Christian, Motherhood

Journey into Motherhood

Here’s my story; August 3, 2018, I became a mama to a beautiful boy, Navarone. The journey to becoming a mom wasn’t easy though, while my pregnancy wasn’t difficult, delivery wasn’t what I planned.

I had gone to the doctor for my prenatal check-up, this was a bit of an odd appointment in that the time it was scheduled was later than I usually go. On top of having a later appointment, my ob was having to cover the other doctor’s patients which put me back even later. I ended up being the last patient seen that day.

When the doctor went to check Nav’s heartbeat, it was quite elevated, so she requested that I get hooked up to a monitor for twenty minutes. She was expecting a nurse to be able to stay with me and run the monitor, but they all had to leave or had already left for the day. This meant that I had to go down to labor and delivery for monitoring. While there, and well after twenty minutes, Navarone’s heartbeat suddenly dropped below 90 beats per minute. A swarm of nurses rush in, toss me from side to side, place an oxygen mask on my face and do everything to regulate his heartbeat.

My ob happened to be watching the monitor too and requested that I stay the night to continue monitoring.

The night of August 2, 2018, was the longest night of my life. Over the course of the evening, Navarone’s heartbeat dropped two more times. It was being discussed that I might have to delivery Navarone via c-section, but they wanted to try to induce my labor before. On August 3, I was 36 weeks and 6 days along in my pregnancy, my doctor wanted to induce me at midnight, so I would be considered 37 weeks and we would have a full-term birth. Her ideal situation would be to send me home until 39 weeks, but with the number of times, Nav’s heartbeat had dropped she didn’t want to risk it.

Then, his heartbeat dropped again. They induced me at 10 o’clock in the morning.

Heartbeat dropped again. The nurses and an on-hand PA’s rushed in and broke my water. They placed a monitor on the top of Navarone’s head. He was having a difficult time dropping into position.

That was it. They pulled the plug on waiting for a natural birth and started the preparations to wheel me back. By this point, I had already had an epidural (which I originally didn’t want, but got so I would be awake in the case that I had to have a c-section done).

Finally, it was decided that I would have to have a cesarean for the sake of Navarone. What was happening was my body was having contractions every 30 seconds and it wasn’t giving him enough time to recover and come up for air.

So, as quickly as they could, they wheeled me back. Then they brought Dakota back.

After all the preparations were made, they cut me open and pulled Navarone out.

I was relieved. I was overjoyed. I was thankful.

But I also didn’t feel like a real mama or like a real woman because I didn’t push him out.

After his birth, I tried breastfeeding. I didn’t have anything coming out which now I know is due to me giving birth four weeks before my due date, having him by c-section and it being my first child, it just took my milk a little longer to come in, but at the time it was just a confirmation that I wasn’t going to be able to provide for him. I prayed continuously for G-d to provide the milk I needed to supply Navarone’s nourishment. I seriously prayed that milk would flow. It did. Oh boy, it did.

Before my milk came, I wasn’t able to feed him enough so we had to supplement to get his glucose levels up. He was having a difficult time with his glucose. Such a difficult time that he ended up having to go up to NICU for a couple of days. This solidified my distrust of my mothering.

Nothing about my delivery went as I planned. Seriously. I had a sheet printed out and everything. I wasn’t prepared for how it all happened. When we were finally able to leave the hospital with Navarone, I ended up having a serious panic attack. I was so worried about bringing him home and not being able to protect and care for him.

My husband, Dakota, had to calm me down. I could see in his face that he was worried about me. For him, he had just seen me go through major surgery, pretty much ignore my need to rest and recover, obsess over providing milk for our son, and all that was going on with Navarone and now, right before we go home, I’m crying so hard that my body is shaking.

Even though Navarone’s birth was nothing like I had planned, I did learn a few things.

I learned that being a mother is a little bit of going with the flow. It’s a little bit of throwing the plan out the window and doing what needs to be done for your child(ren).

I learned that sometimes you have to ask for help with taking care of your baby. You have to depend on other women, mothers and some fathers to help you out.

I learned that I have shown myself grace. As a mom, it feels like I have to be all together. I feel like a failure a lot of the time.

I learned that ultimately the best way to protect, raise and care for your child is to trust G-d’s plan for them. You see, if He hadn’t been involved in Navarone’s birth there’s a possibility (a high one) that I wouldn’t have my precious boy. I wouldn’t know the sweetness of having a son and the bond that comes with motherhood. I wouldn’t see the love the Lord has for His children as clearly as I do now.

