Tuesday, December 20, 2011

the best christmas gift we could receive

yesterday morning, i was given some very surprising yet joyous news. we are expecting.

before i get any snide comments or somewhat snarky side notes, let me say this:

no, we werent "trying". yes, we do know what causes this. yes, i am very nervous, and while this was most unexpected, it is truly a gift from God and i am so very excited to be blessed one more time.
we are happy about this news so please respect that and know that the reason that i'm telling everyone is because i want and need support from my friends and family. yes, i know superstition says you shouldnt say anything before the first trimester, but i am not one for superstition. i dont want to be quiet about something when i could have prayers and hugs and ..well, just support. also, please know that i am by no means gloating...i know there are folks out there who are trying to conceive and who need help doing so. it took us 2 years to conceive lily. we had truly given up when i found myself pregnant with her. never lose hope that it can happen. never lose faith.
so, if you have other questions, please ask. i will do my best to answer them.

"Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.
Children born to a young man are like arrows in a warrior’s hands.
How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them!
He will not be put to shame when he confronts his accusers at the city gates." (Psalm 127:3-5)

Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, "Oh, that you would bless me indeed and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain." And God granted his request.
(1 Chronicles 4:9-10)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

sometimes you just need to look in the mirror.

while i sit here, with amelia in my lap, fighting a naptime she knows she needs...i try to accept myself. i read an article today by a mom who talked honestly about not fitting into her prebaby jeans. i'm there. 3 and a half months postpartum and i've nearly given up all hope of being "back to normal". i fight with myself constantly on this.
i was on bed rest for 3 months straight. no exercise. no...nothing. just bed rest. i swear, this ruined my body. but it kept amelia healthy and most importantly, alive. she was born exactly 3 weeks early. i wouldnt have made it that far if i had not been on bed rest.
also, i feel that i tend to blow things out of proportion. my body isnt ruined. it's just not the way it was before i was pregnant. it's actually still changing. i notice little differences every day. i'm just the kind of person that needs constant reassurance that i look okay. that i'm not overweight. add to this that i DO have enough common sense to keep these issues to myself and NOT pass them onto Lily who watches my every move. and please dont misunderstand me. i did not receive my issues from watching my mom fret over her body. in fact, i dont ever remember her worrying about things like that.
no, i have a theory. my theory is this:  people pay WAY too much attention to how others and themselves look. i grew up very small framed...if not somewhat dangerously skinny. i heard on a daily basis, several times a day how i was too skinny, how i needed to eat more. blah. blah. blah.
and then i graduated high school. i fell in love. i got married....eventually, i was pregnant.
i still heard on a daily basis how i was so tiny. "cute" pregnant. then i gave birth and i remember struggling with my body after that...but it has become a blur between my struggle to getting back into my size 0 jeans. i have no idea how long it took. i dont remember any of it.
i bounced around after that as far as jean sizes go. i would bounce anywhere in between that foreboding 0 to a size 5.
i started hearing "you look really healthy!"
healthy? what the hell is healthy? i'm not skinny anymore?!....and so the seed was planted. (by myself and no one else)
when you get used to hearing something your entire life and then all the sudden that view changes...it can rock you to the core. i know it did me.
now mind you, i have a fantastic family. they always tell me how i look "good". never once have i heard "you might wanna hold off on that second helping."
also, keep in mind, i'm not big on exercise. i LOVE sports. could play softball or volleyball all day every day...but put me in a gym? ugh. no thanks. booooring. so, it's not like i'm one of those people who have exercised like crazy and i just cant lose the weight. nope, that's not me. i hate exercise. also, i love food. big helpings, too.
see my struggle? i'm actually very blessed with my body type and yet, i hate my body some days, quite often.. isnt it terrible to be a girl? we're quite often way too obsessed with how we look.
i fully believe that we need to have classes in school, starting at a very young age, for girls and boys and body image. teach kids early to love their bodies just as they are. teach them to eat healthy, be active, and love your body as it looks. no alterations.
i hate that i worry about my body at all. i have been given two fabulous gifts. two beautiful girls and i'd like to think that maybe we'll be blessed with another gift sometime in the future, which means my body will be ravaged again by nine months of craziness. and possibly more bed rest.
so, while today i'm of sound mind and body, i'd like to pose this question and answer it as well:

will my prebaby jeans ever fit again?

