning to get very intense. We were approaching the 24 hour mark since my water had broken and Nathan needed to come out. The problem was that he was moving too slowly down the birth canal, and we couldn't figure out why. We tried to turn him, putting myself in as many positions we could think of. After exhausting nearly all our options, my doctor told me she would try one more thing to get him out. If it didn't work, I would need surgery. I remember the moment when she getting ready to use the last option on the list before a c-section became vital. I was scared, exhausted, and a part of me felt defeated. But right before she began, my husband called for prayer. My doctor, my amazing nurse who had spent all day by side, my mom, and myself all bowed our heads and he prayed for Nathan to come out healthy, whole, and naturally with no surgery needed. As a contraction began, I pushed with, literally, a supernatural strength....and he was born! After 23 hours of labor, I heard my son cry and I felt something well up inside me that I still can't explain. He was here! We found out that the umbilical chord had been wrapped around his neck, making his way out unbelievably slow. It explained why it took all day to move him down the birth canal. But, praise be to God, it was not wrapped tight and he was born in perfect condition!
I had some mild complications, but I am healing and doing well. I am just thankful that little Nathan is here! He is healthy, strong, and has the sweetest disposition. He was alert right away and is very laid back and mellow. Grant and I are completely in love with him!
I want to thank everyone who was in prayer for me during labor. It was very intense and there were moments when I didn't think I could do any more. There were moments when I didn't think I would make it. But I have come to a better understanding of God's strength. It IS made perfect in weakness. He is faithful and He truly does give good and perfect gifts!
Nathan lives up to his name - "gift of God." What a gift he is!
"One of the first requisites of a real lady is that she should be modest. By modesty we mean that she shall not say, do, nor wear anything that would cause her to appear 'loud,' vulgar, or unchaste. There should be nothing about her to attract unfavorable attention, nothing in her dress or manner that would give evil-minded men an excuse for vulgar comment. For many generations the good women of our country have believed that modesty requires them to wear clothing that covers their bodies and limbs. Wherever this rule has been broken, many blighted lives have been the cost.When we dress contrary to this rule we give excuse for evil thoughts in the minds of those who look upon us, and every girl who oversteps these bounds makes herself liable to misunderstanding and insult, though she may be innocent of any such attention....There are strong, true, pure-minded men and boys to whom these weaknesses of women are not a temptation. But there are weaker also, and for them we are partly responsible."
When you are forgotten, or neglected, or purposely set at naught, and you don't sting and hurt with the insult or the oversight but your heart is happy, being counted worthy to suffer for Christ, That is dying to self. When your good is evil spoken of, when your wishes are crossed, your advice disregarded, your opinion ridiculed, and you refuse to let anger rise in your heart or even defend yourself, but take it all in patient loving silence, That is dying to self. When you are content with any food, any offering, any raiment, any climate, any society, any solitude, and interruption by the will of God, That is dying to self. When you never care to refer to yourself in conversation, or to record your own good works, or itch after commendation, when you can truly love to be unknown, That is dying to self. When you can see your brother prosper and have his needs met, and honestly rejoice with him in spirit and feel no envy nor question God, whild your own needs are far greater and in desperate circumstances, That is dying to self. When you can receive correction and reproof from one of less stature than yourself, and humbly submit inwardly as well as outwardly, finding no rebellion or resentment rising up within your heart, That is dying to self. ~ Amy Carmichael
Memory Verse... Proverbs 31:20 "She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy." Husband Encouragement... ♥ Pray together (we've been doing this more often, and it is wonderful!) ♥ Laugh! ♥ Soak up the one-on-one time. Baby Nathan will be here SOON!
Train Them Up... * Talk to him....and tell him to come out! * Practice breathing and relaxing * Have everything ready at a moment's notice for when the time comes
Personal Goals... * Eat as healthy as possible * Try to exercise * Sleep as much as I can * Journal more * Keep my feet up (bleh! I hate this)
New Habit of the Month... * Smile, even when I don't want to
MUST Do... * Doctor's appointment - Friday (40 weeks!) It'll be decided then, when to induce. * Keep house super clean and ready for baby!
Zone... the whole house
Menu Who knows? Everything is "if-y" right now.
FUN THINGS! * Relaxing today, listening to the rain and thunder * Getting ready to be a mommy! * Feeling Nathan tumble around, even though it gets painful sometimes * Spending as much time with Grant as possible * Writing and studying
3 things I'm thankful for today... 1. Prayer. 2. Rain and thunder. 3. My Church family
So here I am, at 39 weeks! Who knows when the big day will be? All I know is that I'm ready, the nursery is complete, our bags are packed, and the time is near! It has been a quick 9 months, yet I feel like I have been pregnant for FOREVER! Strange...
