Sunday, January 3, 2010

Eagerly Awaiting My Blessed Hope

The house is quiet and peaceful. The boys are in bed. Tim is practicing guitar with a friend. I am sitting in Hope's room. I spend a lot of time in here these days. It is not finished but I already love it. I will post pictures when it is done. This baby girl is already adding an element of femininity and grace to my life (and our family) that is just beautiful.
Last night, I was having a lot of contractions and a lot of pain that scared me. I took a hot shower and then got in bed. My doctor told me once that "if you lay down and the contractions stop, then they are only Braxton Hicks. If you lay down and they don't stop, call me".
It took a while but they finally stopped. I think I am having ligament stretching as well (probably due to the amount of food I consumed during Christmas :). I did start to worry last night. I worried about the baby and just wanted to feel her kicks but I also worried about how unprepared I was if she were to come this early.
I really want to go natural this time around but after looking at the cartoon pictures in a natural labor book, I am not sure I have what it takes. I even get humiliated for these cartoon people! Why are they naked? There is no reason to be naked when you are 3 cm dilated. I would DIE before I would let Tim see me naked in positions like they are in. I know if I saw him like that, I would be scarred for life. I still want him to want to make out with me after the delivery is over so there are certain things I JUST CANNOT DO IN FRONT OF MY HOT HUSBAND. People used to say to me in my other pregnancies, "Modesty flies out the window when you are in labor". WRONG!! I want Tim to think I am sexy after this whole thing is over so the less shockingly grotesque stuff he sees, the better.
So, I told Tim 1 of 2 things needs to happen...
1. I wear clothes the whole time (and draw beautiful nightgowns on all these cartoon people in the book while I prepare) or
2. He has to do every humiliating thing I have to do beside me so I won't be embarrassed in front of him... oh, and he has to be naked too---
not sure how he would have his cervix checked but I would find an adequately private male body part as a substitute on him to be painfully checked.
He chose #1.
He is not on board AT ALL with the natural stuff. He thinks I am nuts for even considering it.
He always says "do I give people root canals with no anesthesia?".
The only reason I am considering it is because I want to lessen the chance for something to go wrong (I have had a spinal tap go furiously wrong-- I KNOW it happens) and I want to do everything I can do to protect this little girl. I am already very protective of her. But, I am also not looking forward to the pain. So, I will probably chicken out but I met with a doula yesterday and am moving in the "natural" direction. Talk to me again at 5 cm. And please tell me of any good books you have read in this area.
The holidays and the girl's conference at our house have really taken up a lot of my time and now I am realizing how soon I could be seeing my baby girl that I prayed and prayed for. It all still seems too good to be true. I have started shopping for her and am having a ball. Tim hung a chandelier in her nursery and it just plain makes me HAPPY. I walk by the room to see it every chance I get.
After last night's scare, I spent most of today washing her clothes, organizing drawers, putting out diapers, cleaning closets, getting the car seat ready, and simply thinking of my baby girl. While I was vacuuming out the drawers of her chest and placing clean clothes in her drawers, a thought occurred to me...
"Do I anticipate Jesus' coming like this?"
There are so many similarities between the birth of a baby and Christ's return for His Bride. The Bible says there will be "birth pains "or contractions pointing to His coming. Just as my contractions tell me my daughter is getting closer, there are contractions telling us that Jesus is getting closer.
"Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains."
Matt 24:7,8
"We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time."
Romans 8:22
If you know Jesus Christ as your Savior, then Scripture says He is coming back for us. I, personally, believe in the rapture and that we will hear a trumpet and meet Him in the clouds. How is that going to work? I have no idea.
My boys were just asking me what it would feel like to fly up into the clouds when I read these verses. Their eyes got HUGE. A boys dream come true... to fly up into the clouds.
Again, how is this going to happen?
I am not sure. But, God's Word says it and so I BELIEVE IT.
"I can tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not rise to meet him... For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the call of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, all the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and remain with him forever."
1 Thes 4:15-17
How exciting is that? But, just as I don't know the day or the hour my darling baby girl is coming, I don't know the day or the hour I will hear that trumpet.
But, I can sure be getting ready!
As I was putting everything in its perfect place in Hope's room and making sure everything was clean and ready... it hit me. Am I doing the same for Christ's return? Getting everything ready for the day I see Him? Cleaning out even the dusty corners of my heart? Giving Him the best of everything?
I come in this beautiful room and I just sit. I sit and think about Hope. What will she be like? What will she look like? When is she coming? I feel her presence more in here when it is quiet and I can just dream about her.
Do I do that with Christ? Do I anticipate the day and dream about what it will be like? Do I long to be quiet and in a place that makes me sense His presence until I see Him?
I know this may be starting to sound cheesy. Especially to those who are not Christians but this IS our Blessed Hope! The glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ!
"...while we wait for the blessed hope–the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ"
Titus 2:13
I remember reading about Corrie Ten Boom ( I think. I can't find this quote to save my life) that she would wake up and look out the window at the clouds with anticipation and say,
"Is it today, Lord?".
That is the heart I want.
As I was thinking about these things, I thought how different my life would be if I started my days out like that. Watching and waiting for my Savior.
To wake up every morning wondering... "Is it today, Lord?".
Want to know something really cool?
There is actually a crown given for those who eagerly await His returning!
"And now the prize awaits me--the crown of righteousness that the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that great day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his glorious return."
2 Tim 4:8
I want that crown! :)
(Maybe I will even get to wear it for 1 second before I
lay it down at His feet while praising Him)
"They lay their crowns before the throne and say:
"You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being."
Rev 4:11
I decided that I am going to try something and see what happens.
Every morning, I am going to pray that God would show me something beautiful in His Word and show me how I can serve Him that day. Would this simple act change my day... or even my life?
I have been feeling very overwhelmed lately by daily life... The needs of my family, Keeping my house clean, Homeschool, Ministry, Time in the Word, etc...
It seems that when I get frazzled and stressed out, I have usually drifted from my first love-- Jesus.
I am operating out of my own strength and not putting Christ first.
I am a much better mom when I walking in the Spirit. My boys will see Jesus instead of a stressed out mommy... IF I am seeking Him first and operating out of His love.
I desperately want to be used by God. How He can use this frazzled momma, I don't know but it blows me away what He can do with a living sacrifice.
Lake loves to be in Hope's room with me. He already loves her. He says "Baby Hope" 100 times and just watches me fold her clothes and put out her diapers. He knows she is coming. He doesn't understand hardly anything but he watches His mommy getting ready and knows that Baby Hope is coming. He is falling in love with someone he has never met because he sees how I am preparing for her, how I love her and that she is REAL.
In the same way, our children watch our lives, and our decisions. They may have a limited ability to understand but if they see us preparing our lives and living by faith that Jesus is coming soon, then they will BELIEVE. Are my life and my decisions pointing my children to the coming of Christ? Are my daily actions showing my children that I love Christ and that He is REAL even though they can't see Him?
Oh, I pray so!!!
But, I can't fabricate that. It must be a fruit of a life just lived out loving my Savior.
So, here I sit in Hope's room... looking at the shadows on the wall from the chandelier... thinking and dreaming of her... watching my tummy move as she kicks...packing a bag for the hospital in case she comes early...making everything beautiful and ready for her arrival.
May I similarly long for the arrival of the One she is named after-
My Living Hope, My Blessed Hope.
Jesus Christ.
"Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears,*we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is."
1 John 3:2
"Come, Lord Jesus."
Rev 22:20
Be Blessed~


