I DON’T UNDERSTAND

September 5, 2014 in Little People

To that mom who left her child, unattended, sweating, and red-faced  in the car in the parking lot,

 

I understand that it is a J-O-B taking that child into the grocery store with you.

I understand that in your mind it was just for a minute.

I understand that the days are long and the child never says thank you.

I understand that he grabs everything in sight, screams, pulls on you, distracts you, and generally makes you feel tired.

But HOW in the world do you look through the window at the sweet baby’s face and NOT CARE that you are leaving him in 100+ degree heat?

HOW do you NOT CARE that it could only take 5 minutes for someone to grab that child and take him from you forever?

HOW do you set your mind on ANYTHING save the fact that your child, whom at one point in space and time was a part of your very body, is now sitting, strapped and helpless, in the back of your car wondering if you are ever coming back?

I Don’t understand how you can leave him there, hot and afraid, with no one to hear his crying.

I Don’t understand how your heart fails to skip a beat the minute he is out of the range of your protective vision.

I Don’t understand how you lack the motherly instinct to kiss every boo boo and wipe away tears- especially tears that are caused by your negligence.

And I Don’t understand how you place the value of a quiet and thoughtful shopping experience over the worth of your helpless baby.

And I will never understand.

I’m going shopping today.

And this is what my cart will look like.

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Not only that, but there will be a baby wrapped onto my body like a tiny ninja.

And I will endure every third person that I meet telling me that my hands are full.

And I will silently persevere as middle aged men sigh with frustration because I am in their way.

And I will smile as people judge me and wonder why I have so many kids.

And I will tear up when elderly people come up to me and tell me that I’m not wasting my life.

And I will get angry and loose my temper with my children.

And I will be tired at the end of it all and feel like I am failing as a mother because my children just can’t seem to help themselves on the cereal aisle.

And I will curse under my breath say yes to the canned, cancerous ravioli JUST to make them BE QUIET and stop drawing more attention.

But I will NEVER under any circumstance tell them that they are worth so little that I would rather risk their lives than endure their company for an hour and a half while I shop.

I am made sick by the way you treat your children.

I am tired of these babies having to grow up in homes with parents who tell them that they are a burden.

Is it easy raising babies? No.

Am I the best mother? Definitely not.

But are my children my beloveds? yes!

Are their lives of significant value? yes!

Not only are my children the single greatest accomplishments of my otherwise insignificant life, but they are precious and adored by God. They are crafted by His hands and made in His image. They are the apple of His eye. And they belong to Him! I am simply raising them up for Him. And I have been given the honor and the privilege of holding their sweet hands as they walk through life, and kissing their sweet cheeks, and comforting their little hearts. They are GIFTS. And they should be treated as such.

Not left in a hot car with sweat pouring from their tiny foreheads.

I really do not understand.

And I never will.

Sincerely,

That mom with ALL the disorderly kids in the grocery store

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clanging Symbols

August 26, 2014 in Little People

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“For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you. ”Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. ”If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.” John 13: 15-17

When my children and I go to the grocery store — all of us, all five of us — it is a precarious walk from the car door to the sidewalk entrance. So, I came up with this game. We play ducks.

I am the mommy duck and the kids are the baby ducks, and the baby ducks have to follow the mommy duck very closely. And we all have to quack loudly like ducks until we make it safely across the ‘pond’.

It keeps the kids safe and makes me look neurotic…all at the same time! Fun, huh?

(I’m really not sure why it works, but it does.)

Raising little christian people is a lot like walking through that parking lot. It’s dangerous.

At every turn, we are met with life-threatening evils and loud, honking distractions.

It’s weighty, knowing that they are following me.

Lately, I have become passionate about the way I lead my children, and I have been convicted to make sure that my own life is not a stumbling block for them. I can lecture and preach all I want to, but if I don’t live like someone who has been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, then what good are my words?

As it says in 1 Corinthians 13:1, “ I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.”

If I spend 30 minutes explaining to my 3 year old that he can’t yell at this brother just because he is angry, and then five minutes later raise my voice at him because he has once again disobeyed, my words become noise.

What good is it to preach kindness to my children, and then come at them with hostility?

