My Pride or Joy

My babies come on time.  That’s just what they do.  For nearly five years I’ve been able to brag about how my kiddos came on the day before their due dates – both of them!  It’s quite convenient to have prompt babies who follow their schedules obediently.  And with this pregnancy?  I was sure that I was going to go early.  I said as much for about a month…

Then I did go early, too early.  Pre term labor at 33 weeks was not exactly what I had in mind.  So I went on bed rest for three weeks.  I worked hard to be vigilant about my vitamins, my protein intake, my fluids.  I took an Epsom salt bath almost every night, and when all else failed, I obligingly took that horrid medicine to stop the contractions.

It was a dark three weeks, too cold for the kids to play outside, little light, not enough sleep for my husband and far too much work to do.  The kids handled it about as well as you could expect little ones to cope with not having a functioning mother.

So many people blessed us with meals, without which we probably would have been eating hot pockets and lunch meat for a month.  I couldn’t get up to greet them as they came in; I couldn’t even write any thank you notes, because when I wasn’t trying to get comfortable or force down vitamins and food I was usually attempting to put out constant fires amongst the children.  (You can imagine how effective that is when they all know you can’t leave the couch.)

I couldn’t believe how little I was able to do.  It was frustrating to put it lightly.  Then off of bed rest I went, and for a week it was just battling constant pain and fatigue.  I finally got a maternity belt which brought me back to almost 100% and that’s where I am now.

IMG_1401Today is the day before my due date.  (Yes that’s me on the right… 40 whole weeks.)  I’m not uncomfortable, actually other than persistent heart burn, I feel more comfortable for nine months pregnant than I can ever remember feeling before.  I can cook and clean and play with the kids and run errands.  For all intents and purposes I should be perfectly content staying pregnant a little longer… but I haven’t been content, not in the least.

I was venting to a friend a couple of nights ago about how on Earth I haven’t had a baby yet.  My midwife and everyone was certain that this baby was going to come as soon as I went off bed rest, and yet… baby never came.  I knew this baby was coming early… and yet here we are, right on time and it looks like probably even a little late!

What happened?  How did I get this all so wrong?  I hate being wrong and I hate not knowing things and I hate not being in control of what I feel is important.  There’s a word for all those things, and it’s called pride.  When I was talking to my friend I told her how I felt like such a fraud.  People reached out to help us at what felt like a very critical time, only for the crisis to pass and to seemingly have been pointless.

Was it pointless?  Could I have gone to term without bed rest?  Honestly, I don’t think we’ll ever know that answer… but it’s certainly not a gamble we should have taken.  And yet, it feels so wrong to still be pregnant – like I am doing something wrong.  It feels like I did nothing for anyone for a month for no reason.  And my friend?  God has given her such a kind wisdom.  She showed me that those feelings are simply lies.  “Do not regret loving your baby Dalas,” she said, “because that’s what you were doing.”

And in that moment I realized how foolish all this pride was, how not wanting to face everyone at Church on Sunday because I’m “still here”, is just plain silliness.  No one is judging me for still being pregnant!  (And even if they were it really shouldn’t matter more to me than meeting Christ in His Sacrament.) God has given our family an amazing gift by allowing my body to carry our precious child to full term.  An amazing gift.

This baby is going to be born with the very best chance at thriving on the outside of my womb, and what more could we ask for than that?  Every day longer I carry this baby is just one more day I get to express my love for our child in this unique and very short season of his or her life.  What is there to be sorry about?  Why let my pride over being wrong and needing help overshadow the immense joy that should be characterizing such a beautiful season?

How foolish of me to think my timing for this child is better than the Lord’s timing.  How foolish to spend the blessings of today in angst over details that only have meaning because it’s what I thought I wanted.  I am so thankful that God has given me the humility to see such error, so that I can spend my last few days with the joy He is intending for our family.

I reject your lies, Satan, your foolishness and your poison pride.  Instead, I will drink of the cup of joy and thankfulness.  I am thankful for one more day to prepare.  I am thankful for one more day to love my baby so uniquely, knowing we will never again be as close to each other as we are now.  I am thankful for one more opportunity to bake cookies and make crafts before another season of survival and adjustment.

