Rainbow baby.

Since the term ” Rainbow Baby” has made its debut in society, on Mommy blogs and Parenting forums, I’ve noticed that everyone touches on the healthy pregnancy of a baby after a deep loss, and the birth of bringing the longed for baby into the world.

But when life really settles in and the mundane tasks began to take over your joy and relief of a live baby, does this baby still carry the pressure of healing your heart?

This is something I’ve asked myself in these last few weeks after giving birth to our son Luca after three losses.

Do I feel differently about him than I did my others who came before loss?

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The moment Luca was finally born after a long and tiring labor at home, I felt instant relief from physical pain. The weeks that followed I could feel my heart mending from the trauma of my last birth, and I became fixated on my new bundle.

The joy he brought to my husband and I spilled onto our other children, everyone was immediately  in love with him. His siblings doted on his every need and movement, their hearts open wide for their new brother.

I began to notice myself in a panic driving down the road, quickly turning to look into the back seat.

Had I accidentally forgotten Luca at home?

Then the irrational fears set in:

When I stopped for gas did someone reach in and take him while I turned my head for 8 seconds?

I admitted to myself that I was terrified of losing him too. This baby that was gifted to me after lives taken too early.

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The romantic idea of having a baby after loss is lovely. It’s healing and needed after a Mother says goodbye to a child made in love. I understand the theory, a rainbow after a storm. I’ve lived in that storm three times. I know how the cold rain feels against my face, punishing my need to feel warm again. The umbrella that isn’t there, the comfort you ache for. The constant need to embrace a child that isn’t in your reach. That your arms scream to hold.

I understand why I referred to my son as a Rainbow baby. He is that. He is my Rainbow after my storms.

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Color in my life again after the dark shades of gray. He’s my bright light, my morning song.  My proof that Jesus loves me. My hope after my body failed me.

But I have to be honest here, vulnerable with you all.

He hasn’t saved me, Jesus has.

Luca didn’t come to replace my babies in heaven. He came to celebrate the fact that Jesus loves life itself. He loves our dreams and our hopes for our lives. He loves to show us that he is merciful when we are hurting.

My life is blessed because he is here. He’s alive and well. 

But his presence doesn’t wipe my slate clean of grief. 

 

 How do I know this? How can I sit here late at night when all of our children are asleep and confess all of this to you?

Because three years ago today , I said goodbye to our son Jude. I sat in our bathroom weeping and in great pain. For hours I cried out to God for pain relief, for his mercy to overtake my body and make me feel whole again. I said goodbye to his little body that left mine at 11:04 pm. I felt his soul leave me as he made his imprint on my heart. I instantly felt alone, he was gone.

My curly headed boy.

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Today surrounded by our four children and my wonderful husband, in the chaos of the day, I felt alone again.

It’s very possible to feel alone in a room of 50 people. No one knows what your mind is racing with. No one knows what your heart is filtering out as your words reach your mouth. Your smile can be fake and your words can be rehearsed. Your laugh can be genuine while your heart longs to cry.

Today as I held Luca, my precious son who is so loved and so wanted, I missed Jude. Feelings of guilt and ungratefulness tried to plague me. I sent those feelings back to hell where they came from.

I am telling you this because I want you to know that it is okay to miss a child, to not put that pressure on your Rainbow baby to fill that void.

Each child that dwells in your womb is an individual part of your very soul. No new creation can replace that.

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Tonight if you are missing a child as you hold another, you are not alone. You are heard. You are loved. You are STILL grateful, Momma.

That’s the thing about us Momma’s, we love each child so deeply. So passionately that we love them all, the big the small. The here, the there.

But they are everywhere aren’t they? Our babies. They are right in front of us. In our mind’s eye.

Loved from the time love exploded in your womb, to the time it left.

Even though I get sad, I know where you all are, you’re in my heart.

I write things in my head all day long. I promise that I have book two written, it’s just not on paper yet. My heart yearns to write and share my heart over and over again, but in this season of motherhood I’m currently doing semi-okay in…

it’s hard.

It’s hard to find time to wash my hair, much less share my heart. I haven’t lost passion for blogging, I’ve just lost the time.

This afternoon my heart was pulled back into it’s rightful place, here with you all , sharing my heart.

God placed two women that I had met once before, years ago to push me to start writing again.

” Have you finished book number two?”

