Category Archives: Pregnancy and Birth

Family (Un)Planning

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If you read my page Radical Faith, Radical Obedience, Radical Life, you will see that Christian and I don’t practice family planning. I sometimes say that we are “quiverfull” for simplicity because most people know what that means, but in all honesty we don’t really identify ourselves that way. For us it’s simply part of being radically obedient to our Lord and Saviour.

Once, during a discussion in an Introduction to Ethics class in college, I stated that I would never enter into a relationship with a man who was not a Christian. There was a lot of (mostly) respectful debate over the issue and most of my classmates disagreed with me, but for me it comes down to this: what good is religion that doesn’t change your life? If I say I am a Christian and try to live a Christ-centered life, why would I want to try to build a relationship with someone who does not have the same worldview or who has a completely different set of values than I do? It doesn’t make sense. What good is religion that has no impact on your daily life? None. It has no value.

So, when it comes to family planning, housecleaning, child-naming, wall-painting…everything should be evaluated in light of what the Bible says. Some things, the Bible is very explicit about, somethings not. When it comes to grocery shopping, there is no verse of scripture that I can look up which tells me if it is ok for me to purchase soda, potato chips or one brand of cheese over another. However, there are many verses which instruct us to care for our bodies as temples of the Lord, or to work and care for the Earth which we were placed here to tend. There are also many, many verses which address fiscal responsibility and proper money management. It is up to me to prayerfully make the best decisions that I can, based on the information available to me. The same is true for family planning.

The Bible actually has quite a bit to say on the matter of children, pregnancy and childbirth, but before we get to that, let me just explain how I came to the realization that family planning is bad.

Christian and I were married August 7, 2010. I was on the pill at the time and had been for a number of years because I suffered from Pre-menstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) which basically meant that I had PMS on steroids and was bed-ridden for the first day or two of my cycle each month. The hormones delivered via the pill, prevented my symptoms from becoming so severe and allowed me to function more or less normally during that time. However, it did some very weird things to my emotions. I felt completely out of control of myself. I would get mad for no reason, and intellectually I knew that I was being unreasonable, but I didn’t feel like I could control it. I would go days of barely speaking two words to Christian for fear of biting his head off if I opened my mouth. We knew that we wanted kids but when we said “I do” we were both unemployeed and had thousands of dollars of student loans, so we didn’t think we would be able to afford kids for quite a while.

A couple of months into our marriage I was really wanting to get off the pill but I was terrified of what would happen if my PMDD symptoms returned. We considered alternative contraceptives but didn’t find anything we thought would really work for us. About that time, the Lord began working on my heart. I heard an interview on the radio of Steve and Candace Watters talking about the book they co-authored titled, “Start Your Family.” Basically it was designed to challenge Christian couples on their world-view. And it worked. It really made me stop and think about how I was viewing children. The Bible clearly states that children are a blessing (Ps. 127 &128). However, the American culture says that children are expensive and the prevent you from having a fullfilling career, or being able to travel or sleep in late on Saturday. I was very convicted that I had been thinking of children as an expense we couldn’t afford rather than a way that God may choose to bless us.

I approached Christian with what I was feeling and while he understood what I was saying, he wasn’t immediately convinced that we should do away with the contraceptives. I was still very nervous about what to expect if I went off the pill and while he was working and we were making ends meet, we still didn’t feel that we could afford a child. So, we prayed about it, and talking about and read what the Bible had to say. In the end we both became convinced that to try to exert our own influence over our family size is hubris. Basically, if we believe what the Bible says about children (that they are a blessing and reward from God) and what the Bible says about God providing for us (He will never give us more than we can handle and He has plans to prosper us), then, in light of all that, trying to plan our family according to our own wants, we are looking God in the face and saying, “We don’t want your blessings. Why don’t you bless us some other way, but not with children.” or maybe, “We want you to bless us in two or three years, but not right now, right now we want finacial blessings.” We are assuming that we know better than God how many kids we should have and when we should have them. Otherwise, if we trully beleive all of those things the Bible has to say about children and providing for us, then we would be willing to let God act in our lives, bless us as He sees fit, when He see fit and provide for us in the same way.

