Miracles Invade The Mundane Of Ordinary Life…
“Husband, my water broke”, I called from the bathroom. It was just after 4:30am. He stumbles out of bed saying, “Are you serious?” He asks if he has time to shower to which I (stupidly) say, “Sure. Just be fast.” Yeah, about a minute later, I regretted that! I was on the floor with contractions like I had never felt! Little did I know I had skipped early labor altogether and gone straight into active labor. “You’d better hurry,” I yelled. It took us an hour, and we were out of there. By the time we pulled up to the hospital, I was having contractions every 2 minutes, and they were STRONG! I wasn’t thinking about the fact that this was risky because of my previous c-section or that I was possibly going to get the VBAC I had hoped for. My sweet 10-year-old son walked beside me carrying my bag as they wheeled me into the hospital (and my husband parked the truck). He was so concerned about me being in pain, but he did his best to keep calm and be a support for his mama. The sweet guy immediately spoke up when the nurse asked for my information, because I just could not manage to answer their questions, let alone utter a single understandable word due to my contractions. He was such a huge help. God gave him a big heart! And I am so blessed to be witness to his kindness.
Minutes later, as we are being situated in our room, we are finally told that I am at 5 cm. They give me an IV and bring me a birth ball, which I welcomed with open arms (laying down made this so much more uncomfortable). After a few contractions I sat on the ball and tried to focus. I couldn’t! “For heaven’s sake,” I thought, I cannot do this un-medicated for another 15 hours! Little did I know I was, and had been in transition and was very close to holding my little girl in my arms. After just a few minutes and several contractions, I felt the need to push. All I could mutter to the nurse was, “I need to push! I need to push!” She calmly says that she doesn’t think I am ready, but after my insisting she agrees to check. “Oh my gosh; you’re ready!” says the nurse, and those magic heavenly words come out of her mouth: “You can push if you feel you need to!” Oh sweet relief! My husband wanted to actually catch our daughter so they as quickly as humanly possible got him geared up and ready. This baby was coming so quickly that they didn’t even have time to break down the bed into standard delivery fashion. The closest available doctor just ran in and sat on the edge of the bed. Five pushes later, that sweet angel literally shot out. Not kidding, he was barely were able to catch her she came with such force! Oh my heavenly father, thank you for getting us through it safely! As my teary-eyed husband holds in his hands this tiny girl, he is in awe of this precious gift. He places her on my chest, and for the first time I get to cradle this perfect gift and admire her every feature. God had decided to bless my husband and I with a little girl. A sweet, snuggly, and incredibly beautiful baby girl.
I felt incredible! I lay there staring at this precious 4 pound 12 ounce miracle for over an hour. She wasn’t clean, and she wasn’t diapered, but I wasn’t going to let her go. As I studied her every feature, I couldn’t help but feel sorrow for those babies who aren’t loved or wanted. I questioned how in the world could anyone NOT want or love or protect their baby? Those precious children who are aborted, abused, neglected, scared, cold, hungry, unloved or simply thrown away into a garbage can. I am faced with this giant question, “Why does God let this happen?”. These thoughts followed me for months and months and almost every time I looked into my daughters eyes, again, “Why, don’t you protect the children God?”
God had blessed us with this incredible gift and we are so grateful!
I think back to when our doctor asked us if we wanted to perform the “standard” second trimester testing. My husband and I looked at each other and then back at the doctor and asked what the heck that even was. She explained that it was to test for Downs Syndrome and other common birth defects. Without even a hesitation I blurted out “No, I think we will pass”. I didn’t even consult with the Hubbs because I knew he felt the same way I did. “What would finding out change?” If we discovered our child did in fact have some type of birth defect, what could we do about it except for prepare ourselves by researching our child’s condition in order to be better equipped to care for her? And then we thought, “Do people actually chose to abort their baby if the result is a positive? Surely that cannot be.” I ended up asking our doctor about it the next time we went in, and she confirmed our fear, people DO sometimes abort for that reason! Oh my goodness I thought! How is that fair? How is that right? How does one really move on knowing they have just ended a beautiful and precious life?
This was just the beginning…
I need to rewind a bit. Because as I began this story, with all the emphasis being on my daughter, it sounds like I don’t care about my first child, and that could not be farther from the truth. In 2000, I gave birth to my first baby. A boy, a sweet and perfect boy I named Athen. He was just gorgeous (still is)!
I ended up not having the water birth I so longed for. As my son made his entrance into the world there was no soft music playing in the background as I had envisioned. No aromatherapy soothing me as I calmly breathe through each contraction. No dim candlelight shining onto my slimy newborns face as I study each and every perfect feature. Nope! I ended up with a fever, stalled labor, and a baby in fetal distress after 22 hours of labor. Going in and out of consciousness, I was rushed to the hospital and told that I would need a c-section right away! It was far from what I’d envisioned! After the spinal headache wore off, I was finally able to stand for long enough without vomiting instantly, which was 3 days later. I was finally able to see, hold, and love on my new baby. He was three floors down and in the NICU (healthy but needing to gain weight as he was 6 weeks early). My little 5 pound 5 ounce sweetie! For most of my son’s life I was a single mom who had a lot on her plate! Work took up most of my time, and my sweet son got what was left of me at the end of each day. I tried hard to make his life as good as I could, taking him on fun adventures, having him cook with me, finger painting and doing all the fun activities that come along with having a little boy yearning to learn and explore everything around him.