” Oh, in my head I have. “

Then , our six year old said something that made me want to show our children to stand back up when you fall. To fight for the things you love, make time for them, and nurture them. Our passions are so important and life giving. Our children are watching us, focusing in on the things we love and the things that trip us up.

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Rhema’s face grew solemn as she held our newest baby Luca, almost three months old. I thought perhaps I had phrased the question wrong, did she not understand me? So, I asked her again.

” How many Grandbabies are you going to give Momma? You know I LOVE babies!”

silence.

” I’m not going to get pregnant. I’ll just adopt.”

” Why baby? I think that’s great, but why don’t you want any of your own?”

” I think mine will die just like yours did.”

There are not many words I can describe to you of how that felt for my daughter to say that sentence, much less the minutes that passed by as tears streamed down my face. I don’t know how long we sat there in silence, or what was going through her head.

Rhema is our child that constantly adds in her two sisters and brother in heaven to our bedtime prayers.

” God bless Judie ( Jude ), Haddie and Alba. Kiss them for me Jesus.”

Every.night.

She relentlessly tells me that I have 7 and not just 4 children. She is very invested in their lives, not by my own doing, but by her own sensitive spiritual gifting that she has been given. Constantly telling me that she sees them as she’s playing outside , and how much she loves them.

I’ve never pressed talking about her siblings to her, this has come naturally.

She knows what each one looks like, and their personalities.

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What seemed like a decade passed before I muttered the words:

” Oh baby, just because Mommy lost babies doesn’t mean you will.”

” Yes, I will. “

It was the first time in my motherhood journey that I didn’t have an answer for her. I didn’t have anything comforting to say. I felt helpless, with my hands tied behind my back. I wanted to give her comfort, and reassure her that that would NEVER happen to her. That she wouldn’t have to say goodbye to a child too soon.

But I can’t promise her that.

I can pray with all my might, I can bless her womb and I can call life forth. I can pray over her pregnancies and love each child she brings forth.

But I cannot protect her from a loss.

I think my heart broke today. I think I’m finally learning what it truly means to hand your children over to Jesus. Really, really hand them over.

My clutch on them until now has been air tight. It’s coming to a season where trust will have a new name for me.  I can’t control their environment outside of our home.

I’m not meant to.

Life can be heartbreakingly hard, and we can love Jesus with all of our might and follow him, but inevitably things happen that don’t always feel good.

I would never wish the pain of losing a child on my worst enemy, much less my own daughter. But if I can show her anything it’s this:

Life is hard, but Jesus is good. His character isn’t determined by my experiences.

I have to get up every morning and remind myself that though we live in a harsh world, my Father is not harsh.

I refuse to let my grief, my shortcomings, my anger or resentment define who I am in Christ. Who I am as a Mother.

My response to Rhema was eventually this:

” You and your siblings made me a better Momma. All of you. Even though I get sad, I know where you all are, you’re in my heart.”

I will always strive to be real with our children. Show them that when the enemy steals from us, it is NOT forever. We will always get back what was stolen, in this life or the next.

We cannot live in fear of the unknown, or possible outcome. We have to live and walk in his great love that casts out all fear. We have to live boldly.

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I’m writing because I love it. I’m writing because it’s who I am. I’m writing to cast out fear. I’m writing for her.

When a man goes to the grocery store.

I want to discuss this text conversation I had with my husband person. Can I get a huge AMEN here:

When you find out your man is at the store, you immediately think of 3,987 things you need him to pick up for you in order to avoid taking any children with you for said things.

The grocery store is a scary place with alcohol you cannot open and drink while you shop.  Hey Food lion , you would get a lot more of my monies if I was drinking Chardonnay while my 4 year old begged for honey buns that she knows I won’t buy because I feed her healthy things like the goldfish she’s currently eating. I would even bring my own glass and opener. Party on aisle 4 for sanity reasons.

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For real, Matt loves when I send him my list of grocery items he has no idea where to find. His complaint is usually ” There like a mile apart from each other.”  Welcome to my life. I know the grocery store like the back of my hand. After all, I am there daily for the three things I forgot yesterday and clearance wine.

I remember as a child, my Mom would send my Dad to the store and he would come home with items she would never dream of purchasing. For the most part we were thrilled with the weird items. I always noticed he bought things my Mom hated, which I don’t blame him. I mean, if matt did all the shopping I would never get dry shampoo.