So, in January, after about six months of marriage, we agreed that we would never again use either contraceptives or fertility treatments. Instead, we would live our lives as husband and wife, striving to honor God in our daily lives and if He chooses to bless us with kids, great, if not, that is ok too. Ironically enough, after going off the pill, not only did my PMDD symptoms not return, my emotional state significantly improved, as did our satisfaction with our physical intimacy. We felt liberated and like the stress of constantly thinking, “Did I take my pill?” or “When should we have kids?” all of that was no longer an issue.

In May, we made the decision to move to be closer to family. This meant that Christian quit his job and at the time we moved, he had not yet found another job. So, when on July 13th I took a pregnancy test and saw that positive sign, we were super excited, and also super under employed. As a testament to God’s faithfulness, He blessed Christian with a part-time job the same week we found out we were expecting. So, we then had income  but there was no way we were going to be able to afford health insurance for a baby. I, being young, am still on my parent’s insurance, so we were able to afford my drs appointments.

So, we began to prepare and plan for the birth of our child. Our family blessed us with many hand-me-downs, and gifts all the while making not-so-subtle comments about bad timing or unplanned pregnancies. Then in January 2012, when I was seven months pregnant, Christian was promoted to manager which came with a $3/hr pay raise. Now, we would be able to afford health insurance! Again, God had proven himself faithful and provided for our needs in His time, not in our time.

Micah was born on March 16th. You can read all about his story on my post, Micah’s Story. Long story short, our planned out-of-hospital birth ended up in a c-section. Immediately after his birth, I was so happy and excited. We loved him to death and were so happy to be parents, but we both also experienced some doubt and anxiety concerning our committments about not planning our family. Doctors kept telling me that I should wait 18 months before conceiving again, which gave Christian pause as he was concerned about my health. The health concerns is not what worried me though, it was our family. Everyone was very excited about Micah, but it didn’t take more than a couple of weeks before I started hearing comments like, “We sure hope you’re going to wait a while before having another.” or, “I bet you changed your mind now that you know what you’re getting yourself into.”

It took a lot of prayer and repeatedly reading Psalm 139 to quiet my doubts and stop worrying about what others think. We are at peace with our decision and honestly believe that to really trust and honor God with this area of our lives, we must leave things up to Him. If it weren’t for my less-than-supportive family, I wouldn’t have any qualms whatsoever. I feel that my health is better and mine and Christian’s relationship, as well as our relationship with God has only grown stronger and closer since we decided to (un)plan our family.

I hope this has given you some food for thought. Please, feel free to contact me with any questions or (respectful) comments.

Micah’s Story

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Wow! The past two days have been crazy! I am going to attempt to give as accurate an account of my labor and delivery as possible, but I was pretty woozy for some of it, so the details may not be perfect.

Sunday, March 11th was my due date and came and went with no signs of labor. We spent a lot of time walking in the park, napping and just trying to both rest and convince the baby it was time to come out. Thursday morning I woke up around 4am because I needed to pee (not unusual). When I went to the bathroom I realized I had lost my mucous plug. I went back to bed and almost immediate began having contractions. I had a lot of Braxton Hicks and “pre-labor” contractions, so I knew that this was the real thing! We continued to rest until about 5am when I got up and ate a bagel and called the mid-wife on duty. She told me to take some Benadryl and try to sleep as much as possible. So, I took one Benadryl, followed by a nice relaxing shower and got back in bed. At this point (about 6;30am) my contractions were about 4 minutes apart and about a 7 on a pain scale of 1-10. It quickly became apparent that I was not going to be getting any more sleep, but I stayed in bed and tried to rest and relax as much as I could. We called my doula to give her the heads-up, as well. I got up to go to the bathroom at 7:45am and by getting up and sitting on the toilet my contractions got closer (1-2 mins apart) and stronger. At that point we decided it was time to get our things together and leave for the Birth Center, which is about an hour drive from our house.

