July 19, 2015

Sunday Thoughts: On Following God and Having Babies.

By Amy

Friends. I've been MIA lately.

I miss you and our fun conversations! I hoped you liked the Mommas Makin Moola series--I know I loved hearing from all those mommas!

But then the radio silence. So, with my first post in like two months, I want to tell you a story.

Once upon a time, I had my first baby and was humbled and blown away by how much it rocked my world. It was hard. Like, very emotionally and physically draining. My baby cried alllll the time, he couldn't nurse, and I felt like a big, humongous failure at motherhood. After a few months, he chilled out and I chilled out, and life became better--but it was still a long, hard adjustment for me. During that first year, the thought of becoming pregnant again would literally give me anxiety. I repeatedly said, "Other people can have their kids close together. But I just KNOW that I am not capable of having like 4 kids in 5 years. I chose sanity." Then, the year before my second was born, life with my toddler was awesome, and I got excited to have another! (I now see that my first was just a very strong-willed, difficult baby, but he became pretty darn fun as a toddler, then a kid! Plus, I'm just more of a toddler/kid person then a baby person.) Our second baby came 2 1/2 years after the first. Thankfully, the transition from 1 to 2 was MUCH less jarring than from 0 to 1--I had already dealt with the emotional hurdle of becoming a mom. It actually was pretty cool to have two kids! :) I mean, yeah there are crazy moments (ok, more like days) but it's pretty good! And I felt very happy with the age gap. It was just right. I figured I could give it another 2 1/2 or 3 years so we could catch our breath, then have two more with two years between them. 4 kids. Done by the time I'm 34. Perfect. I mean, still challenging, cause kids always are, but manageable.

Then, a funny thing happened. I, who always wanted my kids AT LEAST 2 1/2 years apart, became....pregnant. 

WHAAAAA????!!!!
Yep, I am 11 weeks along in my third pregnancy. I feel like I JUST had a baby!!! I kinda did. He's ten months old. My #2 and my #3 will end up being 17 months apart.

I am pretty scared. I would never have chosen this myself. And yet, we weren't "surprised". At least, not by the pregnancy. But, boy was I surprised when my husband and I both started getting little, "You should try to for your third soon." nudges. I was like, "OhhhHHHOOOOHHHH nope. Nope. Nope. Not me, God. I'm not the mom who is good at being chill in the midst of chaos. I am the mom who gets overwhelmed by two kids. I'm the mom who forgets to change one of her kids at least once a day till their soaking through their little shorts. I'm the one who is at her wits end thinking, "Why are you being so cranky, child?" and then I realize, "Oops, I never fed you lunch!" I'm the mom who forgets to sunscreen their baby, and they end up with a sunburn. :( I'm the mom whose body sucks at breastfeeding. I can't even get my 3-year-old fully potty-trained! I am not that good at this. I am absent-minded to a fault and easily overwhelmed. At times, I feel super guilty cause I really miss things I used to do like college classes, dance, and doing art. I don't feel like I'm a "natural" at being a mom. Who in the world am I to handle 3 kids 4 and under?" (Actually, for two months, it will be 3 kids 3 and under. Oh the insanity....)

Yeah, I was not too thrilled with the idea of having another so soon. Truthfully, I was scared that I would just do a terrible job with three littles. That I wouldn't enjoy my kids and be kind and fun with them like I want to, cause I'd just be so frustrated and overwhelmed by the constant needs, the daily tasks, fights, bodily fluids, and monotony of raising toddlers/babies. I don't want to be some raging, scary mom! They don't deserve a mom like that. And I don't want to be a mom like that!

So I pushed the feeling aside for a couple months. My husband actually was the one who often brought up the fact that he felt like it was time and kept encouraging me that everything would work out. Slowly, I started to get a little more guts. I have always wanted to do what God wants me to do and to follow the guidance He sends through the Spirit, and I knew I was putting this one off. I was just preeety scared.