Trinity said...

Can't wait to meet Hope! And you better get ready. I have had 2 come very early. With Brooklynn, I didn't even have a car seat!

Lauren said...

Mindy is on my reading list. To me, she is a natural birthing guru.

can't wait to see the room, and Hope!

Anonymous said...

This was a tremendous post.

Hoping for a glimpse of Hope's room!

Anonymous said...

AMEN to that post! Love it! And I say if going natural is something you feel strongly about, then go for it! Can't wait to see pictures of Hope's room!

Mama Fish said...

Steph- Great post! I love it and it challenges me in the area of showing my boys a life lived out for Christ. It can't be fabricated you are right. I want them to see more of Him and less of me.

pettie1019 said...

I did Bradley twice. It was a wonderful experience, but you have to be prepared. Practice everyday!!! It's much like getting ready to run a marathon, you can't just show up at the start line without doing the training. However, the birth of a child is a very personal thing. You have to do what is best for you.

Jill said...

Love the you...wish I had a magic carpet to fly up there and hang for an hour or excited to see little Ms.Faith too!

fleurcottage said...

the best favor you can do for yourself going natural birth is to understand what is happening to your body & to for sure, take birthing classes - that helps a lot! mother of five...

Erin Cabell said...

thank you for this post. you are an amazing woman! we are so excited for you and the rest of the boys in your house - wow! what a group of protectors she will have!

Anonymous said...

There are so many similarities between the birth of a baby and Christ's return for His Bride. Yes ! I can't tell you how much I believe this! After going through seven, each one, it seems more so...

I had to laugh about your natural child birth comments ! lol, still laughing. Just for the record, I've gone natural seven times, and done it attractively enough haha. Robert has been there holding my hand everytime, part doctor through it all and it's been awesome for us both - I can't tell you how close it's brought us, and we thought that not possible. For sure hasn't done anything to detriment out sex life lol! No, you don't have to do "natural labor" all nude either, like the books always make it out to be! What ever you end up doing, I'm sure the Lord will be with you~
Reading this brought all the feelings and memories I had when I was expecting our Morgan Bliss after our first three boys. I don't think we believed she was for real until we held her in our arms, and even then, we wondered how we ended up with such an angel. God is good.


