Saturday, December 12, 2015

My Child of Divorce

I have a child of divorce. He is one of the most loyal, dedicated, and fiercely protective beings I know. When he was young, his world was turned upside down, and it left many scars on his young soul. As he grew, he hurt. He bottled everything up, and he forgot. According to Dr. Judith Wallerstein, it's been found that children of divorce "strongly value love, marriage and parenthood, despite being wary of commitment and are remarkably compassionate and attuned to others' feelings." 

Children of divorce are often expected to fail or to do whatever their parents did. However, I have found that this has actually made him more aware of what not to be, and what TO be. He knows the kind of husband and dad he needs and desires to be and he is constantly working to be that person. When someone is important to him, he will do anything to protect them and keep them from harm or hurt in any way. He is very in tune with the emotional needs of others, that's one of the things that attracted me to him the most. He was my best friend and I could tell him anything, without the fear of judgement or condemnation. 

Was I nervous about marrying the child of divorced parents? Yes, I honestly was. I have always had a very difficult time trusting people and it's something I have to constantly work at. But I knew this was right, I knew I loved him and I just had to be with him for the rest of my life. But in the back of my mind, I always feared him leaving me - especially when life got hard. Then, life got hard.... real fast. And he was there, by my side. I cried many tears and had a lot of doubts. But once again, he was always there, right by my side.

We certainly aren't perfect, but God is on our side and He is guiding us as we continue to seek His will for our lives. I often look back to four years ago when I would be giving birth to my third son, only four months after his father had been killed. I look at where God has brought us, I look at the smile on my kids face when they get to have "man night" with their dad, and when I hear them pray thankful prayers, I just can't help but thank God for my child of divorce.

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Sunday, August 16, 2015

Dear Fellow Christians

Dear Fellow Christians,

I have felt like I am in a rut lately, like everything that comes out of my mouth is negative. It's something I struggle with, whether it be gossip, worrying, saying something sarcastic or mean, and many other things. It's something we have been trying to really work on as a family, but fail many times a day. Life can be hard sometimes and it's easy to lose focus and see the negative things in your life as people failing you. However, I believe a different way to look at that could be that God is closing or opening doors. This means I may not like everything everyone does to me, and I don't even have to agree with it, I just have to trust it. If only it was that easy...

I heard a great message today by a very influential man in my life. I worked with/for him as his ministry assistant and he opened my eyes to a whole new idea of Christianity. I will never forget a concept he shared with me when he was interviewing me - if Christians would rally together, not focussing on their differences, but choosing to focus on the fact that Satan is bad and how can we love people, the world would be much better off. What a neat way to look at things; it's ok to love and accept other Christians, even if they don't believe the same as us!

We are so all so guilty of focusing on politicians and how they're wrong and how we can spread the lies and hatred about them, we start rumors or tell others about personal things - even about our family, we are publicly humiliating Christians for not dressing correctly or not looking the way we feel they should look. How are we supposed to love OTHERS if we can't even love EACH OTHER? Why can't we show humility and grace to younger, less experienced Christians by having faith in them and what they are called to do? Because we are human, we are flesh, we are sinful, and we want to be in control. We feel the pull to do what we want or what we feel is best at the moment, even sometimes thinking it's what God wants us to do. But realize that sometimes our decisions that we think are so wonderful to broadcast, actually end up hurting others and ruining what could have been an excellent testimony.

I challenge you, CHRISTIAN, as I am challenging myself, to be kind, gracious, loving, caring, compassionate and to seek Christ in accepting people... including Christians.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Our Lucy

The time has come, I am finally able to share a homebirth story with you all! After over three years since the ambulance fiasco with Quentin and the disappointment in missing out on such a treasured moment, I was able to enjoy it exactly when the time was right... And I'm ready to tell you all about it!