We left our house about 8am and arrived at the Birth Center just a little after 9, having informed our parents on the way. The mid-wife examined me upon arrival and found that I was about 3 cm dilated and 75% effaced. We settled in and used a number of different techniques to work through the contractions including: hot shower, lower back massage/pressure, leaning on a ball, and squatting. My contractions were consistently 2 mins (or less) apart and quite intense but I was moaning through them and over-all handling it pretty well. By the afternoon the intensity was increasing so around 12 pm, the mid-wife checked me again and found that I was still only 3 cm dilated but 100% effaced. I was extremely disappointed. Here, I had been working my butt off for 8 hours and had gotten pretty much no where. My contractions continued to intensify in pain so that I was crying and screaming and no longer able to control myself enough to moan through them. It wasn’t long before I told my dear husband, who had been such a great support and source of stability and calmness, that I didn’t think I could do this much longer, especially since we weren’t seeing any progress. He had become so distressed by my complete and utter misery that he was also crying. We agreed that we would wait until 2:30pm, which is when the mid-wife had said she would be back to check me for more progress. I spent this time in the tub, hoping that this would help me relax enough for my body to dilate further. By now, my contractions were still only about 2 mins apart and a definite 10 on the pain scale so that I was begging for help of any kind. When the mid-wife examined me again and found that I was 4 cm, she presented our options.

She expressed that mine was a very difficult labor, even by normal standards and that it wasn’t just me not handling the pain well. The fact that labor started so suddenly and without any real “warm-up” phase had alot to do with it and she suspected that the baby was in the Occipital Posterior position, or “sunny-side up”, meaning that instead of facing my spine, he was facing my stomach which was causing me extreme and almost constant back-pain, even in-between contractions. Her concern was that the extreme pain I was feeling was preventing my body from relaxing enough to allow the contractions to loosen up and dilate my cervix, like they were supposed to. My options for medical pain relief were to either receive an injection of morphine and remain at the Birth Center or to go to the Hospital and receive an epidural. She explained that the morphine would not stop the pain, but that it would remove me from the situation enough that I would, hopefully, be able to tolerate the contractions better. Unfortunately, it would also make me loopy and possibly cause hallucinations, etc.

This was not a decision I was anticipating having to make. We had been planning a non-medicated, out-of-hospital, birth even before I found out I was pregnant. To admit that I couldn’t handle the pain seemed like an admission of failure and weakness on my behalf, but there was no doubt in mind that I needed help. At this point I had been in labor for over 10 hrs with very little to show for it and I was exhausted. After discussing our options, we decided that it was important for me to be fully conscious and aware for the birth so we prepared to transfer to the hospital. Once the decision was made, I couldn’t get there fast enough! It was only about an 8 minute car ride from the birth center, but that meant 4 contractions and me writhing and crying in pain through each one. When we arrived, one of our doulas dropped us off at the front door, but I had another contraction as I was getting out of the car, which left me kneeling on the ground, screaming and crying and generally terrifying everyone else who happened to be entering/exiting the hospital at that time. A hospital employee immediately recognized that I was in labor, brought a wheel chair and rushed me up to Labor and Delivery. The midwife had called ahead, so they were expecting us and got us into a room pretty quickly (2 more contractions) and immediately notified the anesthesiologist that his services were needed ASAP. The nurse started my IV (two more contractions) and explained that I needed to be able to sit still for 10-15 minutes in order for them to administer the epidural. Well, they had by this time witnessed my complete inability to sit or stand still during a contraction (by this point I was begging any and everyone within earshot for help), so they gave me some Fentynal (sp?), a narcotic, which while not taking away the pain, would relax me enough that I should be able to cope better with the pain. Fortunately, it kicked in almost immediately (one more contraction) and I was able to sit on the bed and remain still enough through three more contractions as they administered the spinal and epidural.

They explained to me that the spinal would kick in very quickly and leave me feeling absolutely nothing for about an hour. After that, it would begin to wear off and leave just the epidural working which would allow me to feel pressure from the contractions but not the agonizing pain I had been enduring. They were true to their word and within five minutes I was sitting in bed feeling great and so thankful we had decided to transfer. The nurse put in a catheter while I couldn’t feel it and suggested that I get some sleep. I didn’t need to be told twice! It was now about 3:45pm and I had been awake and laboring for almost 12 hrs. I told my husband and doulas to feel free to go and eat or rest, since I was now feeling great and didn’t need their constant support; then I fell asleep.