Also, I knew I was being a little prideful. I wanted things MY way. And I didn't want to be looked at like, "Man, all that girl does is pop out babies!" or "Oh jeez, there goes Patrick and Amy, popping another baby out!" Ok, fair warning--anyone who says the "popping out another baby" phrase around me just may get the scary result of my pregnancy hormones. Seriously, my rage will terrify you. NO WOMAN EVER just "pops" a baby out. That makes it sound like it's no big deal. And let me tell you, it is a big deal. Every mom has to make many personal sacrifices. Many women deal with the heart-wrenching struggle of infertility. Pregnancy is HARD and LONG for most. Many women experince the sorrow of a miscarriages.  Labor and delivery is NEVER easy, and can be quite terrifying if there are complications. Then, you actually have an infant, sometimes with health issues, always with their own specific needs to figure out. Seriously, I feel like that phrase is so condescending and disrespectful to the pain, turmoil, and risk that is involved for every mother and baby that goes through pregnancy and delivery. Every baby who makes it here to earth is a miracle, and every momma who brings a baby into the world is a champion. Especially those with the strength to do it many times! Personally, I know that every time I'm pregnant, I have a high chance of developing a life-threatening blood clot. Therefore, it's a decision my husband and I pray and ponder about very carefully. So, no I'm not "popping" out another baby. Say that again, and I WILL pop you right in the mouth.

Ok...rant over. Back to the story....

Finally, I decided to chose faith and trust in His plan for my family and I. So we said, "Ok, let's go for it. Um...next month." Ha! But, as soon as we made that decision, without even consulting a calendar and calculating ovulation like we had to do the other two pregnancies, I was pregnant. Wow. For some reason, God wants this baby here soon. And, it's been a doozy these past 6 months. My husband graduated, started a new demanding job as a physical therapist on the Neuro rehab floor of a hospital, we moved into my parents' basement, we found and closed on a house then moved out of my parents basement 4 months later, we moved into our new home, and we're trying to get us and the boys settled. The last two months I've been dragging my body through a haze of queaze and exhaustion. Hayden is FINALLY willing to work on potty-training, which is a blessing, but also a huge task, with lots of set-backs and my super easy baby suddenly started waking up multiple times a night....which, when you're pregnant and you live with the fatigue of an 80 year old, makes you just distraught. I'm lucky I don't puke much--if I eat every two hours I can keep the nausea at bay. (You ladies that puke everyday...I don't know HOW you do it!!!) My sickness is more of an aching, all-consuming fatigue that makes me so weary, I can barely function in life. It makes me sit down in the shower cause I can't stand any longer. Then I have to take breaks while blowdrying my hair. And, when my child runs off when I'm trying to get him settled in his bed at bedtime, I just lay down on their floor in defeat and cry cause I know I don't have the strength to chase him. And unfortunately, my patience level is not good.

So I went into survival mode. I haven't hung one single picture on the walls of our new home yet (which is VERY unlike me...I LOVE designing my space!) I haven't blogged, I haven't taught any art lessons, I've rarely seen friends, I wear huge stretchy pants every day, I shower WAY less that I'd like to admit, but...we have survived. I feed my kids and myself, I take a nap while they nap everyday, I let my dishes pile till my mom comes and has pity on me and washes them all (*sob*thank you, mom sooo much!!!!) and we STILL haven't bought a couch for our living room. So for more than a month we've been sitting (well, I lay) on the living room floor. Decisions and coherent thought haven't been very prevelant around here. But, ya know what? It's getting better.

