Tag Archives: babies
Posted on September 1, 2014 by Family ChristianIt's so hard for me to believe my baby girl will be two soon. She is the youngest of 6 with 5 amazing older brothers. The fact that she is our last makes everything more emotional. While all of my children are miracles in my opinion, my youngest definitely beat the odds and reinforced my faith and trust.I had suffered 4 miscarriages in the past, two after my 2nd son was born and two after my youngest son. They were devastating. When I got pregnant for the 10th time, I was a nervous wreck. I was one of those people that planned and charted so I knew I was pregnant super early. When I got the first positive test, I immediately called my doctor and asked if I could come in to have my levels checked. She agreed and I went in the next morning. I was so anxious and scared. I prayed and prayed that everything was okay. I knew my hcg levels should be around at least 80. When the phone rang, I jumped on it. The nurse proceeded to tell me that my levels were at 165! I immediately started crying. I was so relieved since that was a great sign. My doctor called me a few hours later to congratulate me. I asked her if I should come back in for a second test. She said I could just come in for an ultrasound the next week if I wanted to see how everything looked. I would only be 5 weeks so we knew we wouldn't see a heartbeat but we would still be able to tell a lot about the health of the pregnancy from what they could see. I was cautiously optimistic and continued to pray for my tiny little one.The next Thursday, my husband and I went for the ultrasound. The tech started and we could plainly see the sac and it measured at 4 weeks, 5 days weeks. I took this a great sign. However, when my doctor came into the room, the look on her face told me otherwise. She proceeded to tell me that the sac was not shaped right. It should be nice and round at 5 weeks and mine was shaped more like a lima bean. I felt my stomach drop. I fought back the tears as she told that while she wasn't saying I was definitely going to miscarry, she wasn't getting a warm fuzzy. She said I had a 50/50 chance of the pregnancy being viable. She told me to come back in one week for another ultrasound. At that point they would be able to tell more. I left the office feeling completed deflated. The thought of going through yet another miscarriage was heartbreaking. I went home and spent the rest of the day crying in bed.That weekend, I went to our church's annual women's retreat. I was trying so hard to be optimistic but it was hard, especially after 4 previous losses. I even packed some supplies in case I started to miscarry during the 2 days I would be gone. That night at our first group session, we gathered together and sang praise and worship songs. When we started singing "Mighty to Save", it really spoke to me. When we sang "My Savior, He can move the mountains My God is mighty to save He is mighty to save", I started crying. Inside I started begging God to save my baby. Thankfully, my good friend was there with me. She was one of only 3 people that even knew I was pregnant. I was so thankful for her caring and support. Later, when the speaker started, she told us our first memory verse for the weekend. It was Exodus 14:14, “The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” It was like God had spoken it directly to me.That verse was immediately stamped on my heart. When I got home the next afternoon, I shared my experience with my husband. I remember getting on my knees that night and begging God to fight for me and my baby. When I talked to a close friend the next day, she told me that God was bigger than that ultrasound machine and He was in control. I clung to that.The following days were filled with so many emotions. I was hopeful, scared and anxious. I prayed for the best but tried to prepare myself for the worst. The morning of the ultrasound, I was admittedly cranky. My husband and I snapped at each other because we were both worried and scared. We got to the office only to find out that one of the techs was out that day so I would have to wait an additional 45 minutes to see another one. That was torture. I sat there praying and trying not to cry. When they finally called me back, I said one last prayer that God would be with me and if it was bad news that He would give me the strength to get through. The tech started the ultrasound and said, here's the sac and I can see a yolk sac. Then, she the words I will never forget, "and there's your little one's heartbeat!". I immediately broke down crying. I was flooded with gratitude and joy! I think the tech was caught off guard by my reaction since she hadn't done the first ultrasound and I don't think she was aware of why I was there. I told her that I hadn't expected to hear good news but that I had been praying all week for a heartbeat. She smiled and said "God is good!". She went on to tell me that in addition to a strong heartbeat, she also saw a perfectly normal, round sac. In fact, everything looked perfect and I was even measuring 2 days ahead. I was over the moon happy and my doctor even teared up when she walked in. She hugged me and told me how happy she was for me. I couldn't stop smiling and kept thanking God for fulfilling His promise to fight for us.We chose not to find out the gender of our baby but with 5 sons, I really assumed it was a boy. We even decorated the room for a boys and had a boy's name picked out. So when after only 2 hours of labor, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, we were a little shocked. We hadn't decided on a girl's name but one stuck out in my mind. I had found it on a baby name website in the final weeks of my pregnancy and it just felt right. We named our sweet baby girl Amaris which means "Promised by God".Belinda is a wife, mom, blogger, and Brand Ambassador. She has six children including 5 boys and 1 girl. Belinda enjoys reading, photography, crafts and DIY projects, and watching her boys play soccer. You can more from Belinda at Mudpies and Tiaras.
Posted on August 7, 2014 by Family Christian
Bekah writes for I Prefer My Puns Intended, a blog that explores the fact that life can be punny. Her articles span topics like faith and family as well as education, wellness, and dapper infant style. The titles of her posts may be cheesy, but the content gets feta. Sorry. Better.
I thought I was doing pretty well this morning.
Little bear woke me up at 6 a.m., he ate at 6:30, and we played from 7:00 until 8:00. He has gotten strong enough to sit up with the boppy and play with his toys. It was an exciting playtime for this proud mommy. I looked at the clock and thought, ‘if I leave now and run at my fastest pace with the stroller, I can be back in time for his nap time.’ It was a good plan. I could, realistically, tick all of the boxes off of my very full mommy planner before our playdate. Then, we could have the day free to do anything. No mid-afternoon sweltering run; just a nice, cool morning jog to start our day.