At 5pm the midwife checked me again and I was 5 cm dilated, by 7pm I was 8 cm dilated and still feeling good. It was clear that she had been correct in saying that my pain had prevented me from relaxing which prevented my body from being able to dilate. With the epidural and some rest, my body quickly loosened up and dilated. For some reason, my body did not react evenly to the epidural, so that it worked better on my right side than my left and twice I had to have the anesthesiologist give me an extra dose because of pain in my lower left back. I also had a button to press that would release extra medication every 15 mins if I needed it.

By 10:45pm I was fully dilated, the baby’s head was in my pelvis low enough that I could reach in and touch it, so we decided to begin pushing. An unfortunate side-effect of the epidural was that I did not feel any need to push and found it difficult at first to know if I was pushing effectively or not. At 1am, the midwife suggested that I get some pitocin because I had been pushing for a couple of hours and the baby still had not moved any lower. She hoped that the pitocin would help make my contractions stronger and more efficient. It worked and I could now feel to push better and so I got down to business and pushed as much and as long as I could for the next hour. At that time, it was clear that this baby was just not coming out. So, once again we were faced with the difficult decision to have a C-section.

Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that I would be willing to even consider a C-section. The mid-wife explained to us that we had exhausted all other options and nothing was happening. If I continued to try and push and nothing happened, I would simply become exhausted and eventually the strain of labor would begin to wear on the baby as well. At that point in time, both the baby and I were healthy and tolerating labor well, we just weren’t progressing and she felt it was time to consider the C-section. So, she called in the OB for a consult and she quickly agreed. It was probably about 2:15am at that point and I had now been in labor for 22 hours.

Again, once the decision was made, I just wanted it over with. The sooner we did this, the sooner I could hold my baby. Surgery prep went very quickly and it wasn’t long before I was shivering on the operating table with a paper sheet in front of my face and my hubby, in scrubs, beside my head. The combination of the medications and my extreme exhaustion meant that I was coming in and out of consciousness, struggling to stay awake enough to see and hear what was going on. At 2:47am, Friday, March 16th, our son, Micah was finally born. He was cleaned up and handed to his father who was able to sit beside me and keep Micah skin-to-skin as the team finished the surgery. I had been told that I could have the baby laid on my chest, skin-to-skin, as well and even try to nurse, but the meds hit me harder than they had anticipated and I did not have sufficient control of my arms to be able to hold him. Instead, they laid him beside my head so I could rub my face against his and kiss him.

I really have no idea how long the surgery lasted because, despite my joy and excitement, I continued to slip in and out of sleep. Once the meds started to wear off a little as they were sewing me up, I was able to focus and talk to some of the doctors and nurses around me. My midwife stayed with me the entire time, observing the surgery and helping with the care of Micah. She was able to answer questions we had and took his picture for the first time. Once we got to recovery, I had sufficient use of my arms that, with help and the support of pillows, I could finally hold him. By 6am he was latched on and nursing; I couldn’t have been happier. My parents were there and were able to come in and see both of us before heading home for the night…I mean morning? It was so confusing having been awake so long, and my days and nights are still mixed up (thus why I am writing this account at 1:45am).

By about 7am, Friday morning, we were assigned a room on the maternity ward and finally able to just sleep. Of course, life with a newborn means that you can never “just sleep.” So, the rest of the day, Friday consisted of nap, feed baby, hold baby until I start to doze off, another nap, repeat. At this point, it looks like we will probably be in the hospital until Sunday or Monday. They took my catheter out around 6pm and I was able to get up and walk around some. Getting up and down is the hardest part, I really don’t have much pain while standing. I am extremely bloated because of all the extra space inside of my belly, my intestines are taking advantage to bloat to enormous proportions, unfortunately. Right now, I am receiving Motrin and Perkacet (sp?) around the clock for pain management and this is working well. As I type this, Micah is asleep in his bassinet and his father is asleep on the couch. I am due for my next 2 hr nap and getting a little bit hungry (for the first time in two days!), so I am going to find something to munch on, and go back to bed.