I have felt the Savior lifting me through this pregnancy. I feel closer to Him, as I pray with true need for His help everyday. We're pretty much moved into our home, thanks to friends and family who have helped so much! My rock of a husband has come home from long shifts at the hospital and worked for several more hours on things that need to be done around the house--painting, unpacking, organizing, mowing lawns, killing weeds, etc. Sometimes I cry, I'm so frustrated that I can't accomplish anything around the home to lessen his burden. He hugs me when I tell him I'm so sorry I'm so pathetic right now, and tells me to just take care of me and the boys everyday and that's all he cares about. I love that man. Plus he tells me I'm still his cute babe when I look like a greasy weasel, still in pajamas at dinner time. (Which is probably a frozen pizza. Or when it's a nice meal, he came home after a long work day and made it. *sob*)

God has been guiding us. I've made it my goal this year to be more in tune with the Spirit and seek God's guidance. (ha, which goal probably led me to this pregnancy in the first place!) I felt strongly that I should find a doctor who would be good for me, since I'm in a new place and I had some scary complications  in my last pregnancy. So I asked a bunch of ladies from my church on facebook, and prayed to know who I should go to. And one doc's name just stood out. I thought, "Yep, that's him!" And at my first appointment (earlier this week, I was putting it off cause I didn't know who to go to!) he was completely friendly, knowledgleable, and down-to-earth and I felt so at ease. BUT. He said something I REALLY didn't want to hear.

I was bound and determined that I wasn't going to take blood-thinner shots this pregnancy unless I got a bloodclot--there's no reason to take them preventatively, since there was no guarantee I'd get another clot. And I hate taking those shots. Poking my belly with a needle and shooting in stinging meds everyday...*shudder*...not fun. But as soon as I said I'd had a blood clot in my previous pregnancy, he said he wanted me back on blood thinners. Like now. I was a bit frustrated, and wanted to get all huffy, but immediately the thought came to me, "Maybe this is why I needed to go to this doctor. Because he would push me to get on blood-thinners--and maybe I need to be." But, I was still bugged. (My pride!) He said it was our choice in the end, but that was his recommendation. It was sobering to hear that a mom who'd previously had a blood clot came to the clinic he was at during his residency--she was not on blood thinners yet and ended up dying from a blood clot during her first trimester, hence his strong feelings toward preventative blood thinners.

So I went home, thinking about it, and dreading the shots again. Plus, who knew what our insurance would pay for now that we're not poor college students who qulify for wonderful medicaid? These daily shots cost $50 EACH. I still wasn't convinced. But as I pondered and prayed, later that evening I got a clear, strong impression that I needed to start the shots immediately or I would soon have a serious blood clot. YIKES. I knew that thought wasn't from me, cause I DID NOT want to consider that I would have another clot. And I don't usually get answers to prayers that clear and strong! But, really, I was very blessed with my first clot to have no bad effects after the initial month of pain in my leg. I got off easy--clots don't always end so happily. So, the next morning, we called the insurance company, and the generic version of the drug is %100 covered. MIRACLE! I called the doctor's office, they called in the prescription, and I got my first shot that day. I feel sooo incredibly blessed that God got through my stubborn soul and kept me from another blood clot. I need to carry this little baby! I need to be here for my family, cause--as imperfect as I am--I'm their momma and wife.

Anway, so here I am, again pregnant. I'm often so confused at how God times things. Why should we be able to have three kids so quickly, while others I love so much would give anything for one child? Or who ache for a second child to come to their family, but still wait. And I'm over here like, "Too quickly Lord, it's too quick!" It almost seems "in your face" or greedy to let others know that we are expecting AGAIN when they are struggling with infertility. Seriously, it breaks my heart. I feel like I'm an ungrateful jerk that I didn't want to have another yet, when I should be SO grateful that we are able to have another! I feel so guilty when I'm trying to keep the panic at bay when my toddler is throwing a fit on the bathroom floor cause he won't poop in the potty and my baby is bawling at my feet and and wave of nausea rolls over me and my mind is screaming, "And we are having ANOTHER ONE in 6 months?!!!" Like I have any right to think that it's hard to have kids, when others know just how hard it is to NOT have kids. But, I just try to remember, hard is hard. We are all dealing with differnt things, and every stage has challenges.