After the picture I did not send him, because after a fourth baby I look like a busted can of biscuits trying to fit into Juniors clothing. Each fat cell holding on for dear life as I eat more and more crap I shouldn’t be eating, but you know.. breastfeeding. You can find me in a wet suit this Summer with a beer in my hand.

His selection was that of various forms of Ramen noodles,  mangos and pickled okra. I swear he isn’t pregnant, I just had him tested.

When the kids went looking in the pantry the next morning for cereal, there were great eruptions of celebration that MOM HAD FINALLY GOTTEN RAMEN NOODLES AND THESE COOL CUPS THAT YOU PUT IN THE MICROWAVE.

Screw mom’s steel cut oats. They taste like shit.

It’s my theory that he is trying to overrule me in the kitchen, and to that I say, please do bro. I’ve spent over a decade trying to feed everyone healthy stuff, all the while treading water holding babies.

I still try my best to feed these tiny people nutritious foods, but this is my white flag. There are too many of them to manage everything that goes into their mouths. Like, I don’t have a business management degree.

After four kids talk of salsa gets us all hot and spicy. Then we have to take a bath to cool off so we don’t reproduce again. That would require more groceries.

The Angels at the Table. 

I found myself standing in the kitchen with my baby in my arms, just staring outside. It was as if I was watching for something, anything to let me feel closer to Him. Nothing came, so I started supper. 
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Have you ever thought about what your love language from God is? It is physical touch , where you feel his presence? Maybe gifts, like a sunny day for your wedding. Or it is quality time , just Him and you. 
Just like any relationship , love languages are needed and very real to both parties. 
I’ve found that in the chaos of My life right now I miss the closeness I would feel when he allowed me to see into the spirit realm. For whatever reason in this season, I don’t see as much or as often. 
I notice that I felt more loved by him when I could see the Angelic, and the demonic. I felt like his favorite, his only daughter. 

As a mom of four children under age 9, I find it hard to get a quiet moment to even notice my spiritual surroundings. It’s not as if I’ve wished it away , it’s just not happening right now.
I don’t believe that vision is over for me, but it’s made a void in my walk with God. Once a very special place I held so dear isn’t in my life at the moment. 

My identity as a seer is now quieter. I know who I am, what I’ve seen, and I cannot unsee it. 

It’s made for many sad days, especially right after having a new baby. I’ve felt isolated and alone, desperate to see again. 

Today, asking Jesus if I could see , he said to me: 
” You’ll be surrounded with seers, it will bless you. Just wait.”

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Sitting next to our 6 year old daughter Rhema at the dinner table, she coughs and stands up on her chair. 

She was clearly choking and couldn’t breathe. The terror in her eyes was one I felt during the season in the old Mill house where I saw the demonic daily. Even in the moment where I was mother to the rescue/ remembering my past I was able to do both.

I lifted her hands up and she suddenly looked wide eyed up to the dining room ceiling. 

It was a look I had never seen her have before, one of AWE and pure amazement. Eyes still wide, she said loudly:

” THERE ARE ANGELS IN HERE!”

And the choking stopped. She remained standing, fixated on the Angels. She collapsed into my lap and let out a strong cry. She was terrified. 

Once she caught her breath she explained that several angels were praying over her, singing and telling her food to go down her throat. 

It was like watching someone watch a movie you couldn’t see. I had never seen her so fixated, it gave me chills. 

Though I hadn’t seen what she saw, I still felt the presence of God. I still felt the wonder, the awe of seeing. 

Through my daughters eyes my gift was being passed down. One that I hold so dear. 

In seasons where you feel abandoned by Jesus, I assure you you are not. It’s in the quiet we learn to be still. It keeps us fixated on what he will ask of us next. 

Each season requires you to be flexible with who you are and where you are going. 

The mother I was three years ago is nothing like the one I am today, so why should my relationship with Him remain the same? 

The longing of every soul is to feel loved. 

Let God do it in different ways, don’t place him in the walls of your glass house so you can watch him. 

His predictability is not something you should count on, for if you do you’re sure to be dissatisfied. It’s his wonder and power that you should depend on. 

Four kids.

Luca is four weeks old today, and I’ve had so many people ask me how having four children is going. I am writing this post to raise money for boarding school abroad for at least four out of the four that I birthed.

I also just planted my own vineyard, because even Aldi wine is too expensive for my high demand.