Thank you everyone for your thoughts, prayers and well-wishes. As I said, we hope to be home early next week and will probably begin receiving visitors by Wednesday. I have a projected recovery time of about 6 weeks, so I don’t know that I will feel up to having a lot of people over all at one time, but we do want to show off our handsome little man! Fortunately, I have a lot of family near by and the in-laws will also be visiting soon, so I should have lots of helping hands to take care of things around the house and allow me to focus on healing and taking care of Micah.

I also feel the need to add that, even though this birth was about as far from the birth I had planned as possible, it really was not a bad experience. I had never been to this hospital before, as either visitor or patient, and I have been pleasantly surprised. As it turns out, the C-section was  the best decision to be made under the circumstance. Not only was Micah “sunny-side up,” he was also presenting forehead first and he is a hefty little fellow (8lbs 8oz) and the doctor believes his shoulders may have been too wide for my body anyways. He was very firmly lodged in my pelvis, so that instead of just pulling him out through the C-section incision, they had to have someone help push him out from the other side! But, aside from a bruise on his forehead from being pushed against my pelvic bones, he came through just fine! My nurses have all been great and everyone is very respectful of us. They work very closely with the Birth Center and respect my wishes to have a natural birth and are very kind and understanding, not at all judgemental, as a lot of doctor’s are (“Well, if you had just come to us to start off with…”) So, all-in-all, I can’t complain: I have beautiful, healthy baby boy, I am healthy and recovering well…what more could I ask for?

Tomorrow is the day…hopefully!

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Well, tomorrow is the day we have been counting down to and hopefully little Baby White will decide to make his/her appearance. For those of you craving a status update…sorry! Due to our deep desire to have as quite, private and intimate a birth experience as possible, you probably won’t hear anything until we are already home and settled with the new little one. We are doing this for a number of reasons:

 

1. Because I am having the baby at a free standing birth center, not a hospital, we will most likely be home within 6-8 hrs of delivery. Therefore, we see no reason for anyone to visit us at the birth center, and, in fact, would prefer to not have any visitors.

 

2. In order to get off to the best possible start with our little one, it is vitally important that we are free to maintain skin-to-skin contact with the baby as much as possible for the first few weeks (yes, weeks!), but especially the first few hours. This means that even if we have visitors, we will not be allowing others to hold the baby for at least 24 (preferably 48+) hours. This also means that I need to be in a setting in which I am able to remain topless as much as possible, which again means, very few visitors.

 

So, do not expect facebook posts, emails or even phone calls until we are at home and feel ready to receive visitors. We are hoping to avoid hurting any one’s feelings, though some have already made it clear that this really isn’t possible. 😦 Unfortunately, when it comes down to it, the well being of my child is more important to me than a few stepped on toes. Some people feel that we are being a bit extreme and self to keep the baby to ourselves for so long. Please know that all the decisions we have made in this regard are backed by excellent research which shows a significant benefit to the infant when skin-to-skin contact with the parents and especially mom is maintained as much as possible for the first few weeks of life. It promotes better breast feeding, better bonding, better sleep patterns and a stronger feeling of security and calmness. We are not deliberately trying to rob anyone of the joy of meeting or holding the baby, we are simply trying to do what we feel is best for our child. I hope that you, as our friends and family, will try to respect our decisions, whether or not you agree with them. Please, do not be upset or disappointed if you learn about the birth a day or two after the fact. And, please, do not show up unannounced at our house, or you will probably be greeted by a locked door.

 

Our plan at this point is to let our parent’s know when it is clear that the birth is imminent, and then to turn off our phones. We hope that they will see fit to keep the news to themselves until we let them know it is OK to start calling friends and family. At that point, we will probably leave it up to them to inform everyone as we want to be able to devote our entire attention to the baby, not the phone. Depending on the time of day the baby is born, we hope to have 24ish hrs after returning home before receiving our first visitor, this includes grand or great-grandparents. We understand everyone is very excited to meet the new baby, and we can’t wait to share our child with all of you, but we also hope that you understand why we wish to avoid a sudden influx of visitors and well-wishers. So again, please call ahead before coming, and if your call is not answered, assume we are not up to seeing visitors yet.

 

We love each and everyone of you and are very excited to share the baby and this exciting time with everyone, but the welfare of our family is our first priority.

 

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation!