Find me and follow me on Instagram and Facebook, send me a message and let’s mama together.

Christian, Motherhood

The #1 Way to Get Out of a Mental Rut

If you follow me on Instagram, then you’ll know that I haven’t been in the best headspace the last couple of days.  This is due to several reasons but ultimately boils down to one primary reason.

For the past month and a half, my husband and I have been on this spiritual rollercoaster. We packed up everything we owned and headed west towards California because we felt impressed to do so (we don’t feel like this action was wrong), but we got there we didn’t find or see any way for us to be able to stay and not live in our car with our infant son and corgi. From California, we headed back to Colorado to stay with some friends for a while and then we made our way back to Oklahoma (our home state).  This last month has been full of big decision making and a lot of uncertainty.

On top of life decisions, we just recently went to Washington D.C. to honor my grandpa’s service in the Vietnam war in a memorial for veterans who have died due to their service. My Papa died nearly two years ago and I’m realizing that I haven’t truly dealt with the grief and that trip brought many feelings up. I’ve been trying to find a time to feel those emotions, but motherhood proves to be an obstacle.

With life’s ups and downs, with emotions trying to come up and be felt, but being stuffed back down, I’ve started to think negatively. I began feeling a total loss of control over everything in my life. I feel as though I’m stuck in a pit and I’m suffocating by my own hand over my mouth. I’m unaware of the air that’s around me trying desperately to breathe life into my body. I’m so focused on working towards getting out of this pit, I don’t see the stairs behind me that reach to the top.

I know why I’ve been feeling so negative lately, other than just having a lot to deal with, it’s because I haven’t been spending a good, quality time with the Lord. I haven’t been doing my Morning M.E.W.S., I’ve been so depressed that it’s difficult to get out of bed until Navarone wakes up and needs me to come to him. It’s difficult to spend the time when Nav is sleeping to do anything other than veg out. It’s been difficult to have the energy to serve.

The number one reason I’ve been in this mental rut is that I haven’t gone to the stairs behind me, which is a metaphor for not going to Jesus for guidance. I’ve been neglecting the most important part of the day and just droning on. I’ve been too busy existing. You know, that’s not a good way to live – it’s not living, actually. Life deserves to be filled with joy. Now, that isn’t to negate what Jesus says about those who follow him suffering, on the contrary. Joy is a choice. It’s saying despite what my situation is I will choose joy. I will choose to go to the Fountain of Joy, the Foutain of Life, the Fountain of Truth; I will choose to go to Jesus and trust in His name and power.

I’m working on going back to that mindset. I’m working on getting through this tough time. I’m working on trusting the Lord to handle all areas of my life. The first step is acknowledging that it’s a daily choice to grow. I choose to grow.

 

Christian, Motherhood, The Great Move

We made it out to California, now what?

A little over a week ago, we left the comfort of my hometown to do what we felt G-d calling us to do – move to California. We left Friday, May 3 heading towards Grand Junction, CO to stay with our friends for a couple of nights, then off to California Sunday, May 5.

We had barely any money left and absolutely no idea what we were going to do or go when we got there. Yet, we went and trusted that it would work out.

Sunday through Wednesday were the most difficult days of my life. They tested me to a point of desperation. We ran out of money by the time we got to California and we were looking at having to sleep in our car. We didn’t know what to do. It seemed that as soon as we drove into California, the Spirit left us. We didn’t have any direction. We felt lost.

That first night, we spent our last bit of money on one night in a hotel room. Funny enough, we were upset with G-d for bringing us to California and then leaving us. What’s funny is, the original hotel room we were going to stay in wasn’t good. It was one of those cheap motels that you don’t sleep well at because the mattress stinks, but also because the doors face outside and it doesn’t feel safe. When that place didn’t pan out, I thought, “so the car it is, great. Thanks, G-d.”

With a turn of events, we ended up staying the night in a much better, safer hotel. We were able to sleep soundly because the mattress was uber comfy and the hotel was secure. We still had no idea what we were doing out in California though, even more, how we were going to stay. Dakota went to the few job interviews he had, which don’t seem to have produced any fruit, but most of the time we were there was spent in the car. We tried to explore but didn’t really know where to go. It was getting close to the end of the day and we didn’t have any money for a hotel room, no one we had reached out to for a place to stay had replied back. We ended up going to a homeless shelter that has a back to work program. We were desperate, but we didn’t feel shame for going and asking for help.