Actually, it’s basically just like having three kids but with one tiny one attached to your boob all day.  He isn’t back talking yet, so no discipline involved, just cracked nips.

I’ve definitely found the following things to be more difficult:

Texting people back. No seriously. It’s been bad. I go to pick up my phone and someone poops. There are so many people here that could possibly poop at the same time, causing me whiplash.

Getting out the door. I have not even attempted school drop off in the morning. Besides, my four year old says I cannot go anywhere until my vagina stops bleeding. This is a true statement. I was tempted to tell her that she will have to do all kinds of things while bleeding, but I refrained and told her she could have her 7th fruit snack pack for the day.

I forget to eat. I know you’ve never forgotten right? Me either. Did you watch the last episode of ” This is Us”? That’s the last time I ate a full meal.

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The reality that our family was completed in a way that my heart desired hits me in waves throughout the day.

Like when I watch the older siblings come home from school and go straight to their new brother. I know they had been thinking of him the whole day, just waiting to see him again. It warms my heart when I see our four year old kissing him every five minutes. It also deeply annoys me when she wakes him up from a much needed deep sleep so I can shower.

Finding a routine and balance has been interesting for us , having kids young enough to play together, yet in different stages of life at the same time. Not having a baby boy in  9 years makes you forget their perfect aim in urination. Many a night was spent changing sheets and feeling warm and fuzzy all over.

Watching the older ones care for their brother and try their hardest to help me is sweet and challenging at the same time. The fine line between allowing them to help as much as possible and me keeping my sanity.

The two week post partum point is where I start to feel a little back to normal, and do things I shouldn’t. Like too much housework, rearranging kids rooms and mountain climbing.

Breastfeeding definitely gives me time during the day to sit down and scroll facebook between burps.

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I’m slowly learning that I am a house perfectionist. Only my house. The mini van looks like something from a third world country, but my house…. I like it clean.

Learning to give myself a shit load of grace, and let the kids tear up the house so I can have a moments peace… that’s a big deal for me. I’ve figured out that I am a HAPPIER woman if things are in order. If the laundry is folded and put away, if the dishes don’t line the sink.

But with four children this is near impossible. I am in a brand new stage of life where I HAVE to loosen up, or I will literally have a panic attack.

It’s a beautiful , wonderful awfully hard stage that I am learning the ropes in.

When I say the ropes, I mean that I feel like one is around my neck and I am trying to ignore it before I can no longer breathe.

For more helpful blogs that just ooze wisdom, don’t follow mine.

I am failing daily, losing my mind and finding it all at once, and learning to love it.

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The homebirth of Luca Reign.

“Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

Psalm 37:4

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As soon as the pregnancy test lined turned positive, Jesus said to me:

” Luca. “

Soon after telling my husband that we were going to have a Rainbow baby I looked up the meaning of the name.

” Bearer of bright light.”

Jesus said to me:

” He will be your light after all your darkness. He will restore hope and bring healing to your heart. This child’s birth will be just as much your own new birth. Trust me to reign over this child.”

His pregnancy was different from all my others. Full of peace of mind, yet the sickness took over soon after second trimester on until he was born. Many false alarm labors, braxton hicks and mental battles daily for my mind. My deep passion to birth him at home only grew as he did, and I found myself doubting God’s goodness to me in the end days.

My patience to make it until my body went into labor on its own became so taxing on my emotions. Many nights in my own bath tub crying out to God to help me, trying to wave a white flag in his face.

” Jesus don’t you see me? “

Finally on March 14th at 8 pm , ( ten days past my EDD ) my labor began.

NOTE: Three times my Midwife tried a catheter dilator to start my labor. Each time was a fail. I tried Castor oil twice, each time was a fail. In my spirit I knew my body was supposed to do this on it’s own, and I truly needed to shut up my complaining and just wait. So , I did.

I was in denial that I was actually doing this on my own. Trying to ignore the contractions, I watched show and cozied up in bed. Within a few hours I couldn’t ignore them as just a false alarm any longer. I woke my husband up and called my Midwife.

” I think I’m in labor. They aren’t stopping at two minutes apart. “

I could hear her smile over the phone as she assured me she was on her way.

I decided to start bouncing and rolling my hips on the birth ball, started my very relaxing technique of watching FRIENDS for comic relief. Because FRIENDS is the best show on earth.