Answer: i will not dignify that question with a yes or a no. i will simply say this: who cares? i went through hell to keep amelia healthy and alive and she was born beautiful and healthy. what a crazy awesome blessing! and now? i kinda like the way i look in the jeans i have now. they may not be "the" size...but who cares? i'm happy. i love my babies and my husband loves me. and that's all i need to know.

side note to all women:
please dont ever hate a girl for how she looks. even if she appears skinny, chances are, she doesnt view herself in that light. chances are, she hates her body just as much as the next girl. instead, look in the mirror and start listing off the things that you love about yourself. you'll find more happiness there than in looking over the fence.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


now that arnie and i are parents of two children, multiple questions and worries arise in me.
we bask in the smiles of our infant daughter and marvel at the fact that we did this once before seven years ago. we struggle to remember (did we do this with Lily?)
and then guilt follows....we feel that we are far from seasoned parents, but we also feel that we are, at least, slightly, improved in our parenting skills.
i constantly question if Lily got this same amount of attention and comfort. did i talk to her as much? did i interact this much with her? how is she affected by watching us interact with Amelia?
my girls are being raised different, no matter how hard i try for that not to happen, it is. when i became pregnant with Lily, i had no fear of miscarriage, i had no knowledge of any dangers that might be lurking around the corner.. i was blissfully ignorant. i did things that i wouldnt dream of doing while being pregnant now.
we look back now and realize that we were much more immature as parents with Lily as a baby than we are now.
with Amelia, i was all too aware of what i could lose. when she was born- healthy and adorable, it was a moment of tears, of relief, of thankfulness. with Lily, i was so impatient for her to be born, when she came, it was more of a "finally!" moment. i didnt give myself to the moment the way i should've.

my hope is that i raise two girls who are much, much more confident than i was or am today. that they make wise decisions, that they are not quick tempered like me, but that they show patience and kindness, even in the face of difficulty. that they are raised with our church and have a love and devotion for God that is nurtured by everyone they know.

i worry often about the differences between Amelia and Lily and how they will turn out and how much myself or Arnie influences who they will be as adults. one can only wish...and pray...that we are doing right by them.

on suffering..and loss

as a friend or family member, i hope you know that if you are going through bad times, if you are suffering, then i suffer with you.
i am not one who shows emotions, i'm not big on showing affection, but i promise you that if you are in pain, i am pained with you.
there are things that have happened here recently right here in zanesville that i have tried hard to avoid. i dont want to give it a great deal of thought. i dont want to travel into the basement of dispair and sadness and loss.
a mother lost her child.
i dont know this woman. i didnt know her child.
but i am a mom. and my heart breaks for her. my eyes tear up just thinking about her pain.
a friend brought up that this lady's child was a twin and that with every milestone that her other son reaches, it will be a reminder of the fact that she lost one. i needed to block out the conversation at that point.

i remember when i was pregant with Lily and i was in a group setting, the topic arose to who was the youngest mother. i was quickly ruled out because i wasnt considered a mother yet. my feelings were hurt. but i forgot about it and gave birth to a healthy baby girl who has more gusto than i ever expected.
flash foward to august 27th 2010. i went in to the ER and found out that the baby in my belly had no heart beat. i certainly felt like a mother at that point. and i feel the loss still.

i feel the loss every time i see a baby that is the same age that mine would've been. my heart breaks with pain. my baby would be five months old. there is a constant lump that stays in the back of my throat.

i found out another friend is due in april. that was my due date. i feel my breath catch in my throat. it's never ending. because it was my month, i know too much information. i know the month they conceived. i know what week she's in. i know the symptoms she's probably experiencing. i am happy for her...but i feel the sadness cover me like a rough wool blanket.

i cannot imagine another parent's loss. but i know my own and i wouldnt wish it on anyone. my reminders are small and i block out when i can, however unhealthy that may be...but some have daily reminders...constant reminders... how deep their sadness must be.

i have been greatly blessed and i do not question my losses (very often). i live each day and remember and pray the prayer of Jabez. i remind myself of when Jesus said you do not have because you do not ask. i pray for those i love and those i know are suffering.

so if you ever see me staring a little too long at a baby...maybe now you'll understand why. and please remember something before you comment: one child does not replace another. and strangely, amelia does not remind me of anything sad...it's only when i see a baby that would've been the same age as mine...and i am oh so very thankful for what i have. i just felt like venting since i'm not one to "talk" about my feelings.

  • Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, "Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain." And God granted his request. 1 Chronicles 4:10.