Tuesday, August 9, 2011

My Gift

My 3rd child, Bret is 1 today so I wanted to tell you a story about him. Let me back up a bit and give you some history. My first child, Lydia was an absolute surprise that changed my whole life in ways so wonderful I can't really articulate but my pregnancy with her was really rough. I was sick every day for 6 months and then again the last month of pregnancy. I carried her to term but was so huge I literally good not get off the couch the last week. Her delivery day was the best day out of the nine months. She was born healthy and beautiful at 8 lbs 11 oz. My husband and I knew we wanted another child but were back and forth about timing. Finally we agreed and Alex was born just two weeks before Lydia's 3rd birthday. My pregnancy experience with Alex was literally hell. I was horribly sick for 5 months with absolutely no relief. I was still working during that time, we were trying to sell our house, and we had a very rambunctious 2 year old. It was really rough. After I stopped feeling so sick I started to get really depressed, suicidal depressed. I had to start seeing a therapist and taking an anti-depressant. All of these things caused my marriage to be, well volatile may be a good word for it. Haha! I went into labor at 35 weeks with Alex but didn't start dilating until 37 weeks. I was having contractions every 3-5 minutes for 2 weeks without much relief at all up until the day before he was born when I felt really great and had had the best sleep. I had an extremely easy and uneventful labor but Alex did not transition well, had underdeveloped lungs, and had swallowed meconium. This resulted in a 13 day NICU stay where he was int-abated and was not allowed any stimulation which meant I didn't get to hold him for 6 days. This is not an unfamiliar story for many women out there unfortunately. Alex was a much more difficult baby then Lydia was. For 5 months we struggled with breast feeding and lack of sleep, which made a volatile marriage even worse. Around 9 months things in our life finally started to even out. We found a church that we absolutely loved, I started my healing journey (which meant a lot of counseling) Alex became a much happier and easier baby. Then suddenly I discovered I was pregnant. Honestly I was absolutely devastated. I cried a lot. I was afraid, terrified actually. I just didn't want to go through it all again and what would people think? All of our family and close friends knew what we had been through. How could we be having a baby again? Ok, I do actually know where babies come from, which I had to say many times to those who couldn't believe I would get myself pregnant again. Thankfully after a few weeks of freaking out I surrendered to my Father and let Him whisper to my heart. I cried out to Him that I didn't understand His plan. I thought I was supposed to do "great" things for His kingdom. I had grand plans of being in ministry, traveling, sharing the good news. What was God thinking?? Will I ever learn? He very lovingly reminded me about Jesus' disciples who were arguing about this very thing. They wanted to do something great.

Matt 18 NIV
1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and said, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2 And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, 3 and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me; 6 but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.
(I'd like to note here that while I was skimming through the gospels trying to find this specific scripture I am overwhelmed with Jesus. He is so good. His love is so big.)
I realized that this new baby was that "something great" I was longing for and that the responsibility of raising him was greater then anything I could have ever imagined. It was a very humbling yet beautiful experience. Jesus took a child in His arms and told His disciples that to be great you have to serve that child. Can you imagine? This is my high calling. 

After that experience everything changed. My heart, my attitude. I could talk about my baby with excitement and not fear. Our lives moved forward. My pregnancy was incredibly easy. I had very little morning sickness. I was absolutely HUGE, haha, but I had a lot of help. Bret was induced 2 weeks early, born on August 9th of last year, weighing 10 lbs 6 oz. My induction was really difficult but once I finally got around to the laboring part it was a breeze. He was out after three contractions. I had no tearing and in fact was told by my doctor that I should give birthing classes HAH! Unfortunately Bret did not transition well and was taken to the NICU in Tulsa (I delivered in Owasso at a hospital that did not have a NICU). Thankfully my mom was able to stay with him every minute until I was able to get there. He had a short stay of only 4 days and has been the easiest baby since. He's an absolute delight. Smiles easily, cries little, sleeps and eats well and is content to sit and watch his two Type A siblings run a muck. I can't believe it's been a year already. He is a treasure and a beautiful gift that I will be eternally grateful for. Would you join my family in blessing him today?

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