As labor progressed I started playing worship music and praying in the spirit as much as I could. Inviting the Holy Spirit to “reign” over our sons birth, keep us safe and sustain my strength.

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I tried many different positions during labor to get comfortable, as my husband rubbed my back during each and every contraction. He was my lifeline, my support system. I couldn’t have done it without him by my side.

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Around 5 am, my Midwife suggested a bath to relax my muscles a bit, as I was to tense from the pain. Matt turned off the bathroom light, and lit a candle for me. My friend helped me into the bath and brought me some fruit to nibble on. My strength was low.

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Matt came and sat with me and prayed aloud for strength and for Luca to come sooner than later. The bath was instant [pain relief and I remember telling Matt I was never coming out. Go ahead and set up camp here, ain’t movin!

In the bath, my legs began shaking and I knew I was in transition. Matt had gone to tell the kids goodbye before they left for school, so I was alone. Being alone during transition was the most surreal feeling for my soul. My body was doing something voluntarily for me, just as I had prayed it would. I could feel Angelic activity around me, and could sense my Angel babies praying over me and for their brother.

The pain was very intense, but a pain that I welcomed. It wasn’t something I wanted to go away until he was in my arms. I kept saying : thank you Lord. Bring him to me.

After my bath my Midwife wanted to check me, as she had not done yet. I loved this about her, so loving and hands off. So much respect for what my body was doing already on it’s own. Not wanting to make this a medical intervention, but knowing that this is something that will change my heart forever. A desire that would never dwindle. Never waiver until I did this on my own.

As I walked up the stairs each of the children kissed me as if they were blessing what was about to happen. They were blessing My blessing that awaited up those steps.

I laid on the bed , and she began to check my cervix. I prepared myself for her to say I was only a 4 or so, but instead to my surprise and relief:

” I feel the bulging water bag, and babe YOU’RE A NINE! You’re going to have a baby soon!”

That sentence is one that will be forever engrained in my memory as a sweet victory of God’s goodness to me in a time of exhaustion, and anticipation of meeting my promised son. I couldn’t help but weep with JOY! I had done this on my own, and I knew it was almost over.

I tried pushing in several different positions for two hours. Nothing seemed to be moving him down as much as I wanted, and the pain was unbearable. I looked at Matt once and said:

” I cannot do this.”

” Yes babe you can. You’re doing it right now. You’re so strong. You can!”

So many tears and warrior cries later , I got up off the birthing stool and said:

” I have to pee.”

Looking back I can laugh at that statement for obvious reasons. No woman at 10 centimeters can successfully walk to a bathroom and relieve herself. I was clearly exhausted, and it was my way of checking out of the situation.

As soon as I stood up his head crowned, ( thank you God and gravity ) !

Cheers from my husband and family shouted into my ears as I got a wave of confidence and knew I could do this.

Pushing through the contractions as they came, he slowly descended. Soon after his head crowned, my midwife told me to get on all fours and push as hard as I could. I was unaware that his cord was prolapsed, and his shoulders were seemingly stuck.

With quick thinking and her massive amount of birth knowledge, my Midwife was about to get his shoulders into position for birth, and she had him out within a few seconds. There was no ” sliding ” this child out, she had to literally PULL him out.

Had I been in a hospital setting they would most likely have cut me to get him out. A big no thank you.

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These two women right here. Their love and devotion to me and my child was unwavering. Their knowledge and quick thinking will forever bless me. They showed me that my body was capable of more. They showed me that I was WORTH more. They showed me what birth could be. What I wanted it to be. How God intended it , for me.

His birth did things in my spirit , healed places in my broken Mother’s heart, and opened new doors of wisdom and strength I didn’t know I possessed. 

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Born 9:56 am into my loving arms.

As soon as he was born, I knew he was ok, breathing and fine, but a bit lethargic. His coloring wasn’t pink as much as it was a bit gray and dull. I began speaking to him, patting his little butt , but nothing was giving us that good solid cry we wanted to hear.

My Midwife quickly gave him some oxygen, and all was well!

Each time she tried checking his heart rate he grabbed her stethoscope as if he was trying to say:

“Woman! I’m telling you I’m fine, I just didn’t want to come out.”

Sweet relief from the pain washed over me as I processed the fact that my dreams of a home birth had come to life. I had done it.  Holding my Rainbow baby in my arms was the deepest feeling of gratitude for His mercies and grace. He loved me THAT much that he allowed us not only to have another child, but in the exact way I desired.