I also know that my perspective is like an inch at a time, and God sees miles and miles...He sees eternity. I know and I trust that He is guiding us and teaching us. I already know it will be super challenging. I'll probably cry a lot when I have three kids 3 and under. But, I also KNOW it is right. I'm going to grow A LOT. Haha. And our Savior is guiding us and helping us through. He brings me strength beyond my own to pick up my crying baby, calmly persuade my toddler to sit on the potty, and get though the day before I collapse into bed.

So whether those blessings you yearn for come agonizingly slow, or if they come much faster than you're ready for, I guess we just have to trust that God knows what He's doing and has a master plan for our lives. He understands us perfectly. He obviously sees I have much to learn, cause He's putting me in the exact situation I have feared since the day I first became a mom! But, when we let go of fear, and cling to faith instead, He will be there for us. And He sends other amazing people to share our burden!

I love you friends!

>>>Update. Since I obviously was feeling quite crappy when I wrote this, I only wrote a first draft and never published it. 3 weeks later, I am posting this! :) So I am currently 13 weeks, almost 14...wahoo! :) Anyway, I am feeling SO much better. Besides a cold which knocked me flat for a few days (why does EVERY sickness have to hit you harder when you're pregnant? Stinking immune system goes to pot.) I've been feeling pretty good! I have hung up a few pics! We've now got used couches in awesome condition hanging out in our living room! We have a working dishwasher! Miles is sleeping through the night again! Hayden is making progress in potty-training! Life is good. :) I am loving our new home, I'm enjoying my two sweet, silly boys again, singing and dancing (slowly) with them in the kitchen again--everything is so much more doable and happy when I'm not sludging through a haze of intense fatigue, achiness, and stomach pain.

Hayden on the 4th of July!
Sweet Miles aka Doodle!
I am getting more excited for our new baby to come in January. (Maybe a girl??? I'm trying not to get my hopes up, cause we'll love whoever comes, a girl or another boy. :) I feel blessed and grateful that we get to grow our family and add another sweet little spirit, especially one who is so eager to get here! :) I know God will help me and Patty. Three kids 4 and under...whew. But we will make it through. I probably won't get to do much of the other things I'd like to do, which actually makes me pretty sad (make artwork to sell, teach art lessons, take a dance or singing class, blogging, reading, etc) but, ya know, I believe that doing my best to raise my children well is probably the best accomplishment and contribution I could give. Not that I'm giving up on my other passions and dreams, but they will just have to come a little at a time. :)

Anywhooo, I love you guys! Please tell me your stories...how did you know when you were ready to have a baby (or any subsequent babies?) If you have three kids or more, how was the transition to three? Any advice? If you've had kids close together, what do/did you love about it? What is/was the hardest part? Be real with me, but, please give me a silver lining, cause it's too late for us to change our minds! Ha!



17 comments:

  1. I'm so happy for you Amy. Congrats on the new house, too! Transition to 3, for me, was difficult but not for long. We have tons of fun now. I love having my children close together. And between you and me, and all other comment readers, I get easily overwhelmed and anxious and started taking medication from my doctor and I'm like a new person. I'm a much better mom. So I kind of laugh when I talk about how awesome life is with my kids because i totally have to be medicated for it to be awesome. It's definitely crazy and chaotic and loud. So loud. But I'm learning to just roll with it. And I'm sure you will too. You're an amazing mom.

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    1. Hahha!! I need a pescrip at the pahrmacy, ready to fill when baby three comes! :) And, earplugs I think, cause I so agree...even with two--the NOISE!!! Your kids are adorable. You are awesome!

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  2. Congrats!! This is so exciting!! It sounds like your third came a lot like ours!! It was a complete surprise!! And to this day she keeps surprising us!! I'm hoping she doesn't surprise us by coming on Layne's birthday this Wednesday!! The Lord always has a plan and I'm so grateful he knows better than me!! ;)

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    1. Amen sistah! Maybe I'll be like you and have two boys then a girl!!! :) Here's hoping!