In the past 9 months, I have learned many things. For any of you moms-to-be (or ladies hoping to get pregnant one day), I have jotted down what I call the "10 Commandments of Pregnancy" for your reading enjoyment.
1. Thou shalt not look at pictures of yourself pre-pregnancy. Ever. Why? It will make your self esteem plummet. Don't look at photos of yourself before pregnancy while you're sporting a baby bump. Just stare at your growing belly and remember that you have a life in there!
2. Thou shouldst enjoy the feeling of oneness with your baby. It's funny. It's weird. It's amazing. It's painful. Wrap it all up in a package and give it to yourself! It's a great thing.
3. Thou shalt not weigh thyself every day. It is detrimental to your sanity, I have discovered. According to my doctor, I have gained an appropriate amount of baby weight for my size, height, and age. Don't ask me how I feel, however. I just nod and say, "Good" when I'm told that I'm right on track.
4. Thou shalt drink water and eat healthy. Though I have had my share of cravings, as posted yesterday, I have endeavored to eat well throughout my pregnancy. Yes, I have enjoyed an occasional candy bar and a handful of cookies, but I have tried, when I feel like eating sugar, to grab a piece of fruit or, maybe, drink a small milkshake. And my goodness, down the WATER! Toss the sodas and only drink juice made with 100% fruit. Don't go crazy, but just do your best to stay healthy.
5. Love thy husband. No, he is not pregnant. No, he does not know or understand what's going on or how you feel. But love him anyway. Go easy on him. Deep down, he wishes he could understand (and of course, you do too!). So talk about the pregnancy, but don't get angry if he just doesn't get it. That's why God created YOU to grow and birth babies, not him. 6. Thou shalt not do heavy manual labor. Nope. Take advantage of it too. No heavy lifting. No working from dawn to dusk without stopping. Take it easy. Ask for help. And enjoy being a princess for a while. It's okay to ask for an ice lemonade, some grapes and a fan!
7. Thou shalt keep a journal. I am sorry to say that, though I have journaled a lot, I haven't done as well of a job in this area as I wished I had. I am thankful that I have blogged and journaled many, many things in the last 9 months, but I wish I would have recorded more. So, take the advice and be sure you write everything down. Trust me, once "pregnancy brain" kicks in, you'll wish you had!
8. Thou shalt wear clothes that FIT. I don't know about you, but when ladies dress....well....completely unladylike, it is horrid. When they dress in clothes that are too tight, too revealing, and too "small," it is disgusting. It has amazed me at how some women actually want to take even more off when they become pregnant. Gross. Cover up. Be modest. When you go clothes shopping, find clothes that draw eyes to your face, honourably adorn your body, show off your adorable "bump" but, most of all, bring glory to the One who planted that little life inside you.
9. Thou shalt talk to your baby. Don't kid yourself....babies hear you. Studies have shown that babies begin to hear around 16 weeks. By the sixth month of your pregnancy, their hearing is acute and accurate and they can respond to noises, even recognize certain sounds! So talk to your baby. Pray for AND with him/her. We cannot see God, but He speaks to His children. Speak to yours.
10. Remember to smile. In the midst of the swelling and waddling and feeling completely clumsy and unattractive, you have a reason to smile. So do it. You'll feel better.
It has been 9 months. WOW! Lots learned. Many "new" experiences and frustrations, but I have to say that it has been somewhat of an easy pregnancy. Oh sure, I have had my share of headaches, swelling, mood swings, fatigue, discomfort, blah blah blah blah, but I have been enormously blessed with an uncomplicated pregnancy and a low amount of horrific-ness!
But let's not forget the ever-common and very interesting pregnancy experience - cravings! What have mine been? Let me share them..
My first weird pregnancy craving was back in October and it was the pinto beans and cheese from Taco Bell. I "needed" them so much that I ended up buying the Taco Bell brand pintos at the grocery store so I could have them any time I wanted at home.
For about a week, I ate jalapenos with everything. I've always enjoyed mexican and spicy foods, but jalapenos every day at nearly every meal? That's not normal, even for the spicy food lover. Breakfast? I'll have eggs, please.....with jalapenos on the side!
In November I craved bacon for a week or so. It could be due to the fact that we had just returned from Israel where a bacon cheese burger is non-existent....but considering the fact that I didn't go crazy with bacon after my first trip to the Holy Land, I think it's safe to say that this was, indeed, a pregnancy craving.