I climbed into my own bed, snuggled my newborn and nursed him. It was heaven on earth. the JOY and the presence of the Lord was so strong in our room that even our four year old daughter watched the whole process without a peep. She was so calm and gentle, so loving and devoted to her brother she knew was coming into the world.

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The sweetest relief! My boy is here!

Several times my sisters would assure her that I was only loud because I was trying to bring her brother out to meet her, and she assured them she was fine. It was as if she grew years in her maturity level just watching new life come into being.

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Recovery has been incredible this time. Surrounded by family and friends who are caring for us, and allowing us privacy to bond at the same time.

It’s a beautiful thing when you trust Jesus with your heart, I promise you he won’t crush your dreams. He loves your dreams, he’s the one that put them there.

Jesus helped me birth a 9 pound baby, that was a VBAC. In my bedroom. The way I wanted. He cared that much for me.

He cares that much for you.

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9 pound Rainbow baby boy.

( ALL PHOTOGRAPHY BY HANNAH HAGGERTY – HD PHOTO & DESIGN )

Surrender

In these last few days or weeks that I am carrying this sweet boy, I’ve been setting up our birth space in the bedroom. Reading bible verses aloud and preparing my mind for labor. Allowing myself to rest in the unknown of when he will arrive, but trusting in God’s perfect timing.

For my birthday my Mom gave me a necklace that has each of my angel babies names on it. It’s so special to me, so when I am not wearing it it’s hung in a high place so the girls can’t reach it.

This morning while getting Rhema ready for church, she pointed to the necklace and said:

” Momma, you need to wear that necklace when you’re having Sprout. That way you will know that Jude, Haddie, and Alba are there with you praying for you and my brother.”

The tears fell as I realized that hadn’t occurred to me. Feeling their presence as I birth their baby brother. One that I know they’ve met in heaven and had the privilege to get to know and bond with. They know him better than I do at this point. Why not honor them with the necklace as I give their brother the life they once had in my womb.

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A few weeks ago a dear friend told me she felt that she should make me a small sign for my birth space. She asked me to let her know a keyword or phrase that she could paint for me. For a few days I prayed for something , anything I could focus on during his labor.

The word Surrender was all I heard for days.

At first when I heard it , all the negative connotations that go with it came into my head. Surrender didn’t make me feel powerful, or ready for birth.

The more I asked Holy Spirit to help me understand this word, the more he downloaded peace and understanding to me.

A few things stood out:

Surrender all fear from Adah’s birth.

Surrender to His perfect will for my son.

Surrender to his mighty power over my body.

Surrender TO my body, that was created in HIS image.

Surrender to the contractions that will bring forth my son.

Surrender all my thoughts, movements and emotions to Him.

 

It’s something I have to learn over and over through each season of my life:

I CAN surrender to Him because he is good.

 It seems so simple as I type it, but it’s a constant battle in my head. One that I know deep down is true.

It’s such a sweet time with Him waiting to meet our promised baby. Allowing Him to overtake my mind and fill it with His words and thoughts about our son.

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 ” He must increase, but I must decrease.”

John 3:30

” It will all be worth it when you see that sweet baby.”

My apologies for not writing in a while, I’ve been growing a human which makes me grumpy and sleepy. Basically starting to turn into Snow White’s dwarfs with the exception of Dopy because I can’t have booze. With makes me even more grumpy.

I haven’t had anything going on that’s super exciting , so I decided to talk about pregnancy since it’s literally the only thing I think about these days. That and GETTING HIM OUT.

Let’s face it, at the end of your pregnancy you are not the happiest camper. Your crotch hurts, your back aches and in some cases you’re still throwing up your morning coffee. People will mean well when they say phrases like this one that makes me want to throw them against a wall.

” It will all be worth it when you see that sweet baby.”

Yes. No shit Sherlock. That’s why I even let my husband three feet from me when I’m ovulating. I know all this will be worth it, but it doesn’t make it easy.

This sweet squishy baby will erase all this pain, so I’m writing this out to remind myself what comes before all the cuteness.

” OMG. You’re SO tiny!”

This is a sweet comment, but when you hear it almost everyday it makes you want to lift up your shirt and show the world how large your belly really is. Large shirts cover big bellies people. I am not a large woman in general, and do not grow 9 pound babies. I can’t birth a Sasquatch. Believe me, this baby is big.

