Monday, April 27, 2015

things i don't recommend...

Having a broken rib while very pregnant. After 5 weeks of pain/sickness, 7 different doctors and countless appointments, I was finally diagnosed today with a broken rib. And y'all, it's excruciating. What's the best course of action? Rest, don't lift things or exert myself too much...these people clearly don't understand my job description. And I am so discouraged. I can't enjoy being pregnant for these last few weeks. I can't be a great mom to my three little ones. I feel like these weeks are being stolen from us.

So, though I don't usually ask this, please send up a prayer for our little family. I know that in the grand scheme of life, it's just pain. But pain is hard to live with. And I want these last few weeks to be sweet. I want to play with my monkeys, to not have to ask them not to climb on me--there will be plenty of that after the c-section. And of course I want to protect this precious little one resting in my belly. So please pray for encouragement, for an ease in pain, for moments that are tolerable. And for each of our four children, that I may find creative ways to be there for them and love on them through the pain.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

offering grace

This week is national infertility awareness week, and though I know that no one else identifies me as "infertile" anymore, especially as they see me wrestling my three little crazies with a giant belly to boot, it's a label that will always stay with me. Andrew and I struggled with recurrent pregnancy loss, which is a branch of infertility. We could get pregnant...we just couldn't stay pregnant. And each loss, no matter how early, was excruciating.

Many of you, my sweet friends who read this blog, came upon this site because of your own journey through infertility. Some of you have since welcomed children, and some of you have not. This week, I want you to all know that I love you and am rooting for you always. I think often of the women I know who want a baby...whether it's their first, second, or twelfth. For those going through treatment, know of my prayers for you and your family. Prayers for success, of course, but also for peace and kindness to surround you. Treatment, at any level, is terribly difficult. It's all-consuming and scary and inconvenient and painful and expensive and generally not fun. And, unfortunately, it doesn't always work.

For all of my sweet friends reading this who have lost children of their own...Ours is a group no one wants to join. The loss of a baby is so quiet and invisible to the world, yet so loud in our own hearts and heads. For those of you with babies you will never meet, know that I honor and cherish those babies with you. I don't forget them. They were important and loved, and they still are.

And finally, for everyone (including myself), let this week remind us to be sensitive to those around us. To not immediately ask a woman when she is having kids, or when she is having another. To be aware of the quiet woman when pregnancy comes up, and maybe even have the grace to change the subject. And to offer grace to all we meet, as we have no idea of the challenges they are currently facing.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

crocs and socks

My sweet daughter wears crocs with socks, and somehow there is nothing I can do about it. My kids are growing up, and it's happening so incredibly fast. They put on shows and make up games and tell me no. They have opinions--strong ones--about basically everything. Even Shep tells me no on an hourly's definitely his favorite word.

Every single day the twins amaze me in some way. They do something or say something completely unexpected, making me wonder where my tiny babies have gone. And Shepherd, with his constant desire to be just like the big kids, is never far behind. At 19 months tomorrow, he refuses to slow down, running and talking and playing so smartly. I've had some tough weeks recently, but my kids have made them okay. When I stop and look at these three amazing little people, I am literally in awe. Yes, they are crazy. Big brother pushes little brother. Little brother has already learned to come say "Barnes hit" when he doesn't get his way. And sister may have a complete tears-in-the-floor meltdown if you limit the number of baby dolls she can take on her walk. But overall, they are amazing. They are fun and spirited and hilarious and creative. They eat up each new activity and love exploring the world. And the big ones are already in love with their newest baby brother, which is music to a momma's ears.

Tonight during bedtime, I went in to kiss Shep (Dad always puts Shep down) and I told Andrew that I couldn't believe we made this sweet little man. But then I realized how wrong I was. Andrew and I could have never made him or any of our children. Only our God could do that. A God who is loving and merciful and knows the sweetness of parenthood. A God who works things for good. It's a mystery to me--an unexplainable one. I will never pretend to understand how God and children and parenthood works. I cannot believe that our loving God would withhold children from anyone, yet I have seen and experienced families longing for babies. I have heard the stories and seen the tears of those who lost their precious children. So I don't really think of children as "gifts" from God. Yet at the same time, I am certain that my three precious babies, as well as the fourth coming soon, could not possibly exist without the goodness of God. So I'm completely unsure of how parenthood works--how it all fits together. I am certain that nothing I did could have merited the opportunity to raise these children, but I'm also certainly thankful for this experience. And with the passing of time, I have begun to be more and more comfortable with the fact that it is a mystery. That it's okay to not understand. To be thankful for not just the things I know to be true, but to pray thanksgiving over the things that are beyond my comprehension. And to most certainly be thankful for the three little reflections of God that I get to experience each day.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

happy easter

Happy Easter, dear friends! As our littles get older, it's amazing to see the joy they exude on these special, holy days. Despite not understanding the full meaning yet, they just seem to get it. They can sense that this day is about love...about promises kept and hope and life.

My prayer for them is that as they continue to grow in size, they will also continue to grow in faith, understanding, love, service, empathy and kindness. That the sacrifice and victory we celebrate this season not be lost on them, but that feel the full weight of God's love for them. And that Easter will always be a holy time for them to celebrate and remember.