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2.12.2012

Amelia's Birth: One Year Later

As one can imagine, I'm still in shock that my baby is now a toddler. I'm in shock that my husband and I survived our first year of parenting! And some days, I'm even in shock that I am a mommy. You can probably tell that I've been reflecting a lot. How can I not? I find that I am in closest communion with God when I can see where I've come and see that He is leading me forward into even more adventures. And life has been nothing short of an adventure this last year!

Amelia Ada Laine at 6 hours old
First snuggle with Mama ♥
What I want to reflect on specifically is my birth experience with Amelia. It is a long, intense story that I never dreamed of in all the birth planning we did. I wanted the most natural birth I could have in a hospital. With my midwife, doula, & husband as my supporting team. Medication free. In whatever position was most comfortable for me. Jacuzzi tub for relaxation. On my terms. What I ended up with was a long, strenuous labor. A heart rate as high as the sky from stress. A baby with vitals unreadable by monitors. A baby needing a monitor on the head while still in the womb. An epidural at 10 cm (prepping for a c-section) in the middle of a contraction from hell. A 15 minute warning that if I didn't push her out, they were wheeling me to the OR. An episiotomy, vacuum assisted, scarring birth. The deafening sound of, "Does she have a pulse?" and CPR being performed on my one minute old child. Nurses rushing Amelia to the nursery. Not holding my newborn for the first time until 6 hours after her birth. [You can read the full story here.] All that to say, it wasn't exactly what we planned or wanted. By a long shot.

I don't want my reflection to be about the negative and my bitterness. It has taken a full year to finally get to this point. But I can see the good in such a challenging birth. For the last few months, I have struggled with questions in my own mind of what I could've done differently to have a more ideal birth, why I had to go through that, etc. a lot of "what if?" I have watched a couple birth documentaries recently and they left me realizing I was just another statistic. A lot of what happened, I think, had to do with me not being louder in my maternal voice, the medical staff not knowing my body like I do, and the medical staff feeling the need to rush what they felt like was a labor process going too slow. When I dwell on this stuff, I get so mad. mad at myself for not being more bold in moments that I didn't feel advocated for. I get mad that I didn't get to do it my way. I get mad about so much.
Our little family. Finally together.

But why get mad? What matters is that our daughter surpassed all odds and has lived a vibrant first year! She is healthy, smart, and growing tons! What also matters is that in my next birth, I have the experience to help me be more bold. Next time I will trust my body. It may go better. Or not. God is in control. And He is so faithful. But today, the most important part of this story is a precious girl that rocked our world back on June 4, 2010 when we found out this a tiny human was being knit together in my womb. Nine months later, she was here [even if it was a rough entry into the world]. The two of us became 3. A family.

Our lovely, content kiddo.
I never knew that one tiny person could cause so much joy, love, and raw emotion to well up in me. Or that one tiny person could cause me to fall flat before the Lord as I realize how much I need Him to continue life as I raise this child. I honestly have no words to describe what I feel for my sweet Amelia. There are only tears as I write this.

Today, we celebrate her. Our one year old daughter. Mama and Dada love you, Monkey. ♥

2.01.2012

P*INC Magazine article by Lindy Portin

A month ago, Lindy, a friend who writes for an online magazine called P*INC (click here to learn about the magazine and how it came to be), asked if she could write about me. She asked me questions about my story as a Christian. Everything from how I came to know Christ to how life is being a young mom. I had a blast writing for it. I just love to write about the things God has done in my life. It's almost a form of worship as I reflect and praise Him for all that He has brought me through. Anyway, I practically wrote a book answering all her questions via Facebook messaging. Then Lindy and I got together to talk some more. She took some photos for the magazine and we were finished! I wasn't sure what to expect beyond that. BUT! I just got to read the article today and Lindy did such a great job with the article. I pray that God uses my story to encourage many young women! It's one that He is still writing. I can't wait to share more of it as it continues on. I'm also excited that something like P*INC exists! It's so neat to hear other people's journeys and to be reminded of how awesome the Lord is.

To read the article, go here: http://pincmagazine.com/February_12/Shelia.html