Well, let's say that when my body finally decides to actually go into labor, it knows exactly what to do, and quickly! However, getting to that point seems to be a bit delayed. I'm sure most of you remember the 16 days after my due date with Quentin that I waited, and waited, and waited for him to finally come. Little Lucy wasn't far behind, as she arrived 12 days after my due date. I had been having contractions off and on for some time. They would be very consistent, painful, and even get closer, and then just go away! One night we even called the midwife because we thought they were the real thing. I was mortified that on my fourth baby I couldn't tell real labor from false labor because I was constantly having contractions. My midwife reassured me that it can be very hard to tell as you have more children, but I was still embarrassed to have called her, but she was just so sweet and understanding and for that I am eternally grateful.

The days went on, and so did the contractions. Finally, on my 11th day post date, I had an appointment with my midwife, where she stripped my membranes. As soon as I left the appointment, I felt different. I was having contractions off and on on the way home and they picked up once I got to the house. Later that evening, I did the dishes and mopped the floors in hopes to get things going. After this, they seemed to have stopped, so we went to bed around 9pm or so. At 11:30pm, I woke up from a contraction! My usual rule of thumb is to get up, walk around, use the restroom, drink some water, and they usually go away; that's how I knew if they were real or not. I waited for one more contraction, then I got up to use the restroom, where I had another one... Then I got up and walked back into our bedroom where I had another one! I then woke Jordan up and told him that if I had one more, we were calling the midwife. I had one more.

The midwife was called, and I began bouncing on the birthing ball that a friend let me borrow. Jordan would hold my hand and help me breathe through the contractions, which I might add started at 4 minutes apart. The midwife showed up around 1am, and you could see the relief in Jordan's eyes, and his focus became completely on me and what I needed. At this point, I had moved to being on my knees with my elbows resting on the birthing ball. The contractions were just under 3 minutes apart. I continued to labor as the midwife and the assistants set everything up and we began to fill the birthing pool. At some point, my water broke with one of the contractions, and that's when we moved to the pool. The warm water felt so good on my back in between contractions, but it just wasn't what I needed to labor in. It was very difficult for me to find the right position, so we eventually moved to the bed. It wasn't long after moving to the bed that things began to seriously progress and baby began to crown. I felt "the ring of fire" and looked at my midwife and said "I can't do this!" She looked back and said "Yes, Mary, you can." I guess I didn't have much of a choice, but certain parts of my body were screaming "NO!"

Now comes my absolute favorite part of my birth story... after that last push, it was time for Lucy to make her appearance. Jordan had been at my side throughout the rest of the time holding my hand, but at this point he was supporting my foot in his shoulder. Then Jordan did the most amazing thing, he guided our baby girl and she was delivered into his arms at 2:29am on Valentines Day, which just happened to be our first anniversary. He immediately put her on me and we both just cried. He then chose to deliver my placenta, and cut the umbilical cord. How amazing is he?!

After this, the boys came in and met their baby sister. They are absolutely in love with her! Tyson is such a good big brother, as always, wanting to help and assist in many ways. Zachary loves to help and wants to hold and love on her constantly. Quentin took a little while to warm up to her, but now he enjoys brushing her hair, giving her blankets, and kissing her head.

I finally had a homebirth and I couldn't be more thankful for the experience that we had. The midwives cleaned everything so excellently that you would never know I had given birth in my bedroom. They were so sweet and supportive, it was like having three of my best friends here to deliver my baby. Most of all, I am so thankful for my amazingly supportive husband who supported my choice to deliver at home, and went above and beyond what I ever expected. He is such a good dad, and it just melts my heart to see him have the opportunity to father our baby girl from the very beginning. I continue to thank God for putting him in our lives and for giving us a family again. I never thought I would have the opportunity to love again, and even have a little girl, but God certainly does know how to surprise us, and I couldn't be any happier about that.

I want to say thank you to my midwives, for their encouragement and dedication to their practice and clients, to those who have helped with so many things including meals, cleaning, helping with the boys, etc., and thank you to all of you who have faithfully read my blog and have continued to support me!