 

Our Journey to Parenthood

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Perhaps I should have chosen a different title for this post, since I am still pregnant. I guess, I will just have to post a Part 2 after the baby is born to describe the labor and birth. My intention today was to document our journey from newly-weds to expectant parents and to describe my pregnancy up to this point (37 weeks, 2 days).

 

I believe, most of my readers are familiar with our story: how we met, got engaged, etc. For those of you who may not know, here is a brief synopsis:

 

Though he doesn’t remember, we actually met for the first time during Scholar’s Day competition in February 2006. We were both invited to College (purposefully anonymous) to compete for a spot in the Honor’s Program and a scholarship. He was the male recipient of a full-tuition scholarship and I was awarded one of 20 spots in the Honor’s Program and a more modest scholarship.

 

Due to the way the Honor’s Program was (at that time) structured, we had 4 out 5 classes together upon starting school that Fall. Though we didn’t really talk much, we sat at the same table in two classes. The first day of class, we laughed over the fact that everyone at our table had the exact same laptop, and so we all exchanged AOL Instant Messager screen names (IMing was still cool back then).

 

One day over Christmas break, I was particularly bored and he was the only one of my friends who happened to be online at the time. We struck up a conversation which more or less lasted for the next 5 weeks. By the time we got back to school, we were fast friends and very much attracted to each other. A month later, we were “officially” a couple.

 

Looking back I can identify a lot of mistakes we made in the first months of our relationship that set us up for bigger problems down the road. The most notable of which was my impatience and lack of feminine shyness. My mother tried to teach me that lesson as a young girl, to no avail. So, I followed him around and called him on the phone and tried to set up “accidental” meetings all over campus. All of this sounds innocent enough, and I certainly thought it was at the time, but the result was that I was the aggressor in the relationship, leaving him no room to be the leader that he should have been. I set the tone for everything; I even kissed him first (and it was his First Kiss). Now, five years later, we still struggle with this: I want and need him to be a strong leader for our family, but I have a hard time stepping back and giving him the space he needs to make those sorts of decisions. It’s a work in progress. But, despite the silly mistakes we made, we have pretty much been inseparable since January 2007.

 

January 2010, we participated in a short-term mission trip to Kenya with a group from our church. It was an amazing trip! One of the funny little anecdotes from our time there occurred in a small village in Kerio Valley. This is a very rural, tribal area and we were visiting a local market place. We had penetrated further into the Valley than most other Mzungus (white people) had dared to go. So, people would either come up and want to touch our skin or the kids would run away crying because they thought we were ghosts. One of the tribal traditions that is still very prevalent today is the custom of paying a dowry. A young man who wants to marry has to pay a dowry of cattle to his prospective father-in-law. In this way he proves his ability to provide for his new wife. (Most of these cattle are stolen, in a time-honored tradition of cattle rustling). The price depends on the social rank of the young woman’s family, her physical attributes, etc. For this particular tribe, a high-ranked, attractive wife would have cost about 12 cows.

 

So, we are walking through the market with our translator, a gentleman who grew up in Kerio Valley but had moved to the States and is today a College professor, and two young men from the local tribe approach us and begin a lively discussion with him. After much gesticulating, the young men (approx. 18 and wearing only loin cloths) leave looking rather disappointed and huffy. The translator then turns to me and explains that they had just offered to pay him 100 cows for me to marry one of them. He, of course, explained this was not possible. The rest of our group got a big kick out of this and started giving my then boyfriend a hard time about knowing how much I was worth and how much he would have to pay my father, etc.

 

I said all of that so that you will understand this: On May 26th, 2010 I returned from work to find a note and a small stuffed cow. The note started a kind of scavenger hunt all over town where I would find another clue and another cow. In the end, I was led to the Lake where he was waiting on the pier, surrounded by 102 little stuffed cows. He proposed and gave me a ring he had got while we were in Kenya. Nine weeks later we were married at the same Lake.

 

When we first got married, I had been on Yaz birth control pill for a couple of years to treat my PMDD (premenstrual disphoric disorder). We knew that we wanted kids, but agreed that I would stay on the pill for a while. However, after getting married, I heard a radio interview of Steve and Candace Waters concerning their book, “Start Your Family: Divine Inspiration for Having Babies.” This really got me to thinking and I looked up some of the Scripture that they had referenced in the interview. The most pertinent of which was Psalm 127 &128:

 

“Unless the LORD builds the house,

the builders labor in vain.