The next person that says that has to break my water.

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I love children. I love babies. I love giving birth. I’m about as maternal as they make them. I can have a milk let down reflex when it’s not even my baby crying. I can sniff out a newborn a mile away at a shopping mall. I do not love being pregnant.

How is this even possible? I’m maternal in EVERY OTHER aspect of my life, but not this one.

The first few kicks are so sweet and then you just want them to mature and get out of your uterus.

When it comes down to the point where you cannot successfully wipe your own vagina when you pee, it’s time for them to come forth. Dignity and self pride completely go out the window when you are 8 months pregnant. The small things don’t matter anymore, but rolling from your left side to your right side in bed is like Moses parting the Red Sea. Lots of prayer, strength and nay sayers doubting you can do it as your husband rolls you with one hand as you moan in pain.

                                                                   “Babe are you ok?”

         ” You can never touch me again. Enjoy your full night’s rest. I     have to                                                                                        pee.”

Sometimes I think to myself – I know a few people that could benefit from being pregnant, just so that their pride could be shaken a bit. Maybe they would pee on themselves while vomiting, be miserable for a few minutes, but in the end be nicer to people. Have more empathy for others.

Sort of like this Reality TV show for jerks. If I see this come out on TLC I’ll know one of you stole this idea. Then I will do nothing about it because I will have four kids.

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 In these last few hours, days or weeks I have of being pregnant for the last time I will try to enjoy the following:

The sensation that my baby is waving at me, just straight out my crotchular region.

Involuntarily peeing on myself when I sneeze, laugh , or the baby kicks.

My butt getting larger by the second, until no more leggings fit and I’m forced to wear no pants at all.

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I have to go now and schedule my husband’s vasectomy appointment.  

Turning a breech baby with love.

Though my little guy isn’t born yet, I wanted to share what I believe is the beginning of his birth story, one that will forever change the way that I connect with all my children.

Last Friday I began having a series of contractions that lasted a better part of the afternoon and into the night. I was only a few days shy of 35 weeks, so I knew it wasn’t time to have him yet. During this time I was at peace, and breathing through contractions, though I became super fearful of not getting the birth my heart desired.

I knew he would be fine, even born at 35 weeks, but this would mean that yet again my birth plans would be shattered. Even after the contractions slowed, I allowed my mind to focus on my last birth that was extremely traumatic for me. In every aspect it took me years to recover, especially mentally.

Sometime after the contractions slowed he must have turned breech, where as before he was perfectly head down. It didn’t occur to me that he could’ve turned out of fear and trauma from trying to come. Nor did it occur to me that my body could’ve been responding out of muscle memory to my last birth,  a breech baby that ended in cesarean at 42 weeks.

Our bodies response to trauma can often be out of our control, but for me after much counsel and prayer, I knew I had to take matters into my own hands to turn my son. He had turned breech out of my own fear of the past.

To some, this may sound bizarre. But I can assure you that our babies can sense fear and tension in the womb. It’s our job to create a space for them full of peace. They are created in love, so let’s allow them to be born in love.

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While saying prayers, and tucking my other three into bed, they all offered to lay hands on their brother and pray for him to turn head down.

Each prayer they prayed I found myself yearning to connect with him deeper, and to understand why he had turned breech. Their prayers brought the presence of the Lord, and by the time the last child prayed I was a wreck.

I could feel him already trying to move, and I knew it was time.

After getting the kids tucked into bed I locked myself in my room and retreated. I turned on worship music and closed my eyes to connect with my unborn son. At first, talking to him aloud seemed insane, but the more I spoke to him in soft tones, the more connected to him I began to feel.

It became a supernatural experience that I will never forget.

Speaking to him I started doing certain positions in which I was encouraging him to turn his head back down.

In a calm , quiet voice I told him things like:

“Momma is not afraid of your birth. You are your own person. I know you turned because I was afraid. I’m not anymore love.”

” You can turn your head back down now buddy. When you want to come, I’m ready.”

This went on for about an hour, calling him out and into the destiny I know the Lord has for his life. For his birth. He is my rainbow baby, bringing redemption and restoring lost hope in life and birth.

Time went on and I continued speaking to him and elevating my pelvis, until I could feel contractions start to move his head downward.

