One of the biggest ways that the Lord has grown my faith was by experiencing pregnancy. I’m one of the biggest control freaks you’ll ever meet… something I’ve been working through my entire adult life. The scary (but actually comforting) thing is, I really have not control over anything — God’s in control — I know that in my heart, sometimes my brain just needs to keep that in the forefront of it.
Rowyn (left) & Miles (right)
Since the moment I came home from the hospital each time, I knew I wanted to share all the crazy ways that God was so faithful throughout both my pregnancies and each of my births. Before all the pregnant and birthing parts, there was the trying-to-get-pregnant part. Jarid and I didn’t even think about having babies until about 2-3 years after getting married…I was still taking classes to finish up my degree and he was just beginning his professional career. Looking back I’m so thankful we waited to start trying because I never would’ve had the opportunity to stay at home with our kids had we had them sooner. God knew exactly what He was doing and His timing was absolutely perfect — although, at the time, it felt like forever after I started to catch baby fever that it “finally” happened for us. It’s amazing to me how He knows what we NEED even though we think we know what we want more. His ways are high above our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9).
I remember being pregnant with Rowyn, I was worried about every little thing – as much as I tried not to be. As a first time Mom, your mind can play tricks on you, causing over-reactions about everything, if you allow it. The members of my family have probably been super annoyed with many of the stances I’ve taken (although they try their best to respect it, it’s so foreign and extreme to them) on avoiding chemicals in my (and my kids’) everyday life. I refuse to be ignorant of all the research and data proving that cancer is 90% environmental and only 10% genetic. I’ll save that soap-box for another day, but my point is that being pregnant for me – especially the first time – was not easy. “What if those awfully unhealthy, non-organic pregnancy cravings had ill effects on my baby? What about the second-hand smoke that I sometimes could not avoid walking through remnants of on my way into the building I worked at because the smoker’s section was right outside the doors? My kick counts aren’t adding up… I had an active day and I don’t remember the baby moving hardly at all?!” These were all things I dwelt on until I realized I could pray about them. I think it was one of the most trust-building experiences in my life. It sounds horrible to say, but I used to get anxiety before each Dr. appointment… nervousness that they were going to tell me they couldn’t find a heartbeat… that something was wrong… that my baby had a severe defect… etc. I didn’t (and still don’t) feel deserving of these perfect little babes that He created. My kids being healthy is SUCH grace in itself. I don’t ever want to forget or live outside of that gratefulness. All that being said, prayer was the only thing that gave me any peace. The Bible says in Phillipians 4:6-7 – “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” <– This was basically my motto for 9 straight months.
Because of my thyroid condition, we had numerous additional sonograms after my 20 week anatomy appointment with each pregnancy. The doctors wanted to monitor the growth of the baby and check for goiters in the baby’s neck. Neither Rowyn nor Miles ever had any issues there, thankfully. However, with Rowyn, there was concern that her growth dropped off in the last trimester. They explained at one of my last sonograms with her, that she was only measuring about 5 pounds and that if I didn’t go into labor naturally, by my due date, they wanted to induce me because they were worried that my placenta was not doing its job and the baby wasn’t getting the nutrients it needed. Mind you, with both babies, we kept the gender a surprise, so it was funny to hear all the techs avoid using the terms “his” or “her”, when referring to body parts at the scan. Anyway, I asked for prayer from some of my closest friends and family, because God knew my heart for natural, unmedicated birth. I really did not want to be induced and felt strongly that the baby would come in God’s time. In the same breath, I explained to those people that I wanted to do whatever was best for the baby and if that meant that he/she needed to be delivered before labor started naturally, I would do what the doctors ordered. I had a set appointment for 12/14/16 to be induced. I had all the instructions on what time to be at the hospital that day. On 12/12/16, Jarid and I got home from work, ate dinner, and went about our business — I went downstairs and walked on the treadmill for awhile and after calling it quits, took a shower and got ready for bed. I started feeling tight squeezes in my abdominal area — nothing painful, but I couldn’t describe the feeling to Jarid. It didn’t hit me until he said, “maybe we should start paying attention to how often they’re happening?” Since I’d never been through it before, I had no idea it was contractions, but eventually, after they became more consistent, figured it out. Ha.
The Lord had His hand on the entire situation and I remember feeling instances where he planted it in my brain just to TRUST Him. He came through for us… in fact, He has gone above and beyond in ways I can’t even begin to count. I delivered Rowyn on her due date, 12/13/16 at 9:04pm. Unmedicated. Completely naturally. After laboring for 23 hours (I can’t tell you how many times I called out to Him for strength in labor! My Mom said the nurses were getting a kick out of it). He knows our absolute deepest desires — no matter how silly they may be — and He cares because that’s how deeply He loves us. What matters to us matters to Him. HIS babies. HIS children. How incredible is that?
Shortly after Rowyn’s 1st birthday, we found out that we were pregnant again! We didn’t expect it to happen so quickly, but were overjoyed and felt so blessed. It was right around that time that I had just started to REALLY miss the “baby” stages and we had talked about soon starting to think about a sibling for Ro, so again — God knew. Coincidentally (no such thing), our babes would be 21 months apart — the same age gap as Jarid and his younger brother. I was sure the entire pregnancy that we were having another girl. I’m not sure why, but I never thought I would be blessed enough to experience both raising a boy and a girl. In fact, we hadn’t even nailed down a boys’ name, but had a definite girls’ name. Deep down, I really wanted to have a boy (whether this pregnancy or future), but at the same time I felt guilty and ridiculous for “wanting” one gender over another. I was just so grateful for a healthy babe. As with Rowyn, we kept the gender a surprise — something Jarid never wanted to do, but agreed after the fact that it was the best choice for us. The surprise was worth the wait. As Miles made his way into the world and the doctor announced, “it’s a boy!” in the delivery room, pure elation caused tears to stream down my cheeks — I’m pretty sure Jarid’s too. Miles was the icing on our cake.
It was so cool to see how the Lord grew my faith even from one pregnancy to the next. With Miles I had full confidence that He would take care of us — I need not worry. There was very little anxiety involved in round two. He even went above and beyond, giving us our baby boy. Another way He came through for us this round was the time of day I went into labor with Miles. I was nervous about how things would go for Rowyn if we weren’t home with her two days/nights and felt Mom-guilt about her being so little when he was born. I knew she would be in great hands, but I was sure she would wonder why Mommy and Daddy left her, not being old enough to understand. My first contractions started around 7:30pm on 9/18 (3 days after my due date) and Miles was born at 2:04am on 9/19. We had established a solid bedtime routine with Rowyn (thankfully) and she was in bed at 7pm each night, so we were blessed enough to have been able to put her to bed that night before Gammy & Pop Pop came to stay with her — she didn’t even realize we weren’t there overnight. Between that and the fact that we were allowed an early release from the hospital so that we didn’t have to go 2 nights in a row without our girl – God is so good. He cares about the details of our heart’s desires even when we don’t ask for them.
Even my attitude toward the laboring part the second time was different. I was confident God was going to get me through it, unmedicated, instead of asking Him for strength the whole time, I already knew He was going to give it to me. It really made me start thinking about how we should be living that everyday — asking Him for strength knowing that if we are His children and He is our God, we already have it.
Another huge blessing this time around, was that we won a Fresh 48 session with Erin Fortney! She came to the hospital to capture the moment that Rowyn met her little brother and it was nothing short of magical. See? Above and beyond, He goes again 🙂