Unless the LORD watches over the city,

the guards stand watch in vain.

2 In vain you rise early

and stay up late,

toiling for food to eat—

for he grants sleep to[a] those he loves.

3 Children are a heritage from the LORD,

offspring a reward from him.

4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior

are children born in one’s youth.

5 Blessed is the man

whose quiver is full of them.

They will not be put to shame

when they contend with their opponents in court.”

 

“1 Blessed are all who fear the LORD,

who walk in obedience to him.

2 You will eat the fruit of your labor;

blessings and prosperity will be yours.

3 Your wife will be like a fruitful vine

within your house;

your children will be like olive shoots

around your table.

4 Yes, this will be the blessing

for the man who fears the LORD.

5 May the LORD bless you from Zion;

may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem

all the days of your life.

6 May you live to see your children’s children—

peace be on Israel. ”

 

After reading and praying over these verses, we came to the conclusion that if God grants children as a blessing to those who fear and serve Him, then any effort on our behalf to prevent pregnancy or to limit the number of children we have, is basically saying, “We don’t need/want your blessings, God. Why don’t you bless us some other way.” It is the epitome of hubris to assume that I know better than God what is needed in my life. And so, we discontinued any form of birth control or family planning and committed to just live life as a married couple and to joyfully accept any and all children He chooses to bless us with.

 

This is how we came to conceive our first child sometime in late June 2011. I got a positive result on a home pregnancy test on July 13th. I had already identified a free standing birth center as the place where I wished to give birth, so I began my prenatal care there in August. We had two ultra-sounds done, one to confirm my due date (I have irregular cycles, so there was some question as to when I had conceived) and another at 19 weeks for the Fetal Body Scan. Both came back perfectly normal and confirmed an Estimated Due Date of March 11th 2012. We chose not to learn the gender.

 

God has richly blessed us over the past 9 months. I never had any morning sickness; my worst pregnancy side-effect has been the heartburn. At the time we found out I was pregnant, we only had one part-time job between the two of us. Since then, he has received a promotion to manager and acquired a second job. I work with my mother and have reaped rich benefits from that arrangement, not the least of which is a very flexible schedule. If I didn’t feel well, I could easily stay home, most employers would not have been so understanding. As well, I will be able to stay at home with the baby, while working on the computer from home and only coming in to the shop a couple of days a week. Whether or not these things were a direct reward for our faithfulness in being willing to accept any and all children God chooses to give us and not allowing our fear or practical minds to overrule our faith, I really can’t say. But, we choose to give thanks for all of these blessings, big and small and to acknowledge God as the source of all good things, including this baby.

 

As of right now, I am 37 weeks and 2 days pregnant. The baby is head down and has been since about 28 weeks. The head has already dropped into position for delivery; now it’s just a waiting game. I will post a detailed description of the labor and delivery, once our little one is here. For now, prayers are appreciated. I have no fear or nervousness concerning the labor (most people don’t believe me, but it’s true). As a woman, God engineered my body specifically for this purpose, and I am confident in that knowledge. Specific prayer requests are for: patience, strength and endurance, for both me and him.

 

Until next time…

Back in Business!

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This lazy housewife is back…and not so lazy! There has been a lot going on since my last post. At the end of May (has it only been two months?!), my husband and I packed up and moved. The house we moved into is an older home which needed/needs a good bit of work and we have spent most of the last two months trying to get clean, running water in our house. I am proud to say that we can now flush the toilets, shower and wash dishes. In the midst of all of that, there was the not so minor consideration of finances and trying to find jobs. Then, just when it looked like things were settling down, we found out….I’m pregnant! Needless to say, we are absolutely thrilled, but this has been a VERY busy summer. I am now working with my mom part time and helping to manage the website for her business which you can find a link to here: quiltslikecrazy.com

Between that and babysitting and trying to get the house ready for our little one next spring…I don’t have time to be lazy, though I do normally manage to work in a nice afternoon nap…I am pregnant, afterall!