This summer I haven't had much time to relax. Between all the graduation parties, birthday parties, homeschooling, and Vacation Bible School events, I rarely even turned on the computer. This is the first day in nearly a week that I actually sat online for more than 3 minutes. As I type this the boys are napping and I am watching a James Stewart movie while eating crackers with Nutella.
Overall, this summer has been quite enjoyable and I've adored spending time with my boys and my loving husband. July has been devoted to them and our families, and August will be devoted to my best friends as we hang out with them through visiting, receiving visits, and catching up on our lives.
There are many women I know who are pregnant right now or are just having babies! It is really beautiful to know that people are cherishing children and wanting to raise them in a world that seems to make babies a burden and disposable. It has certainly brought me back to my own pregnancies (which I've only had two, in case you are new to my blog and haven't seen pictures of my two sons).
"A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world." -John 16:21
In high school when I dated my husband and we were planning on getting married one day. During my senior year (or right after, in which we were newly engaged), I mentioned how it would be nice to be pregnant by 22. Rob laughed about it, but was not against the idea and said, "We'll see." He was more practical and didn't think too much about the future, but about what we were planning at the moment (to get married in general). We married when I was 20, and by 22, I was in fact pregnant!
This was me at 4 weeks pregnant with Leto in 2006.
My first pregnancy with Leto was really rough. I did not enjoy it at all. I worked at a food place and had my own puke bucket. Thankfully I only puked once per day (well sometimes 4 times in a row or within 15 minutes, but it was during a segment of a day). I felt so sick with so many smells. Yesterday I was thinking about my Indian neighbors where we used to live. The smell of curry was delightful, until I was pregnant! Chicken teriyaki is one of my favorite things to eat, until I was pregnant and felt so sick whenever near it (I eat it now again). I lost interest in eating anything I normally did other than eggs, bread, and cookies (which I gorged myself on). I thought I was supposed eat and eat and eat. LIE! I gained double the weight I was supposed to, which caused me to give birth to a 9lb 14oz baby!!
I was 13 weeks pregnant and just threw up . . .yes, you're thinking, "why would you want a picture taken like this?!?!" Because it is funny looking back!!!
I almost lost Leto at 25 weeks pregnant. It was very scary to have pre-term labor contractions. Thankfully he settled down in my womb and did well in the remaining 16 weeks I carried him. My body swelled up everywhere (which is why I won't show the later pregnancy photos of me when I ballooned). I had my first stretch mark by 34 weeks which increased across my lower abdomen, my inner thighs, my breasts, and my calves. I was so sad and cried a lot because I'm a vain person. I received a rash on my hands and feet that lasted 4 days (until a few hours after giving birth). Regardless of it all, I had a beautiful baby boy and am thrilled for the suffering.
33 weeks pregnant with Leto (yeah, I had dreadlocks during the end of my pregnancy).
With my pregnancy with Micah, I was more careful in what I ate, and blessed with gaining half of the weight I had gained with Leto. I was just as tired as I was the first time, just as sore, but scents smelled a little better to me and I only threw up 7 times total. My face still swelled up, I didn't get any new stretch marks, and I was much happier but still hated being pregnant. It is sad. Although pregnancy is uncomfortable and doesn't make you feel as pretty at all, it really is wonderful. I actually miss it a little. . . because the best part about pregnancy is feeling your child hiccuping, kicking softly, feeling their bodies rolling around, and seeing their bums raised in one spot depending on how you lay! The little galloping heartbeat is adorable, and seeing pictures of them being secured in your body is joyful, as you wonder how they'll look outside of the womb and anticipate holding them!!!
25 weeks pregnant with Micah in 2008 (in both)
The result: TWO CUTE BABY BOYS I LOVE SO MUCH!!!
