Wednesday, January 30, 2008

11 Months

Eleven months ago, Will and I started trying for a baby brother or sister for our dear Ella. I was sure it would happen fast-definitely within the first 3 months of trying. I suppose that's because we weren't trying for our first (I conceived our Glory Baby 3 months after we married), and we weren't trying for Ella (we had decided to wait until Dec. to try; she was conceived in October). So needless to say, I knew nothing of the struggles of infertility-or in the case now-secondary infertility. I would hear prayer requests at our Bible Study class-please pray for us to conceive-and I would, but I knew nothing of their pain. Now I can say I at least know a little of what it's like to be so disappointed month after month, to leave the bathroom with tears streaming down, knowing once again, your womb is empty. And one of the hardest things was knowing that as each month passed, Ella was going to be that much older than her sibling.

Last month, after starting again, I cried out to God. It went something like this, "God, obviously I can't do this; we've tried and tried at what I thought were all the right times. This is not going to happen unless You desire it. Only You are the Creator of life. Please open my womb again." That was my first step in surrendering.

Then this past Saturday, I was driving to a nearby town with Ella in the back seat and the tears started flowing. I had been taking my temps and saw that they were falling some right before my period was to start and knew, yet again, it wasn't going to be this month. So inwardly I cried out, asking "God, why? Why don't you want me to have another one? Don't you want a sibling for Ella? Isn't that a good thing?" And then I heard Him so clearly. "Beloved, will it be okay if all I grant you is Ella? Will you still trust that I know best if I give you no more children?" And I hesitated. And cried. And looked back at my angel through the rear view mirror. And finally,through many tears, said, "Okay, God. You know best. I will trust you."

Sunday came-the dreaded day-and I was prepared-not happy-but prepared that there would be other months to try and that God was in control. But Sunday came and went. Still I didn't have high hopes. I had been late before. Monday came and went. I did notice my temps were going back up again. And so, yesterday, I took a test. And there was much rejoicing in my bathroom, let me tell you! Much praising to my God, my Lord, who had heard my cry even before my last surrender-but He had wanted that surrender, I am sure.

Ella was the first to find out. When I told her, at first she looked a little confused and questioned, "Ella's Mommy?" I said yes, and then she kissed my tummy and said, "Love tiny baby." I had already decided months and months ago (like last March) how I was going to tell Will whenever it happened; I purchased a shirt for Ella that said, "I'm the Big Sister." When he arrived home from work yesterday, she had it on and said, "Look Daddy; new shirt." He looked at it and said, "But who are you the big sister to?" Then he stared at me incredulously; "You're pregnant?" "Yes," I shouted and he picked me up in his arms for a spin around the kitchen.

And, of course, I had to take another test this morning, just to be sure. Once again, the plus sign came across the screen so clear.

We are rejoicing here, friends. And I want to thank all of you for your prayers. Please continue to pray for our little one's safety. It's hard not to worry after having a miscarriage, but I'm trying to just focus on now. For now, I am pregnant. God has heard my cry. There is a tiny life inside me. And I am ever so glad.

And for my friends who are still trying, please know that I am continuing in my prayers for you.

Here's the proud big sister.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Hats Aren't Just for Your Head!

Ella just started doing this a few weeks ago-she makes "beds" for her animals and then covers them up w/another hat, so they won't be cold. Pretty cute, huh?

Sunday, January 27, 2008


But I don't want to pay $22.99 for it; instead, I'll just say it to the person who gives me that "How could you!" look. Actually, since Ella nurses only in the morning and at night (w/the occasional midday snack), I guess I'll have to wait until the next one comes along to vent my feelings out loud.
Though in the past week, I've had quite a few stares from people THINKING I was nursing her in a restaurant. She just wanted to be cradled. Why are people so nosy?

There are other cute shirts as well, such as, "Breasts: Not just for selling cars anymore."

Or "Try eating with a blanket over your head!"

Going back to having another baby (no, not yet-please keep praying), I was talking to Ella about it today and said "When another baby comes, he's going to drink mommy's milk and that will be okay, right?" She said, "Daddy be here; hold Ella." Awww, so sweet but completely unexpected. I figured her response would be "Ella drink milk too." Guess we'll just have to see-that's a long way off, and I'm just taking one day at a time with extended nursing.

Okay, I think I've made history-2 posts in one day-pretty good considering my normal is 2 per month. :-)

The Business of Being Born

Have you heard about this film? Producer Ricki Lake made this documentary in order to emphasize a woman's right to make an informed choice about her birth. It shows many home births including Ricki's 2nd birth (her son Owen is now 6). Kudos to her for asking the hard questions, such as why the US is 2nd in infant mortality rate in the developed world?

The medical profession has convinced woman that they don't know how to birth. It's no longer thought of as an empowering experience. Everywhere else in the world, births are attended by midwives; why not here? I believe it's true that many times "medical decisions are made for monetary and legal reasons, not because they're good for the mother or the baby." That's why it's so important for every expectant mom to at least have a birthing plan written out. I'm so thankful for my natural birth at a birthing center (maybe by the time Ella's 3, I'll get around to posting my birth story!), and am planning on a home birth should I be blessed with another one.

I wish they were having a screening of this movie in my state-I'd go in a heartbeat.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Silly Songs

"Look, Marlo, Goodnight."
Ella says this to our dog as he walks beside her wagon-our faithful companion on our trips to the mailbox.
"See Marlo." "Goodnight." "New CD."

The CD is actually Laurie Berkner's, Victor Vito and we absolutely love it. Will thinks I enjoy it even more than Ella and he's probably right-it's a nice respite from BOZ and Frosty.
Goodnight is Ella's favorite, and a close second is Froggie Went a-Courtin.' She can do the "Uh-huh" parts very well. And I love dancing to it.