Or to encourage them to forgive one another while holding a grudge against them myself?

Or to explain to them what it means to be attentive, and then half-heartedly listen to them tell me all about the adventure they just had outside.

If I want to be heard, I have to listen. If I want to be loved and respected, I need to love and respect. If I want to be obeyed, I have model obedience.

There are so many fantastic resources out there for mothers. And I feel like I am constantly groping for the next one. I read books, watch interviews, read blogs, talk with other moms, and listen to radio shows

But my children could care less about how many books I have read, or how many well intended sticky notes are taped up around the house reminding me to make good habits. What they care about is what they see.

They need to hear the Word of God proclaimed in our household, no doubt. Without it, they have no hope.

But they also need to hear it from someone who they see believing it.

This is so convicting, and so hard!

As I stared into the eyes of my child yesterday and told him how the Savior was nailed to the cross because of the sin that he clung to, I felt the burden of my own sin weighing down heavy upon my heart.

It was indeed my sins, the ones I cling to in secret, the ones that I can dress up in pretty lies and keep as pets…

It was those that nailed my Savior to the cross.

Can I truly love that which killed my Lord?

I think about Him on that cross drawing His final breath, having suffered so greatly, having been humiliated and hurt for my sake, and what was His final thought?

Me.

It is finished.” He said.

His last  words to His people were words of comfort to us.

If that doesn’t make you hate your sin, I don’t know what will.

When I find myself as I did yesterday, seeing the cross more clearly as another layer of the veil is removed, and I see myself  in the light of day tightly clinging to those sins, I repent.

I throw them off as if they are hot coals and I run from them. I have to. Because I love my Savior. And as I tell my children, you can’t love your Savior and your sin.

But it’s usually in those moments of teaching, that the Lord teaches me. And I’m thankful for that.

And I’m stirred up once again to good works.

I don’t want to be a noisy, clanging symbol to my children. I want my words to count. Every one.

So as I get up this morning and pray and drink my coffee, I make sure that I am prepared to lead this little paddling of ducks.

I make sure that I am prepared to walk the walk and talk the talk.

Because if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck…

Well, it must be a duck.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Making me New

August 22, 2014 in Little People

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Our relationships with our children reveal so much to us about Jesus.

And I think that’s part of why God gives us children!

We go through the day to day labor of raising them, training them, and disciplining them–all the while believing that it is for their good (Which it is…) and not realizing how powerfully God uses it for OUR good.

Lately, I have been learning how to love the unlovable.

Call me a terrible mom, call my son a rebellious toddler, call God a Gracious Father.

Because whatever I am tempted to feel about this active, mischievous little sinner that has the iron will of a Spartan, my Father in heaven has never felt it toward me.

And whatever anger I’m prone to, whatever since of justice I feel has been violated, whatever personal offense I take at his constant and unrelenting rebellion, my Father in heaven has never felt it towards me.

Instead, He felt it towards His Son.

And when He looks at me…

He sees love.

And patience.

And kindness.

And gentleness.

And self- control.

All of those fruits that I fail to produce. All of those fruits that Jesus displayed so perfectly throughout His life here on this earth.

And so on my worst day, on my son’s worst day– when both of us are red faced and in tears from constant failed communication and imperfect discipline, God looks upon this awful, sinful mom and says, You are enough.

Because Christ was enough.

I realize that and the tears flow. And I sit in my hallway in the dark with my coffee before the children get up and I pray.

I pray that God would be gracious to win their hearts as He has won mine.

I pray that He would use my imperfect parenting for His glory, to make a difference in their lives.

I pray that He would equip me with every grace necessary to get through just one. more. day.

And I pray that in those tense moments of internal conflict– in the heat of battle between my old wayward sinful man and the redeemed and radiant new, that God would send His helper to make me remember His words, “as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.”

And in that moment I would choose to glory in offering up my life as a sacrifice of praise by loving the unlovable, by serving the mess maker, by kissing the one who so often brings me to the end of myself.

He gave me this child as a blessing. But not only because children are a blessing, but because having children is a blessing…

Because they bring out our worst so that we have to repent of it.