Cynthia said...

Hi Stephanie!
I somehow stumbled upon your blog and have been stalking for a while...your faith is so encouraging and inspiring!
I did the Bradley Method twice, and it was such a bonding experience for my husband and I...I highly recommend it. The class was once a week for around 11 weeks though...BUT sometimes you can find a teacher who will do a course in a couple of LONG days! You can Google Bradley Method, go to their site, and find a teacher in your area...
Cynthia :)

Anonymous said...

I have had 2 of my 4 children without an epidural. I was one of the very lucky ones and literally didn't have an ounce of pain both times until 9 cm! My nurse had other nurses and doctors come in to meet me just to prove she wasn't lying! LOL I was even on Pitocin. I had an epi with my first, but only because I chickened out. I went to the doctor wondering if what I was feeling was contractions. She told me I was 5 cm, go to the hospital! Then she said I needed to decide if I wanted an epi because of some siutation with the anesthesiologist. I was scared I would want one later and not be able to get one, so I said yes. How stupid! I was halfway there and not even in pain yet. Second and third kids,fine until 9 cm. My husband then got put in a headlock during one contraction and got his hand bit during another! haha He was trying to give me a rag to bite and I got his hand before the rag. I was in a hospital gown both times and the only time I changed position was at the very last. I got on my hands and knees because it just felt good to change for a bit - gown was tied. ;)

With this last one I had a lot of pain and my BP was high on top and bottom so I got the epi. Turns out I was in such pain because the baby was compressing my sciatic nerve bilaterally and I was wheelchair bound, totally paralyzed in my legs for 3 months. Praise the Lord for His healing! I am completely better now. At first even the doctors thought it was the epidural, but it wasn't.

Anyway, what I regret about my deliveries with the epi... I couldn't hop right up out of bed and be at the warmer with my baby. I was stuck in bed unable to walk. And with the ones without, I was up and walking around right after I delivered my placenta and was sitting indian style in the bed without any issues at all. YOU CAN DO IT! With natural, when it's over it really is OVER. You could care less what you went through and all is well. :) No lasting back tenderness or popping like I had after my first baby and epi.

I just had my baby boy after 3 girls. Even though the little booger traumatized me, he is my Prince and I adore him completely. You are so going to love having a girl after those boys! :) I can't explain the happiness I feel in having different kind of clothes in the closet, different hair to fix, different "parts" to see during diaper change!!!! ha It's great.

Nic said...

YOU CAN DO IT! I delivered Jonah naturally by using hypnobirthing and praise music. Now, I have to say the last 5-10 min. got a little ugly.....but it was worth it. Ben was so proud and loving towards me. I don't think my "crazy" self effected his view towards me at all. At least not in a negative way. Can't wait to see pictures of your new little princess! I adore you! nicole

Anonymous said...

keep checking back, wondering how you are ~ prayers for you and hope

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

Loved this glad to find your blog...
I have a fun giveaway on my blog...a $100 prize ..comments will be closed on Monday night, but today's entries get extra stop by and join in the fun.

The Sandefurs said...

Hey girl. May I first say that "going natural" and being naked and crazy have nothing to do with each other!! I have had both my boys without an epidural, and both times, I was dressed and breathing deeply yet quietly in my bed, not with my butt up in the air or doing a headstand while howling like a wolf or anything. :)

I know we talked a little bit about this when I came to your garage sale, but I would recommend Supernatural Childbirth. Again, she is on the FAR LEFT when it comes to her beliefs on pain free labor and delivery, however I found the scripture references and the prayers to be very helpful. Honestly, though, you don't even need to read books. If you really want to do it, then get those scriptures in your head like "I can do all things through Christ.." "God has not given me a spirit of fear.." etc. During labor, I would just silently pray those scriptures in my head while deep breathing with each contraction. Also, telling myself that my body is made to do this, perfectly designed to deliver this baby, women have done it for centuries, Yes, it hurts, but it's not going to kill me, etc. helped me too. I agree with comments above that you have to have your mind made up before you even arrive and know that that's what you want to do. Being an RN in L&D for almost 8yrs, when people say they "think" they are going to go natural but really aren't sure, well, they end up with an epidural.

I pray God gives you perfect wisdom and strength to know what to do. Feel free to email if you have questions or I can be of any assistance!

Unknown said...

Amen! Stephanie, I have not been reading your post recently however, periodically in the past year it has been placed on my heart to pray for you and that you would have a baby girl...this morning I was reminded to pray for you again and specifically for a baby girl. My heart rejoiced this morning when I decided to check in to see how you were doing and was overjoyed to see the news of Hope!
Thank you Jesus for speaking to me and giving me hope through your servant Stephanie. Amen.

Your sister in Christ,