Thursday, August 15, 2013

Behind The Name

I just wanted to write a short post about why we chose the name we did for our daughter.

Johanna- We chose Johanna because years ago I fell in love with the name. The meaning behind it was also so fitting for our situation. Johanna means, "God is gracious" and as much as we prayed for her and to have God answer that prayer showed us that He is indeed gracious! Always giving, when we don't deserve.

Liberty- We chose Liberty for her middle name just days before she was born. My husband had asked to be able to choose and we went back and forth on many names. We prayed that God would give us the perfect name for her. We began to consider Liberty because we thought it would be a great reminder to us of the freedom we had found in Christ. A reminder that He does not hold us in bondage but allows us to live freely. Soon after we decided on Liberty I found this verse that affirmed our choice:

The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed
 -Luke 4:18 

Her name will always remind us of not only our liberty in Christ but also of this verse, our call from Christ to do His work. 

Until next time, may Christ's love and blessings be upon you and yours.

Johanna Liberty

This is the story of how our sweet little lady arrived.

On July 17 I went for my weekly check-up at the OB-GYN. I thought it would be a normal visit and I'd be on my way. Unfortunately, I found out that my blood pressure had continued to climb. I'm still not sure if it was just the stress of all that we had gone through or if it was truly pregnancy induced hypertension (PIH). My doctor was very concerned and admitted me to L&D to be monitored with the possibility that the next evening it may be in our best interest to deliver baby by c-section. I spent 24 hours in a small observation room that felt a lot like staying in a closet. The entire time my blood pressure pivoted from high to normal to very high. I spent that time resigning myself to and mentally preparing for a c-section. Thursday evening the nurse came in and send they were sending me home on bedrest. In my emotional, hormonal state I begged them just to give me a c-section that night and get it over with. My doctor consented but when my husband heard the decision I made he talked some sense in to me and we decided to wait it out and hopefully try for our planned VBAC. I was so grateful in that moment to have a husband who would look out for my best interest and keep me grounded when I got a little crazy. Thursday evening I returned home and started my bedrest.

Fast forward one very LONG week to the following Wednesday July 24. Again I was headed to the doctor and I knew Johanna's arrival would be soon because my blood pressure had stayed continually high and gotten worse over the course of the week. I didn't realize that my doctor would admit that very night. Blessedly, God allowed for me to have an attempt at VBAC. Thursday morning at 7 am my induction began. My husband had stayed at home the night before to get some quality rest because we knew we were about to embark on a tiring journey. He was to arrive at 7 as my induction began, however at 8 am he still had not arrived. I received a phone call from his mom, letting me know that he was perfectly fine but had been rear-ended on his way and had to take care of talking to the police before he could get to the hospital. Overcome by the emotions of all the things that had led to this moment I couldn't help but laugh. Yes, that's right laugh. I knew I couldn't cry because I probably wouldn't have stopped and I needed my strength for labor. So I laughed at the craziness of our lives.
My husband arrived at around 9 am and he hadn't missed a thing. While I was waiting on his arrival my doctor had broke my water and increased the pitocin. We labored on. Later that day I was in so much pain from the combination of having my water broke and pitocin contractions that I did something I said I would never do. I accepted an epidural. It wasn't exactly the bliss that everyone around me had said it was. My tailbone soon became excruciatingly painful with every contraction. I received another dose of the epidural meds that helped for about an our and then the pain returned. It's foggy now but I think I received one more does of the epidural medication, still in pain but I continued to labor. When I had made it to 5cm I was ecstatic! I just knew I was going to have a successful VBAC. The nurse came in and started preparing the area where they would place the baby after birth. My hopes soared! Unfortunately, many hours later I was still only at 5cm. The doctor came in the room and relayed to us that my blood pressure was getting higher, I had developed a fever and the baby's heart rate was making her very uncomfortable. I knew what the next words out of her mouth would be. I sobbed in resignation, knowing that the safest thing for all of us was to give up on my hope of a natural delivery and allow her to perform a c-section.
After she left the room, everything happened so quickly and what seemed to be just a few short minutes later I was on the operating table and at 8:50pm Johanna Liberty came entered this world weighing 8lbs 8oz and measuring 21.5 inches long. We were overcome with joy!!

The greatest thing about my labor and delivery is that I have no regrets. I am so thankful that God paved the way to allow me to at least attempt a VBAC and every hour I labored was so worth it. On the other hand, I don't resent the fact that it ended in c-section. When they got to the baby they found her with the cord wrapped around her neck and her leg and she was presenting sunny side up. It was possible for her to be born vaginally but could have presented as a very dangerous situation. Unlike my birth experience with my son, I remember ever thing of this experience and that has allowed me to process it well.

 Although it wasn't exactly what I wanted I trust in God's sovereignty and His will and I believe everything was exactly as it was meant to be.

Until next time, may Christ's love and blessings be upon you and yours. 

Life and Death

What a whirl-wind the past two months have been! I'm finally getting around to writing a post and have a lot to share so I'll be posting three different entries today.