And they act like mirrors, to show us what ugly, wicked behaviors we have taught them.

And they force us to acknowledge that we are not God. And we really, truly have no control over their hearts.

And they make us depend on His sovereignty and His grace.

At the end of the day when I am completely strung out, feeling tired, and boring, and old.

I want to be able to say, if only in a tired whisper,

Thank you, Lord, for giving me this awful little sinner.

Because through parenting him, Jesus is making me new.

We Don’t Need No Education…Or do we?

August 14, 2014 in Uncategorized

Actually, we do.

And we’ve all been getting one this week!

Here’s what we have done.

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We took the very cliche first day of school photo.

 

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We labored to get used to sitting still for a few hours a day. And concentrating on the task at hand!

 

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In History we learned about the Phoenicians and how they used snails from the Mediterranean Sea to die cloth and jewelry.

Then we pretended to die jewelry (noodles) with our boiled snail sludge (food coloring).

It was legit…until Graysen confessed the next morning to getting hungry and eating all the necklaces.

Some people’s children are speeeeeecial. Not mine, though… they are totally normal.

 

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I’m pretty sure science is the kids’ favorite subject! And the best thing about it is that Daddy gets involved! He helped the kids make this neat little model of the solar system…which is missing Pluto. What do you think? Is Pluto a planet?

 

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We prepped for our spelling test by using Scrabble letters. (Genius mom moment!) The kids thought this was totally awesome.

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We also did something NEW!  We went to the dentist! Yay!

I know I should have taken them like, 3 years ago or something…but better late than never!

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They were so cute and apprehensive. But they stayed brave… and I got to use it as an opportunity to teach them that God is with them ALWAYS. And that they can pray to Him in times of fear and stress.

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This guy looks so big laying up there.

And THIS GUY…

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Oh man… he is at such a tough stage. He is a very active little guy. So he into trouble often. But he is so cute.  Life is a playground. And a world of discovery. He keeps me on my toes!

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And to my pleasant surprise, he jumped up there and did everything she asked him to! He was the perfect model citizen!

Woohoo! That is the Lord’s mercy at work, people! Cuz, I was honestly worried he might bite her finger or something… you just never know with this guy. ha!

So that’s it. That’s our week. I am SO TIRED from trying to keep up with these little Morgan people. But I guess it keeps me young!

And I leave you this little gem as I go:

Please WAtch.

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A helpless bride

July 29, 2014 in Heart-songs, Love Stories

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Yesterday my husband worked a 22 hour day.

He fell asleep at 7:30, sitting– with his head in his hand, on the couch.

And the work met him again this morning at 7:00 am.

And it relentlessly keeps coming, because it’s summer. And that’s what summers are like.

And I feel so helpless as a stay at home mom, to contribute anything to his labor!

I have no computer skills to offer him, no money to help pay bills, and hardly any time to comfort him- with a newborn attached to me constantly.

All I can do is love him, and praise him, and be thankful, and rest in his provision.

And even that I don’t do well.

My hands are so empty.

When my husband married me, he took me unto himself. I became a part of him.

He took me on as his own flesh, to comfort me and love me, to provide for me, to cultivate my love for Christ, to nurture my soul’s affection for my Lord.

He acquired nothing, taking my debts as his own. I became his responsibility.

My problems became his problems, my discomforts became his discomforts, my challenges his challenges.

I’m a whole lot of trouble. And I cost him a lot.

And yet, he delights in me.

Joyfully, and without hesitation, he calls me his.

I bring him joy, and satisfaction. (I hope…)

And if this is true of my earthly husband, how much more is it true of my heavenly one?

He loves me at great cost to Himself.

He pours Himself out for my sake, took on the wrath of God for my sake, becomes sin for my sake. So that I might become the righteousness of God. He fills me up with His spirit so that my brokenness is healed and my ugliness becomes beauty. My sins are forgiven and my soul is free.

And why?

Simply because He loves me, and because in a mysterious way, I bring Him glory and honor as His redeemed and perfected bride.

I’m so thankful that my loving and faithful earthly husband leads me to my heavenly one, that he teaches me about sacrifice and cherishes me in my helplessness.