If you love silly songs and the guitar, you should check it out. You can hear a preview of all the songs on the CD if you scroll down on the Amazon page. Emmie, you've got to preview her Goldfish song. Laurie talks some in this song and I think she sounds like you (plus I can just see you making up a silly song like this!)

Other news-I went to my first MOPS meeting yesterday. This is one step in getting some much needed fellowship. It's hard to say much about "connecting" from just one meeting, but there are 2 more opportunities to get to know the ladies in a smaller group setting (Girl's Night Out and Mommy & Me Time) before the next official meeting, so I'm planning on going to those.

Thank you all for your prayers for a church family for us. We're still visiting and this Sunday plan to go to a Bible Fellowship class at one church we've visited several times. Please pray Ella will be willing to go to the nursery-she's been sitting w/us in church but for a small class, I know it would be best to be sans baby. Please pray she'll cooperate. I just cannot leave her bawling for me in a strange place. MOPS was doable only b/c Aunt Barbara is the childcare coordinator and took Ella-she still cried, but not as bad as she would have had I left her w/someone she didn't know.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Christmas Highlights

Christmas Eve, Will & I celebrated our 8th anniversary at home w/our precious daughter. For Christmas, Laurance & Kimberly gave us a gift card to Logan's and an offer to keep Ella so we could celebrate later by ourselves. How sweet!

Christmas morning, Ella was so excited to find her presents under the tree! When opening each one, she'd gasp in amazement. And this year, she could actually unwrap the gifts herself. Ella received her beloved Katie and Emma books, a Radio flyer wagon, and Raggedy Ann & Andy dolls. We got the ATW wagon w/the wood stake sides and it does wonderfully on our dirt road. She also received many other items from her relatives-enough to last her for several years, I think.

After a great breakfast, we left for our trip to the lake to have Christmas dinner w/Mom & Ken. Ella was also able to see her Mema for a little while and my sisters Karen & Donna, and Donna's 3 kids. Kenny & I took Ella for a short ride in Kenny's garden wagon and she loved it. Mom read her Dimity Duck and Kenny read her Room for a Little One: A Christmas Tale (both highly recommended). One of the gifts Ella got from her Ganma and Ganpa was a dry erase board. She drew an "E" on it all by herself and of course I have the pic to prove it. :-) My other sister Marna went to Mexico to visit her husband's family, so we're having a late Christmas get together for her this coming weekend. That's when I'll see my dad too.

When we arrived back home, I greatly enjoyed making Christmas cookies w/my Little Helper. She helped me roll the dough, cut the shapes, and put the sprinkles on (her favorite part). And I loved seeing the flour on her sleeves and face.

We had our get together at Mama's on Friday night and I know Mom enjoyed having her newest grandson there. Mama got her waffle iron and Ella got a play-doh set from Mama-yay! She's been playing w/it every day! Laurance & Emily entertained us w/music and all the kiddos were great. Some even took naps (not mine, of course.)

Now I interrupt this Christmas summary to let you in on Ella's latest "conversations."

Ella: "Mandy tickles, tickled arm, right arm."
Me: "She tickled your right arm?" "Which one is that?"
And she pointed to the correct one.

Me: (To chickens), "Night-night, sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite."
Me: (To dogs) "Night-Night."
Ella continues: "Sleep tight."
(Thinking hard about what comes next)
"Bugs get you!"

Ella's prayers every night: Granpa, Granma (she's says this twice, so I'm assuming it's to cover both sets?), Mama, Taylor, Laura, Play Play-doh...and just recently, "Broder, Sister" :-)

Ella was amazingly gentle w/her cousin "Ben-jin" which gives me great hope for when we have another one. She handed her Aunt "Em-ly" wipes and diapers and lovingly patted Benjamin's head.

It was wonderfully refreshing to spend time w/Em and Jeff-I just wish we lived closer to each other. After they left, Will & I said that if they do ever move to NC, we may just have to join them. Em and I have even more in common now that we're both Moms, and it was so nice to hear someone else say, "Yes, I've thought that, done that too, etc." And they read more books than anyone I know. It's just refreshing to be around people who are not only constantly learning but also putting into practice things they've learned and who you know are truly seeking to glorify God. I greatly respect my sister-in-law and her hubby-they're friends first, relatives second. We can discuss anything and everything-there aren't many people with whom that comes naturally. And of course, as Em says, we can also be complete dorks around each other. :-)

Today, my maid of honor and her hubby left after spending one night w/us. It was so wonderful to catch up w/her and she also sharpens me as "iron sharpeneth iron." But of course that doesn't always feel good. It's much easier, isn't it, when someone just agrees w/you rather than telling you that you're wrong about something and/or you need to change something. As her hubby said, "God never said it was going to feel good to be changed into His image. Iron sharpening iron, gold being refined in the fire, the clay being fashioned by the potter's hands. Those aren't things that feel good, but they are necessary if we're to grow more like Christ."

One struggle Will and I have been having is w/church. Basically we don't have one yet. And visiting is getting old. I'm reading The Purpose Driven Life right now and just finished the "Place to Belong" chapter. That's so what we want and so what we don't have. God designed us for fellowship and we're not getting it. My problem is looking for the perfect church, though now I'd settle for a church which had 70% of what I'm looking for. But as Rick Warrren says in his book,

"God wants you to love real people, not ideal people. You can spend a lifetime searching for the perfect church, but you will never find it. You are called to love imperfect sinners, just as God does."

So now Will & I are actually praying together about the church God would have us in and trusting that He will direct us soon because afterall He desires it. As Sarah said, "It's amazing how much time we spend talking about our problems to each other, but we don't spend even half that time praying about them to God."

So, the best Christmas presents I received this year were several brain facials from my dear family & friends. I'm very thankful.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas as well and...Happy New Year!