Combatting Mommy Guilt
Well, unsurprisingly, I didn’t hit my goal pace of 10:00/mile with the Bob. I was struggling with side-stiches, which has been a new thorn in my side during my postpartum training. I was about a minute over my pace and six minutes away from home; my run had crossed over into nap time. Most mommies know what happened next. Little bear began to cry and fight the sleep he so desperately needed. I felt horrible. There was nothing I could do but keep going and try to make it back home, ignoring the irritating pain in my side and devastating pain in my heart.
And then, another runner passed by. She was a tall, slender woman who looked to be in her mid-forties, and perhaps two miles into her run. She glanced down at my little bear, and up at me. I smiled, but she cocked one eyebrow up and pursed her lips. It was a momentary glance that stuck with me the rest of our run home. ‘I bet she thinks I am such a selfish mom; I am sure she is wondering why I am out running when I should be tending to my baby. Am I selfish?’
Little bear is asleep now. He went right to sleep as soon as we made it home. No harm, no foul. He will probably sleep for another hour or so. So why do I feel so guilty?
My mother-in-law once told me, “motherhood is guilt.” Oh, how right she was. My typical worries span the length of the day:
Did I let him talk too much in his crib before I got him up for the day? Was he uncomfortable in his crib because of his dirty diaper and I waited too long to change it? Is this diaper rash my fault? Did I feed him enough? He threw up, did I feed him too much? Am I making enough for him to grow taller? Should I take him in to see his dad while he gets ready for work, or will that bother his morning routine? Did I wake up his dad? Should I make myself breakfast? Should I just play with him and wait to eat when he takes a nap? Should I put him on his tummy now or will it upset his tummy? Am I interactive enough? Did I hold him too much? Did I hold him enough? I checked my phone. I remember that article about checking my phone too much and missing out on time with my kids. Will I teach him bad habits if I keep checking my phone? I care way too much about how many people read what I have to say. The TV was on. Bear saw the TV and watched it for a few minutes. I remember those articles about how screen time ruins little brains. Did I scar him for life? Did those two minutes of screen time delay his speech development? His eyesight? His language acquisition? Did he exercise enough? He is rubbing his eyes, but it isn’t nap time. Should I keep him up? If I keep him up too long he won’t sleep and then it is my fault for not putting him down soon enough.
…and that is just a typical morning in our home. Imagine what your mind can do when your baby cries in public places; on a plane; in a restaurant…the guilt is unbearable. The doubt is unreasonable. Instead of looking to the real heart of the issue (i.e. baby is tired, hungry, or needs to be changed), moms tend to put all of the blame on their shoulders.
In Psalms 38:4, David talks about guilt;
My guilt is like a heavy burden. I am sinking beneath its weight.
Any moms in this boat? Pun intended.
Some days, I find myself sinking in this endless sea of guilt. Guilt, however, is stumbling block to righteousness and real relationship with Christ. If you aren’t a Christian, it is simply an obstacle to a fulfilled motherhood. Instead of praising God (or celebrating the fact that we kept our baby alive through the night), we replace our joy with worries. For Christians, this robs us of our witness. For all mommies, this guilt gives us anxiety. Here are a few scriptures that I use in order to replace worry, doubt, and that ever-present “mommy-guilt” with joy and peace in the Lord.
1. Take away my guilty thoughts.
“Scrub away my guilt. Wash me clean from my sin.” Psalms 51:2
Am I sinning when I worry too much? Yes. Anything that takes me away from giving the glory to God is a sin. I need to remember to let it go. God has equipped me to be the mother that little bear needs. And that is enough.
2. Remember the goodness of God.
“You have forgiven the bad things your people did. You have taken away the guilt of their sins.” Psalm 85:2
It is so important to remember that God doesn’t keep a tally of our sins. Or, if you want to think about it practically as a mom, he takes away our mommy-mishaps. He promises to “take away the guilt.” We just have to let him.
3. Direct us in how to “let it go.”
“For my yoke is easy; my burden is light.” Matthew 11:30
God has given us the power to leave our worries with him and take on a much lighter load to carry. We just have to praise him in all that we do, and seek him first. Don’t seek to be the “perfect mom.” That particular role is elusive and impossible to attain. We are not gods, after all.
4. Become healed from guilt.
“Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for you are my praise.”Jeremiah 17:14
No where in that prayer are the words, “my children are my praise.” Parenthood is oh so important. We are tempted to believe that our children are our everything, however. This is not the case. God promises to heal our worried hearts and save us from the sinking ship of guilt if we focus on him.
5. Release the guilt given to you from other people.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27
I once read a Buddhist fable about a man walking up to Buddha and criticizing his teaching, sincerity, and intelligence. Buddha said nothing and the man walked away. An onlooker asked why he didn’t respond and Buddha simply said, “when someone offers you a gift you don’t want, you throw it away. I refused to receive the negativity the man was offering, so I didn’t respond.”
That really stuck with me. God has promised us peace; the world gives us anxiety. I would much rather choose peace; and yet some days I am riddled with guilt. This particular scripture is so important when it comes to mommy-shaming, or even those sideways glances when you’re a few minutes from home and your baby starts crying. Mommy guilt is real, but God’s peace is a much greater alternative than bearing it all on your shoulders.
6. Live in the abundant peace that surpasses understanding.
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Phillipians 4: 6-7
Paul suggested that the people of Phillipi live a life filled with the peace of God that “transcends all understanding.” All mommies want to know if what they are doing is best for their children. Somehow, God beckons us to live each day apart from the full satisfaction of knowing whether or not we made the right choices moment-to-moment. Living in the worry of our guilt will never bring us satisfaction. As our children grow, the guilt will only carry higher stakes. The sooner we release our anxiety to the one who rescues, the sooner we can live a life separate from our guilt, and full of the presence and peace of God.