I’m thankful that both husbands delight in me, a wicked and vile sinner, a debtor… but a redeemed bride.

Lord, give me grace to love them both.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Quit Sugar

June 15, 2014 in book review

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Okay, so I didn’t really quit sugar.
But I thought about it.
For a nano-second.
But then I remembered the Moose Tracks Ice cream in my freezer and quickly came to my senses.
Really though, if I DID plan to ‘quit’ sugar, I would probably use this book as a guide. Author Sara Wilson has a friendly, conversational writing style that invites readers to join her in her pursuit of health. Often when I read this type of diet or health book, I feel as if the author is condescending and snobby, but I didn’t get that at all when reading this book.
Also, the loose eight week ‘step-program’ seems like a great approach to an ambitious habit-breaking exercise.
The book is laid out well, beginning with the why, moving on to the how, and ending with the delicious-looking recipes that help you to achieve your goal.
I did try one of the recipes, the egg-bacon-muffins, which were great. But they should come with a warning that the grease from the bacon WILL in fact set your oven on fire.
After the initial shock of having to put out a fire at 7 am on a Monday, I did quite enjoy my delicious sugarless breakfast.
I would compare this book to something like the recently made popular Trim Healthy Mama, but I will say that I Quit Sugar is much shorter and contains much less information. This can be good if you are easily overwhelmed by information and just in need of a quick How-To. If you want something more in dept, and with more explanation, THM is the way to go. The premise of both books seem to roughly be the same, though they take different approaches. Both have you get off of processed sugar as well as natural fructose– such is found in honey and fruit. THM actually also suggests separating meals with fats from those with carbs, while IQS just has you cut sugars altogether.
Both books have recipes, but IQS contains beautiful food photography, which I find helpful. When health food looks good, it gives me the push I need to try it, whereas my imagination maybe isn’t always great at picturing a yummy-looking chia seed milkshake. But alas, it can be so… as I found in this book.
Would I suggest this book to a friend in need of diet or nutrition education? Perhaps. It certainly would help someone looking for a major lifestyle change. I personally prefer regulating my diet and maintaining fitness by eating healthy, moderate portion sizes and getting adequate exercise. But for some, this approach may be the way to go…especially for someone with sugar sensitivity.
As for now, though, I am happy to try some of Wilson’s recipes and continue my modest indulgence of sugar.

I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah for this review. I was not required to give a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are honest and my own.

Redeeming Love: A Review

May 28, 2014 in Uncategorized

In a world where everything comes at a price, it is hard for us to wrap our minds around the concept of free grace. But this grace is exactly what is offered us through our redemption in Christ Jesus.
In the Bible, we find that we are slaves to sin. But at great cost to Himself, Jesus frees us from the bonds of slavery and unites us to Himself, reconciling us to God, and giving us the seal of the Holy Spirit– our down payment to the inheritance that we have in Him! And all of this was done for us while we were yet sinners…while we hated Him! (Romans 5:8) How can such love be– that one could so love the unlovable?
And we are so unlovable! In case we have doubts, God has given us a picture of our adulterous, wicked hearts in the book of Hosea, and it is from this book that our author finds her inspiration for Redeeming Love.
Redeeming Love is an allegory of the book of Hosea. It follows the story of a young girl named Angel, whose life has never been anything but a mess. She is cold-hearted, angry, and hardened by bitter providences. She knows nothing of love, nor does she care to. Her only joy in life is found in those few moments of being alone.
But God sends her the hero that she doesn’t know she wants, and through His unwavering pursuit, she finds freedom and life in Christ.
This book is a lovely romance.  Whether you are a Christian or not you could enjoy reading it, but the themes of grace and forgiveness in Christ are undeniable throughout. You could not easily read this book and ignore the reality of Jesus’ redeeming work on the cross.
That having been said, this book can not be substituted for the Word of God, nor does it contain the power to save lost sinners. It simply points us to a greater love, and a greater story– the story of our Savior, and His loving work on the cross. And while pointing us, it tickles our imagination, prompting us to explore more deeply what it looks like to be pursued by redeeming love.

I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah for this review. I was not required to give a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are honest and my own.