Red grapes. From August until now, I have put away my share of red grapes. I'm willing to bet that more than a quarter of my baby weight is red grapes alone.
For a month back in January I.....needed.....grapefruit. This disturbed Grant who hates grapefruit. I have loved it for a while, but in January?? I......HAD.....to have.....GRAPEFRUIT!
My recent and final craving has been milkshakes and/or ice cream. I actually have five different kinds of ice cream in this house as I type this. The good thing? There have been five different kinds for a while....meaning I haven't gorged myself, but have enjoyed it in moderation.
So there you have it! No "pickles and ice cream" for me. I have always hated pickles anyway. *gag* And, thankfully, my baby boy didn't care enough for them to send my body into a "I-must-have-pickles" phase. Whew! hehe.
I just realized that my first wedding anniversary is in less than 2 weeks! Eeeeee! What an incredible year it has been. Many testings. Many adventures. Many things learned. Many amazingly joyful moments! I love being married and am anxious to see what God has in store for the years to come. Though I can't imagine being more in love with Grant than I am today, I know, from talking with other happily married couples, that it only gets better. And that excites me!
So, with our anniversary only a little over a week away, I am finishing up my gift for Grant (which I will reveal AFTER our day). But I'm curious.... What are some great 1st anniversary gifts? Have any super (but low-key) ideas about how to celebrate? Considering the fact that I will either be a mommy or ginormouslyhuge on the day of my anniversary, we plan to *ahem* stay at home (if we're not in the hospital, that is!).
38 1/2 weeks down. Who knows how many days/weeks left. That's all up to baby Nathan....or, really, all up to the Lord. Being full term and extremely uncomfortable, I think you can guess how I'm praying.
Currently, Nathan is around 6 or 6 1/2 pounds and about 18-19 inches long. He is very active and makes my tummy roll quite often which is more entertaining than a movie in my opinion. According to my doctor, I am normal and doing well. Of course, I feel like a waddling and clumsy cow, but if she says I'm normal then I will make myself believe her!
Last month, I made the first pregnancy files post. Now, it's time for an update. Soooooo, here we go!
I dropped. YAY! The good news? I can breathe. The bad news? I can't walk *imeanwaddle* comfortably.
Along with dropping, I am also 1 cm (maybe 2) dilated. Hooray!
Baby Nathan's head is directly above my cervix, which made my doctor very happy...which in turn makes ME very happy too.
I am having major pelvic discomfort. I appreciate the fact that the kid is low and getting ready to make his debut, but the pain of walking isn't all that fun. However, as my doc says, "No pain, no gain." If the gain is a cuddly bundle of snips, snails, and puppy dog tails, then I'll take the pain.
Swelling came to visit a month ago. I had to resize my wedding ring but have been wearing it less due to occasional super swelling. And my feet and ankles? omygoodness! Because of this, I have been trying to take in as much water as possible, but I have to say, "miss Swelling" has largely overstayed her welcome.
Sleeping is becoming an adventure at night. I either can't get comfortable or my mind starts racing 110 miles per hour thinking of everything under the sun: Cleaning the house, labor pains, my water breaking in public, actually holding him in my arms, coming home and becoming a family, bottles, baby burp cloths, diapers....schooling....graduation...wedding. You name it, my mind will hit at night.
My belly button popped. I'm actually glad it did. In my opinion, if my tummy is going to stretch to the max, I might as well get some entertainment out of it. And a popped belly button? That's super intriguing and entertaining to me.
There you have it! I have to say, pregnancy is quite an adventure.
Memory Verse... Proverbs 31:19 "She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff." Husband Encouragement... ♥ Pray for him ♥ Laugh! ♥ Soak up the one-on-one time. Baby Nathan will be here SOON!
Train Them Up... * Finish putting shower gifts up in the nursery * Practice breathing and relaxing * Add his coming home outfit to the hospital bag
Personal Goals... * Eat as healthy as possible * Excercise and walk around no matter how lazy I want to be * Sleep as much as I can * Journal more
New Habit of the Month... * Smile, even when I don't want to
MUST Do... * Mail out the last of the "Thank You" cards * Doctor's appointment - Thursday (39 weeks!) * Keep house super clean and ready for baby!
Zone... the whole house
FUN THINGS! * Getting ready to be a mommy! * Feeling Nathan tumble around, even though it gets painful sometimes * Spending as much time with Grant as possible
3 things I'm thankful for today... 1. My Momma. It's her birthday!! 2. Rain and thunder. 3. PJs