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  3. I'm so happy to hear from you again. I loved this beautifully written post. Congrats on the pregnancy, job and home! We have two girls and they are just over 16 months apart. We had a similar situation where God let us know it was time for another baby and we were thinking "Whoa! Really? ... Okay!" The transition to two was a little overwhelming for me, but we've found our groove and we're running with it. It helps that my oldest has turned two and she's a little better with the baby. Those two are the cutest! Big sister makes little sister laugh like no one else can. Here's to hoping they'll always be good friends! Thanks again for sharing your story. It's inspiring to me and a good reminder of how near God always is.

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    1. Thanks Sara! Yeah, I'm excited for them to be close little buddies! :) I'm glad you got your groove, probably just takes some time and adjusting, right? :)

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  4. Yay Amy! I am so happy for you! My kiddos are also very close in age. I have one set that is 17 months apart and they are the best of friends. Your blog is my favorite. I love and miss you, friend!

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    1. Thanks, Anne! You have such an awesome family! And, thanks so much for liking/supporting the blog. :)

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  5. Wow! Did that while thing I just wrote magically disappear? Well, if so, the most important part of it all was...You are wonderful, and ENJOY THE JOURNEY because it goes by way too fast! Love you.

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    1. Ahhh! I'm sorry, I've heard of that happening to other people's comments! :( Unfortunately I have zero idea of how to fix it! But, thanks for commenting...yeah, I try to savor the good moments, ya know? And let the chaotic, frustrating moments roll off my back. :) You must be an amazing mom, cause you have so many great kids! Seriously, I love your kids. :)

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  6. I loved reading this blog post! You don't know me, but one of my Facebook friends (I can't remember who now) liked your post and I ended up reading it. Your situation sounds very similar to mine in deciding to have number 3! I just thought I would share my story as well so you can know you're not alone:

    http://samandheidib.blogspot.com/2014/08/my-path-to-motherhood-jonah.html?m=1

    And wouldn't you know it, we are now expecting number 4. I'm incredibly excited and totally overwhelmed at the idea! But I know God will help me make it work!

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    1. I loved your story! I went back and read about you getting into the nursing program after having your little girl...you are pretty amazing! Your faith inspires me. :)

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  7. Oh, and if it is any comfort I thought the transition from 1 to 2 kids was harder then 2 to 3! I know it's not the same for everyone, but I felt like with 2 I had learned to divide my attention so that when I had 3 it was mostly readjusting to having a newborn in the house again. You can do it! :)

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  8. Amy, you are awesome! I loved this post. I think motherhood is all about following God. I still can't believe where He's led me (homeschooling and six kids- what??!), and I remember fighting Him on things, but when you just let Him take you where you're meant to go, there is so much growth and so much joy. Strangely enough, I think that the hardest things in life turn out to be the best things. "For when I am weak, then am I strong." 2 Cor. 12:10. Thanks for sharing. You're doing great things.

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    1. Thank you! YOU are amazing! 6 kids and homeschooling...I am overwhelmed just thinking about it! Yeah, it's incredible how God has the best plan for us, we just have to trust Him and move ahead. Not always easy though!

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  9. I loved reading this post Amy! Especially this week! You are just the best... and so real!! You express your experiences and feelings so perfectly. Congratulations on number 3! I've recently fought God with quitting my perfect part-time 10 hr/week job. It was so hard! But I know He wants me to focus at home. As some have already commented, God's plans are greater than our dreams. We just have to trust Him. Easier said than done. I keep holding on to my grandma's words too (mother of 10)... "THIS is your victory!" And Doctrine and Covenants 4:2, "O ye that embark in the service of God (which includes our families), see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength..." If I've learned anything about motherhood, it's that it requires everything I've got! He is with us as we serve Him! Best wishes for your upcoming adventures! :)

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