In June, my husband's father was admitted to the hospital with jaundice. He was seemingly in perfect health leading up to this time and it was a surprise to us all that he kept spiraling down hill, day after day. Many health complications ensued after his admittance and three weeks later, he passed away. He was the center of our immediate family, our constant helper, a fabulous grandpa and to lose him was a tragedy. His passing has reminded us that life is fleeting, that we have no control over when our time is done and that we shouldn't procrastinate when it comes to those we love. We also realize that the need to share Christ's love with those around us is pressing. We should use every opportunity we are given to tell of His saving grace. That was an important lesson for us. Three weeks after his death we are still working on healing and I think it will be a long time before we are completely healed but it will be a lifetime that we remember him and the impact he had on his family.

 Death is inevitable but we also have the hope that a new life brings. Exactly two weeks after the passing of my father-in-law we joyfully celebrated the arrival of our sweet baby girl, Johanna Liberty. Her birth was a much needed lifting of our hearts. The arrival of this sweet innocent baby was a reminder that although we have sorrow here on Earth, we are also given great hope! Sadly, she will never know her grandfather but we will always tell her stories of what a great man he was and how we cherished him.

In my next post, I'll be sharing the story of her birth.

Until next time, may Christ's love and blessings be upon you and yours.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Where we are...

It's been a while since I've written anything, life has been extremely busy and overwhelming! We were busy doing school and life, then busy wrapping up the end of our homeschool co-op and trying to wrap up our school year, (still working on that) and now getting ready for our VBS.

Update on pregnancy: I just realized I haven't said anything since we found out we were pregnant and had our first ultrasound. We are now 32 1/2 weeks along! The beginning of the pregnancy was really hard. I had a few episodes of heavy bleeding and one that sent me to the emergency room just knowing that I was miscarrying. It was terrifying but we just put our trust in the Lord and everything turned out just perfectly except a few weeks of bedrest. After all of that the pregnancy has progressed with no hitches, all genetic testing came back with good results, no gestational diabetes and only a slight bit of anemia. Thus far it has been an incredibly easy pregnancy compared to my first. And the best news of all, we're having a GIRL! I am so excited and have felt deeply blessed. At this point I am just praying that I will not get pre-eclampsia again and that I will survive this Texas heat and humidity!

Update on my spiritual life: I know one would think that because of the amazing blessing that we received that living our lives for God would be that much easier. In a way that's true but honestly I have been struggling through a serious dry season for several months. I didn't know what else to do but pray, pray and pray some more. I finally feel the fog beginning to lift and I feel like I am working again on my relationship with the Father. I hate that feeling of being absent from His presence and feeling like I am failing as a Christian. I pray for forgiveness for my apathy and am working to pick up where I left off!

Life has been moving along at an incredibly fast pace and I am looking forward to our pregnancy journey ending and parenting two beautiful children.

I hope this post finds you all doing well and growing in Christ. I continue to pray for my fellow women who have suffered/are suffering through infertility.

Until next time, may Christ's love and blessings be upon you and yours. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

BzzAgent Garnier Fructis Hydra Recharge Review

I recently joined BzzAgent, an awesome site that gives you products to review. My recent "campaign" is for Garnier Fructis Hydra Recharge.After using this product for about a week. I am happy to report that both the regular conditioner and the 1-Minute conditioner are excellent. Unfortunately I was not impressed with the shampoo and felt like it was very drying on my hair and stripped away everything. I would definitely purchase and recommend the conditioners to others but would not say the same for the shampoo.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Judge not...

I shared this on Facebook this evening and wanted to share with those of you who don't know me personally or who aren't my Facebook friends.

The more I read, learn and experience, the more I realize Christians really are a judgemental group. Not righteous judgement and I feel they judge other Christians much more than the lost. The biggest problem lies in that fact that Christians judge not sin, but what I deem doctrinal differences. As if you aren't Christian enough because you don't do it like them. Don't get me wrong, this isn't a "have an open mind," "accept all things," "truth is relative" secular point of view I'm trying to show. I believe there are some fundamental truths to Christianity that cannot be ignored and are essential to salvation. We Christians are doing a lot that tears down Christ's body. Sad.
Have you experience said judgement or been on the judging end? I know I've judged others from time to time but I feel like I am growing in Christ and learning the difference between righteous judgement and ridiculous judgements based on personal preference.

Until next time, may Christ's love and blessings be upon you and yours.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Meditating on God's Word

We're eleven days into this new year and for my "resolution" (ok not really a resolution as much as a commitment to myself and God) is to read the bible front to back. I've been a Christian for 15 years and have never once done this. Sad, I know! I've read the entire New Testament and bits and pieces and parts and verses of the Old. I have so far thoroughly enjoyed it! I am learning so much and figuring out how things connect. God has really opened my mind and heart to receive His teachings during this time. It has kept me connected with Him and helps me re-center on Christ and not the busyness of life. On Facebook there is a group of ladies who are also reading through the Bible this year and they have been such an inspiration and motivation to me. As well as showing me the many perspectives from which God can teach! I am looking forward to diving deeper and deeper into God's living word and being drawn to Him through my learning. Did any of you ladies make a New Year's resolution or other commitment? And also have any of you read the Bible front to back and if so, what was your experience like? I hope you are all having a blessed year!

Until next time, may Christ's love and blessings be upon you and yours.