Now for the bottom text most will not read, so I might as well go for it. . .This is extremely personal for us. I'm a heavily convicted person who often prays to God to reveal my wrongdoings so I can work on them and walk in His ways. While reading through the scriptures each day over the year (Psalms, Proverbs, Genesis-Joshua), I've felt God's word tell me know how much He treasures children and how much we should trust in God as He provides us with finances, children, and blesses us through having them. Our boys are such vast joys in our lives and we are so proud of them and have seen how God provides for us to raise them!
For nearly 10 months we've been praying for miracles so we can have more children. The painful problem is that a month and a half after having Micah, because I hated pregnancy so much (very selfish) and because we didn't have much money, and because Rob and I don't like contraceptives (I'm not going to explain), we made a stupid mistake and got Rob a vasectomy because we had a miscommunication about how we really felt (we both really wanted to have more children but thought the other didn't). We did not put any trust in God or go to Him with our decision at all and were foolish. 10 months ago, not even a full 3 years after Micah was born, we discussed and decided we want more children. We've been praying for a miracle from God to help us have another or for the Lord to provide for us $6,000 (very slowly saving, since we just get by as it is) so we can reverse Rob's vasectomy through a place that does it in NJ in which I've called and have loads of information from (they are so sweet and talked to me for a good 45 minutes and sent me a folder of information). They sent me pages of successful reversals and testimonies from men who decided they wanted more children as well and went to their place to get it done. It costs $3000 for first payment and $3000 for the second only a month apart, and they don't take partial payments or we already would have had this done. Most places charge thousands of dollars more for reversals, but because this is a practice specifically working only on vasectomy reversals, they do the job right and want to lift the financial burden from people who want more children.
In reading the scriptures, we learned that through this process of waiting on God and trusting Him, we have drawn closer in our walk with the Lord individually and as a couple. Our boys actually pray for their future siblings every single day, sometimes several times of their own freewill. It is really beautiful. God says to wait on Him, so we wait. We believe it is God's will for us to have more children, but we interfered with His plan with our own and want to now raise more children. If God shuts the door (or disciplines us for our mistake by not allowing us to have more), we will plan on adoption, but because we are still in our 20s, we have time to have more. If God instead gives us children to adopt, either way we will raise them in His word and will love and cherish them. We've thought about the fact that if we never did get the vasectomy done, we'd probably have another child by now (or even a fourth on the way). Please pray WITH us for this issue. Be kind and considerate with your comments on the issue, because I've done ten months of enough crying over it and have listed loads of options and prayed out many times about it, and really don't want people to be negative or hurtful further with the pain I already feel. Thank you.
"Children are a heritage from theLord, offspring a reward from him. Like arrowsin the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court." -Psalm 127:3-5
I went to an annual street fair with my family a few weeks ago wearing this amazing dress! My hair was pretty much dripping in sweat and I tried to blot my head best I could before getting these shots taken. I don't complain about weather. I get annoyed when I hear people say, "Ew! It's so hot" and whine and then "I'm freezing to death in this cold!" and whine more. No one seems satisfied with anything in Northern New Jersey, but are filled with selfishness. The Bible says to do EVERYTHING without complaining or arguing so you may be blameless and pure (Philippians 2:14&15). It is summer now. It's going to be hot. Take each day with rejoicing and thank God you have a day to live!
This week Rob and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary and had a great time together. We have family bowling coupons for every day this summer to bowl two games for free and have been bowling a lot lately. As presents we got bowling balls. Rob has never owned a bowling ball before and he lacks consistency from using lane balls made for other people's hands, which can be rough (and he's not bad at bowling with those). Now he can practice and adjust to his own ball. As for me, I've been using a 9 lb ball for too long and needed to upgrade to a 12 pounded ball so I can get better marks. We bought the cheapest balls in the shop and I received my first Turkey ever (three strikes in a row, in case you don't know the bowling lingo). It was exciting. After we bowled two games, we went out to eat sushi (because we couldn't decide on anything else, and there is a sushi place near where we live that is amazing so when we can't decide on a nice place to eat, that's the winner).