Little Lovie

May 19, 2014 in Uncategorized

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I’m pretty sure sleeping with her is like the adult version of having a lovie.

Sweaty baby smell is like crack to postpartum mommies…

Am I right?

You know I am.

I wake up every two hours right now and somehow manage to nurse in total darkness.

I live for the sound of the coffee pot at 6 am.

And I have to confess…

There’s something about that middle of the night sleep deprivation that makes my judgement go right out the window.

What I mean is… under no other circumstance would I think it is a good idea to eat half a bag of jumbo marshmallows.

But at two am, covered in milk and baby sweat with red eyes and crazy hair…you can bet you’ll find me sneaking in to the kitchen to do something just so menacing.

What is wrong with me?

Anyway… I am a week and a half from the 6 week mark, which is both exciting and sad at the same time.

Sad because my baby is almost 6 weeks old! Exciting because that means I get to start running again!

For me, running was never about speed or distance…mostly because I accomplish neither, but running is about challenging myself and burning off frustration and just generally feeling good and tired and sweaty…which is a special kind of rewarding.

I did see this the other day and giggle tho… because I NEED it.

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It’s so so true.

But let’s see…what else is going on besides my future fitness and present marshmallow problem…?

The kids are slowly picking back up their schoolwork! (just at summer let’s out for all the normal kids)

Poor homeschoolers…

I cooked dinner 3 nights in a row last week! And felt like superwoman about it.

And currently, none of my children are sick.

Can I really ask for more?

Life is good. Not completely back to normal yet, but well on it’s way.

And I am really loving every second.

Now if I can just figure out how to get my 3 year old NOT to poop in his big boys, I will be mom of the year.

:)

Or something like that.

Oops, I hear something in the kitchen that has that sneaky sound about it…

Stay golden!

Until next time,

The Jet Puffed-MM Queen

 

 

 

 

 

One month photos

May 17, 2014 in Uncategorized

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And then there were SIX…

May 13, 2014 in Uncategorized

It is hard work making a tiny human.

It’s so exhausting carrying around 30 extra pounds, suffering through heartburn and a wide assortment of aches and pains, getting up at all hours of the night to go tinkle, and do I really even have to mention the hormones?

Towards the end of pregnancy, it really takes an act of faith everyday to get up and keep moving– faith that pregnancy, despite how it feels, really won’t last forever…especially when your tiny person is 6 days past her due date!

But in the end, the result is always worth it.

Because miraculously, God uses fragile and broken people– mommies– to bring forth life.

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Beautiful life.

This is Evelette Elise Morgan. And one month ago today, God used me to bring her to life.

On April 15, I woke up (after a full moon/ lunar eclipse) six days past my due date, and was devastated once again to find that I didn’t have a baby in the middle of the night…like everyone thought I would.

But soon after getting up and moving around, I had some ‘signs’ that pointed to imminent labor. Half in denial, I told my husband that we were finally having a baby. To which he responded, Are you sure? 

I called the Dr.’s office and told them that I thought I was probably, more than likely, hopefully, fingers crossed, going into labor very soon. They told me to come on in.

We decided to drag our feet, since my mother-in-law had to come from out of town to keep the kids, and since I hadn’t actually felt any significant contractions…so we slowly gathered our things and loaded the car and showered.

I fixed my hair and put on make up, and two hours later, my lovely mil arrived. By that time I could tell, barely, that I was having contractions about every 8 or 9 minutes. SO EXCITING! But I still thought labor might be a day away.

But just in case I was in labor, I decided to ask my husband to detour at Sonic before going to the clinic…because once I got there they would tell me not to eat, and then I would be hungry all day. So instead, I ate a big hamburger and ff…hoping I wouldn’t regret it.

What’s the expression? Better to beg forgiveness than ask permission.

Sure enough, when I got there, 2 1/2 hours after I had spoken with the nurse on the phone and wielding a sonic cup, the nurse was not happy. Are you still contracting?? she asked. I told her yes, every 8 minutes. And she nervously had me sit and wait for the Dr to get back from lunch. Asking me a few times if I was okay…

Once called back, I was monitored and eventually checked by my Dr. who told me that I was 5-6 cm dilated! What? But I could hardly feel the contractions!