I am thankful for the completion of a healthy pregnancy.  I am thankful for one more round of children kissing my belly good night.  I am thankful for one more night to cuddle with my sweet Stephen for as long as his little heart desires.  I am thankful for the possibility that my mother might actually get to be present for the birth of one of our children.  I am thankful that God’s ways are not my ways.

If it’s a choice between my foolish pride or His joy… for Heaven’s sake, today I choose joy.  And I thank God for giving me just a little moment of clarity to grasp that.

Crunchy.

Heyllo! And welcome to my blog!

As you can see by the title I am a Crunchy Lutheran Mommy… so instead of writing one introductory post about who I am and what this blog is all about, I thought I would write three :)

For my first post, let me start with the crunchy.  What does crunchy mean anyway?  Crunchy is a term I have come across to denote the “back to nature” movement.  My parents lovingly refer to me as a hippy… however, I prefer crunchy.  What sort of things do I do that are crunchy?  Well, home birth, elimination communication, natural immune system development, baby-led weaning, baby wearing and home-made laundry detergent, just to name a few!  I love discussing these topics and sharing ideas.  I have also been quite blessed to learn about most of them from fellow bloggers.  It is one of the reasons I have felt motivated to start my own!

Bloggers, in fact, are the social phenomenon of our day that plugged me in to the world of crunchy goodness.  And am I ever-so grateful!

You see, it all started when my dear husband, Jake, and I were courting and I was first considering the idea of having a big family (not there yet, but we’re workin’ on it!  😉  I did what any curious 21st century gal would do… I googled it.  And lo and behold what did I find but blogs!  Wonderful blogs of families with more children than most people hope to have grandchildren.  I was fascinated!  I could not read enough about these endearing people; I took in every tidbit of advice I could about how to raise that many people under one roof.  And what I quickly noticed about these wonderful people was that they had wonderful ideas!  And many of them were, you guessed it, crunchy ideas.

The first outlandish, yet intriguing, idea that caught my attention was home birth.  Yes, Kim from www.inashoe.com, had her babies at home!!  What a most ridiculous thing, I thought to myself, babies are born at hospitals, not in living rooms!  But my curiosity had been tickled and I began a researching campaign, as I have been known to do.  After all, certain immodisties of the hosptial birth scene had always been discomforting to me, so perhaps there was some merit to it.  As I looked deeper into the subject I quickly realized I had been captivated and won over by the natural birth side of the debate, and I began to wonder… what else am I missing?

Ever since I have been devouring everything I can on homemaking and raising children as naturally as possible.  After all nature was created by our perfect God who deemed that it was GOOD!  Can we really with our technology and chemicals and additives and methods improve upon what God has declared to be good?  I think not.  Now, I have to be careful here, because first of all I am blogging on some quite advanced technology that I believe can be a great blessing!  But, when it comes to the fundamentals of how we live, I think we need to get back to the pure basics of the matter.

My line of thought is fairly simple and boils down to this: We should live how God originally created us to live, naturally.  I have two clauses that I add when I believe this should not be the case:

1. This should not be the case when confronted with the falleness of our nature and of creation itself.  For example, I believe that women can and should birth naturally, and can safely do so without manmade interventions or procedures.  However, because death has entered the world natural processes in life can sometimes go awry, if during the course of the pregnancy or labor, things veer off the natural, intended course that God created, doctors and manmade interventions can and should be used with great potential benefit.  God has given us creative intelligence and we can use it to dilute and stave off the consequences of our fallen creation.  However, when things are going along their originally intended path, they are good, designed by God and cannot be enhanced, but will only be hindered by our intervention.

2. This also cannot be the case when discussing activities or objects not found in nature.  For example: I might say that technology should not interfere with childbirth, however, it would be rather silly of me to claim that technology should not interfere with blogging.  Blogging is a manmade activity that utilizes manmade resources.  We have been given the ability to imagine and build and enjoy those things that we make.  This is a gift from God, and should be utilized with good stewardship in regards to the creation we have been given to enjoy.

Thank you for checking out Crunchy Lutheran Mommy!  I hope you will come again!

Blessings in Christ,

Dalas

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