I have truly loved being his mother. He has taught me so much about myself, about life, and about love. However, Because my focus was on providing for him, I didn’t get a lot of time to really digest what it is to be a mother. I didn’t get to enjoy his younger years to the fullest.
Which brings me back to my daughters birth. I have been blessed that both God and my hard-working husband have made it possible for me to stay at home with her. I have actually been able to be so completely immersed in everything about my Ari. Able to be here to teach her and watch her grow in everything, not missing anything.
That gift has made me really think about life and how others might treat their children. It has caused me to ask the question, “How many children in the world know they are loved and truly cherished, and how many have never known love at all?” I then had the startling realization that way too many children in the world know only pain and suffering all caused by the hands of those charged to care for them. How heartbreaking. Sometimes I ponder how long it will be until Jesus returns and delivers these suffering babies from their chains of bondage. Then again, I also ponder about what we as the body of Christ can do in the meantime to help as many as we can until He comes? What will you do? Will you share this blog so that others might learn? Will you rise up? Or will you worry too much about what your friends might think? Or will you wait for the next person to act? Will you become a prayer warrior? What will YOU do?
Or For Them?
Are You Done Yet?
Okay, so I realize that after you all have already learned so much about me, I failed to even tell you my name! I’m Andrea, and I live in Oregon with my husband and three kids. In my house I am known for my “mom heart”. I am a softie and maybe a even a worry-wart. Okay, I’m definitely a worry-wart! I constantly have to remind myself to just trust God. He will take the heavy reigns from me if I just ask Him to. Let His will be done.
My kids are definitely my world, and they make me constantly strive to be a better person and a better mom. My teenager always argues with me, “I love YOU more”, to which I always ask, “Who’s Umore?” Ha! My son, Athen, has a big heart, and I couldn’t be more proud of him. He is young, but he has heard God’s calling on his life all on his own. He tells me that he thinks he is going to be a pastor someday, and I think that is amazing. Especially for someone his age to be expressing such a thing. But hey, I am going with it and support whatever he decides.
Now this might make one think that we are crazy church people who force a lot of overbearing religious beliefs on our children 24/7. That isn’t the case. We are Christians, and we know that trusting in and following God’s word is an extremely important foundational belief for our family. But we are people like everyone else, we make mistakes, we are far from perfect and we are definitely NOT holier than thou!
That handsome ginger standing next to me is my husband Grant. He is my rock. I know, cliche, right? But he is – he is MY ROCK! He is the one person in this world who loves me for me and who encourages “my kind of crazy” because, without it, he says I wouldn’t be the amazing woman he fell in love with. Sheesh! Really? I know; he is a keeper! He makes me feel like I can do anything and be great at it. He is always the first one to pick me up out of the dumps and tell me that I am smart, capable, and never the failure I may think I am. He is my “bestie” as he put it the other night (gosh I hate that word). We laugh together a lot! Maybe too much? I would also like to point out that this man is the kind of man who will go to work all day, then come home and do the dishes, make dinner, and give me a shoulder rub if he sees that I have had a rough day. He tells me all the time that I work all day, too, taking care of the kids and the house, so I should not feel guilty about him helping at home. Thank you, God! That’s just him on the husband side of things. I haven’t gotten to the father side! Grant is the most amazing father to our kids. He is so caring about everything in their lives. He makes sure to spend daily time with each of them so they always feel genuinely needed and wanted. Might I add that the fact that my husband has bonded so greatly with Athen is all God’s doing. Athen is not his biological child. But it was apparent from day one that these two boys would be forever kindred spirits, and I am so grateful for that.
Then of course our daughter Ari is a little bright ray of sunshine! She amazes us every day. She is hilarious, has such a sassy yet goofy personality, and the best mop of curly hair on her head! We were given a baby reading system and thought, “Heck, let’s try it!” It turns out that she loves words and reading! When she was just 9 months she read her first words, and by 14 month she was reading her first book! I’m not even kidding – she is now 4 and she reads at about a 5th grade level. She needs help on a few words still, but without spending more than 15 minutes a day, and not even every day, she has picked this up?! I can’t believe this kid came from my genes! She makes us laugh non-stop! So many days my husband and I sit on the sofa watching her play, and Grant will turn to me and say “She makes me want to cry. She is so sweet.” I agree. I so, so agree.
Lastly, our littlest, Emira Joy, was born April 2013 and she is our utter “joy” girl! A spitfire and an incredibly smart cookie. She is so stinking happy all the time and I am so beyond thrilled to have another little girly bop in our house!
Anyway, if you all haven’t figured out, I am long winded! LOL! But you know, this is me, and I apparently have a lot to say as I am discovering while writing this blog. I may not be eloquent, and I may not have the best grammar or punctuation, but helping these kids trumps any concern that I have about saving face on that front. Thanks for reading and God bless!