My Dr. sent me right over to the hospital to be checked in, again reassuring me that my plans for a natural birth would be respected, and telling me he would see me in a bit.

Once at the hospital, I was checked into my room and monitored for 20 minutes. While listening to the precious sound of my baby’s heartbeat, my nurse carefully read over my birth plan and discussed it with me. About the time that she finished, my mom and good friend/doula, Emily, showed up. Then we got going!

I began to feel contractions over the next couple hours, but they progressed very slowly and I very calmly breathed through each one. I know it’s strange, but I loved those early contractions when I began to feel pain. It was so exciting, and it was so manageable! It was the perfect labor that I had planned for! Emily and Brandon rubbed my palms through a few contractions, and then my nurse brought in a birthing ball (and the heavens opened).

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The birth ball was my best friend during labor. I sat comfortably on that thing the whole time! My sweet husband sat behind me, and we comfortable began working together and figuring out the perfect counter-pressure. We did this for a while as the contractions slowly intensified.

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I was so relaxed the whole time and so unafraid of the future. Emily and I had spoken before labor about not being fearful and just focusing on the present…and that is exactly what I did. Finally, things started to get intense and my nurse asked me if she could check my progress. I agreed, and found that I was 8-9 cm! Annnnd, begin transition!

After I got check, I stood up to move to the restroom and stood over the sink through a contraction or two. They were so intense that my husband HAD to continue counter-pressure for the pain not to kill me. (I also realized that I was involuntarily moaning through each contraction! ha.)

I swear he worked as hard as I did! And sweet Emily was there to relieve him when he needed a break. I ended up standing with my arms over my husband’s back, with Emily squeezing my hips when I finally gave in and announced that it was time to push.

This part was a little awkward. I ended up sitting in the bed, straight up. My nurse asked me if I wanted to lay back and I said no… but my Dr. being the hilarious man that he is, persuaded me once he got there that if I didn’t lay back a bit, I would end up sitting on the baby… and so I relented.

I never thought of myself as a screamer… but guess what? I am!

I screamed. I cried. I begged for mercy. At once point, I wailed pitifully, “This was a really bad idea”…which resulted in a collective “awwww…nooooo, honey” from my onlookers.

But after a lot of screaming and several unproductive pushes, my Dr. got eye level with me and lovingly said… Okay. Either we are going to sit here and scream, or we are going to push. But we are not going to do both. 

And so I shut my mouth for a minute and pushed and… to everyone’s excitement, my water broke with the most epic, and dramatic gush… shooting– no lie– 10 feet across the room. Thankfully no one was standing there. I still think that was everyone’s favorite part. Other than the baby being born, of course.

45 minutes later, and with a lot more unashamed screaming, my little girl took her first breath. The Dr. put her on my chest and we just lay there staring at each other and falling in love. Everyone cried– because she was so beautiful, but also because they’re all so empathetic they were glad my pain was over!

It was the perfect birth–relatively painless until the end, and then shockingly painful. Really, no one could have prepared me for the ‘pushing’ pain. yikes. But it was an experience full of love, and peace, and support. My ‘birth team’ was amazing, and I felt so loved and cherished by all of them. My husband especially was my hero, and birth- was very much a romantic experience, with him being my knight in shining armor.

And my baby was perfect! She stopped crying every time I held her, and even when they took her to be weighed, she looked around as if searching for me. We had an instant bond.

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This was the face she made when they took her to be weighed. Now she makes that face when she wants milk.

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Holding Daddy’s hand…

My Dr. was my guardian that day and made sure that my labor was exactly how I wanted. By the end of my pregnancy and labor I felt like he was an old friend. I highly recommend him to anyone wanting a natural labor experience!

Evelette’s first month has been amazing. I have experienced no post pardum depression, no feelings of being an overwhelmed-mother-of-4. It has been a smoothe, wonderful transition. Every minute with her is worth all the pain. And being a newborn’s mommy makes me remember my other babies and stirs up such affection for them.

The Lord has blessed me beyond measure, and I cannot wait to tell Evelette of His goodness, as I have told the others.

May He work in me day by day, that I might lead her to Him.

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