The problem with the program (there were a few, but the main one), was that we had to come back for an interview meaning we still didn’t have a place to stay. With the program, we would have had to turn over our electronics and not have any visitors or be able to leave for the first 30 days. This broke me. It meant that I wasn’t going to be able to join my family in honoring my grandpa in Washington D.C. next month. I went to the bathroom and broke down. Literally fell to the floor, weeping. I didn’t want to be there anymore. I wanted to go home. If this is where and what G-d had planned, I didn’t want it anymore.

My grandma called right as we left the building. Bless my grandma. I love her dearly and thank G-d for her continuously. She offered insight and sent money for us (technology, wow). Now, we’re staying with our friends back in Colorado for a bit. We’re not sure how long we’ll stay here, but we know that eventually, we will be moving to California. Eventually, we will be where we see G-d sending us, but there’s a pit stop to make before. We’re not entirely sure what He’s up to right now, but we fully trust His plan and timing. We know better than to not trust Him.

Was California everything we thought it would be? No, but we did have all our prayers answered. We did find a place to live (just the town and not an apartment), we did find out how willing we were to stay in California (we looked at homeless shelters), we did keep going. We may be in the wilderness right now, but that’s okay. We may be in the three-month adjustment period after giving birth, but that’s fine. All it means is that we’re still striving. We have a little more work to do and a little more to learn before the big event. It’s the small obediences that are important. If you can do the small, you can do the big. Although California was D I F F I C U L T and T E S T I N G it was a blessing. We saw YHWH work. We saw our future. We saw an opportunity.

This is not the end.

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Christian, Motherhood, The Great Move

We’re Going on an Adventure!

One of my favorite series of movies and books are the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings. There is so much goodness in each and I just love everything about them. My absolute favorite part is when a young Bilbo Baggins decides to follow Gandalf. He grabs what he can and busts out the door, running through the Shire shouting “IM GOING ON AN ADVENTURE!”

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I love this scene so much. It really sparks me to go out and do.

My favorite movie is Ben Stiller’s rendition of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Does this movie get me jazzed up. The cinematography,  the directing, editing, literally every piece of it is G E N I U S. Here’s the point, life is in the now, not the what if or could be. It’s now.

We’re going on an adventure!

Dakota and I are moving from small-town Oklahoma to California. We’re moving this Friday, actually. Now, this wasn’t our original plan. Our plan started out as “within the year [2019] we’ll move.” Then it was, “by the end of August.” And then, “after we get back from our trip to D.C. [which is mid-June].” And then, “by the end of May.”

Then we felt a heavy, deep pressing to “just go.”

What does that even mean? We aren’t prepared to “just go.” How do we drop everything, pack up and go? Is it just that simple?

Yes.

In the short days since we’ve felt the burden to just pack up and go, doors have opened in ways we couldn’t have possibly imagined. Opportunities are popping up.

Since we’ve told our friends and family, there has been a blanket of peace and assurance.

Now, I have to give you a brief history of our relationship. We’ve had quite a few “just go”(s) along the way. They’ve all seemed reckless and hasty to the physical eye and in a practical sense, and they all haven’t started out as easy-peasy. We’ve faced some real struggles financially, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. At the beginning of our marriage, we moved an hour and 30 minutes away from where I was attending university and working. We had zero money and no food; however, we were never hungry and provision was always made for our bills to be paid. In four short months, we learned a lot about depending on G-d for our needs and were able to see Him work miracles. Food would literally show up at our doorstep. Even though the time seemed bleak and made me wonder if we heard correctly, I wouldn’t give up the struggle and the lessons learned. After living there, we broke the lease and moved back to my home town.

We lived there for a couple of years until I finished college and then for a year after, then we heard the call again, “just go.” Back to OKC, we went to a different location this time with different lessons to learn. This was the most bittersweet time for our family. My grandpa ended up battling cancer, he then died (got the ultimate healing is how I like to say it), and while we struggled with his death, I found out I was pregnant with our son.

A month after Navarone was born, we moved again. A way was made for us to go back to my hometown. We’ve been here for eight months. We’ll be moving when Nav hits the nine-month mark. I believe there is something to that timing.

Friends, we’re going on an adventure. I feel the birth pains. The fear and excitement. Peace and nervousness. The Spirit is about to drop and if we don’t go, we will miss it.

To you I want to say, hear the call. Go. G-d wants to do big and grand things through you. Let Him. It might be terrifying, like jumping off the high-dive for the first time, but the joy and peace will kick in.

We’re just going. Packing up what we can fit in the car and what we need.

WE’RE GOING ON AN ADVENTURE! Out of the ‘sha, we go.