I got on my hands and knees and began swaying back and forth. I had no logical explanation for this, I just let my body take over.

I eventually stood up and began moving my hips in a circular motion as I felt his head getting back into alignment, all the while telling him what a good boy he was for listening to Momma.

I couldn’t stop the tears from flowing, as I knew we had done this together. We had erased all fear and moved together in love.

I continued to focus on his life and my body aligning him perfectly, so much so that I am not certain how long I was in a trance like state.

This was necessary for us to bond , against all odds, he was my son in whom I am well pleased. Breech or not, I was focusing on him turning and coming forth the right way.

I retrained my mind to not think of my previous birth, but to ONLY focus on his. He is a different creation from his sister. God has different plans for his life.

I feel that with Adah’s birth I wasn’t ready to experience freedom in birth, but after going through all that I did after she was born, my body craved natural birth. I needed to know that I had control over my mind, which I know controls my body.

The bond that God creates between Mothers and babies in the womb ( and outside ) is so strong, that even the strongest fear cannot separate it. When we refuse to give into fear, we can be victorious and walk into our destinies, and for me in this season, I am walking right into my son’s birth. Where my body will take over as my mind leads it.

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Just to be sure, I had my Midwife check to see his positioning today. I laid on her table, lifted my shirt and said:

” I’m pretty sure I’ve turned him. He just needed a little talk. We both did.”

She listened and felt around, and a big smile came across her gorgeous face.

” Rachel, your baby is perfectly in line.”

I then explained exactly what needed to happen for him to turn, and she agreed.

The way we think about our bodies is a gateway to our health.

The way we think about our births determines the level of peace we will have, whatever the outcome.

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38 weeks with Adah Harbor. My breech baby. But she’s so much more. She’s kind, intelligent, loving and sensitive. My sweet sweet girl. She is more than her birth, and so am I.

He passionately loves you for what makes you love life.

The older our children get, the more we have to search their hearts for areas we can bond in. When they are small, it’s easy to relate to them. Getting down onto the literal floor, and playing with them on their level doesn’t take much soul searching.

They cry, we feed them, we change them. Fixing their problems is what we specialize in, and we get really good at it.

Soon they begin to mature, and what makes them tick becomes evident if we choose to notice.

Learning what our oldest child loves , and trying to relate to him on his level has shown me a lot about us as parents, but it’s mainly shown me the parallel to my relationship with my heavenly Father.

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A few months back we found an amazing deal on a dirt bike for Asher (8). He had been asking for one for years, and being a very active boy we wanted to bless him with a just because gift. He caught on very quick, and showed us just how coordinated he really is. Watching him light up as he rode and tried new tricks was rewarding as parents, and we soon knew that Matt needed to bond with him in this area.

You see, sometimes as parents you have to bite the bullet and purchase something that will bring lasting memories for your child. I’m not talking about being irresponsible here, but getting into that mindset that they are only little once. We get one chance to bond with them.

Notice what they love, and follow.

So Matt got a dirt bike and began riding with Asher. This wasn’t something Matt did as a child, so everything was very new. He did this as a way to get on Asher’s level, to show him that he loves what Asher loves. New to him  or not, he wanted to create lasting memories with our son.

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We’ve found that creating a common ground with our children can cultivate an environment in which they can be open and honest, and feel secure in our love.

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Watching how Matt has handled this new bond has shown me so much about the man that I married, and so much about the Father in heaven I follow.

If my husband delights in the things his earthly son does, how much MORE does God delight in what we love?

When Asher decided he loved riding dirt bikes, we were happy he found something in which he felt free, safe and confident.

God feels the same way about what you love.

He’s a gracious Father who has made you to have gifts and talents that HE himself placed within you. He delights in the things you delight in.

I’ve struggled with fear of the future with this pregnancy, and I know that God has used Asher’s love of dirt bikes to show me that He loves what I love.

He loves the way I want to give birth, and wants to give me that blessing.

He loves the things in you that can be used to glorify him.

He’s pleased when we find something we excel in.

He’s a Father of good gifts.

Next time your children giggle with laughter doing something they love, notice how it makes you feel as a parent.

Now imagine how much more God delights in you when you are in your element of joy, whatever that may be.

He isn’t a religious God.

He passionately loves you for what makes you love life.

So if you are choosing to be afraid, do not let it be that God doesn’t love what you love.