Making the most of the little moments with a newborn

Thursday, February 9, 2017

The more children I have, the more I realize how fast the baby stage goes by!

 My 6th baby, Ahava is already 6 weeks old and it feels like it went by in the blink of an eye!

With 5 other little ones vying for my attention, it can be easy to get overwhelmed and exhausted during this time, but it's also such a sweet time of loving on my baby and seeing my older children and husband fall in love with her as well.  I wish there was a pause button to slow these sweet times down and fast forward button to speed through the difficult ones!

 My husband and I  love the baby stage. (which is why we keep having them;)  But it can also be difficult transitioning to caring for another little person; who often doesn't want to sleep when you do.

Our days often go by so fast, as everything takes way longer to do. It's been so good to slow down and really reevaluate what is important. Knowing now how fast this time goes by, I have been trying to be more intentional about soaking up every moment with my sweet little girl.


Holding her and getting in as much newborn snuggles and kisses as possible.

Gazing at her while I'm nursing, instead of at Facebook or Instagram.

Prioritizing household chores, so I don't get overwhelmed.

Not taking on any extra projects or time consuming activities.

Staying home instead of running around town and exhausting myself.

Saying yes to kind friends and family who offer help and support.

Knowing my limitations and saying no to people or things that I just can't commit to.

Giving myself a lot of grace.

Though I am not always good at sticking to all of these; I try to remember that no time is wasted as I cherish my newborn babe and enjoy her milky breath, soft velvety skin and sweet newborn smell.


With my first baby, I have to admit that I couldn't wait for him to get bigger so I could interact and play with him... and not be so sleep deprived!

Now I wish time would slow down so I could enjoy this precious time a little longer. And though it's not fun being sleep deprived, somehow over time you learn to survive with less sleep and even get used to it; well sort of.

Having a newborn is not easy; whether it's your first or sixth. It's adjusting to a whole new life; with new demands and schedules that your body and mind are not accustomed to, or haven't been used to in a while.

Although I can't get enough of the baby stage; it's not always sunshine and roses, so I try to make the most of the times when she is alert and happy.


I was inspired by the Honest Co. to write about some of my favorite ways to bond with Ahava during this precious newborn stage.

One of my favorite things to do to slow down and cherish this time is to make a ritual out of bath time and diaper changing.Though not all babies like this time, I am so glad my sweet baby does. Even her siblings want to get in on the action. It has been such a fun time of kissing her sweet feet and trying to coax a smile or a laugh out of her.



When I lay her down to change her diaper , wipe her down and spray on some soothing bottom wash or slather on some homemade natural diaper cream. She smiles, coos and always perks right up; if she has been grumpy from a poopy diaper and sore bum. But who wouldn't be happy to wear these adorable diapers from Honest Co. I wish she didn't dirty them so fast!




She also loves bath time! She might be the exception, but she has never cried once when I have given her a bath. I always know that if she is fussy and I give her a bath she will calm right down and fall asleep right after. Especially if I wash her with this wonderful smelling shampoo + body wash. All my kids use it, even my husband and I.



Because I wanted to make the most of this special time, I opted to give her, her first bath at home instead of letting the hospital do it. I think I waited a week before I gave her a bath. Am I the only one who doesn't want to wash off that newborn baby smell???

I am so glad I waited to give it to her myself, because it was so special! She handled it like a pro and I still remember how she looked at me and how much she seemed to enjoy it even at such a young age. Now I give her a bath almost every day just because she loves it so much and she smells SO good from the gentle fragrance of the shampoo + body wash. It's funny how she can get so smelly from sour milk and all the little gunk that gets stuck in her little toes and hands.

Being a parent is no joke! It requires a lot of sacrifice, patience(or lack thereof) humor and grace.

It can be hard to cherish these fleeting moments when a million other things or people are calling for your attention... and all you want to do is sleep. Believe me most of the time I wish I could take a nap and then when I do get a chance I can't fall asleep, thinking of all I need to do!

I do know though, that I have never regretted a moment that I have spent cuddling her instead of folding laundry, or giving her extra attention instead of crossing off my to do list. I love how she calms right down when I pick her up and how she is teaching me what she wants and needs.

Moments spent with your newborn are never wasted moments. So put that phone down, let the laundry pile up(for a little bit), make the most of the little moments...and remember that babies really don't keep.

This is not a sponsored post but was inspired by the Honest Co. I love their safe, effective and eco- friendly products for family and home! I have included links to some of their products in this post that I hope you will check out and enjoy for yourself! 


Do you love the newborn stage?

Or are you struggling to get through it?

What are some ways that you enjoy the little moments with your newborn?

Addition Update #3

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Living through a home renovation is not easy or for the faint of heart.

Renovating your home, running a side business, homeschooling and getting ready to have a baby is just plain crazy, but somehow we lived to tell about it.

When we began our addition I knew it would be difficult but I don't think I realized how difficult it would be compiled with everything else we were going through. But because we had been waiting so long for this to happen, we were so excited to get started! 

What I do know is that all the waiting, difficulties, setbacks, discomforts and a million trips to Home Depot were all totally worth it. 

I had planned on posting a lot more updates but as things got crazier and crazier, I found myself just trying to survive and everything else got pushed to the wayside. 

If you have read the previous addition posts here, here and here and my birth story; you know that I was praying that God would work a miracle by our house getting done before I had our 6th baby.

Well a miracle did indeed happen!

My husband, our amazing contractor and his team busted it out in record time! 

All in the same week we moved back into our house( after being at my husband's parents for over two weeks), got all our appliances, light fixtures and plumbing installed, floors finished, bedroom and kitchen painted and had a baby!

While I was in the hospital, Josh was able to go home and switch our bed into our new bedroom, get us a new mattress, put in base boards and hang curtains and blinds! Not only that but a sweet friend of ours who owns a cleaning company came and cleaned the house before I came home from the hospital. What a blessing! 

I had our sweet baby girl on the 22nd of December and was able to come home on Christmas Eve! It was truly a memorable Christmas!

I love, love, love our new space! 

I can't stop saying how much I love everything. 

Not only did we go  from a 776 sq. ft. home to a 1180 ft. home, but we also have all new appliances, our own bathroom and a beautiful deck and walk way to the garage(where I do my laundry.) 

I feel so spoiled! 

One benefit of waiting for so long to get a bigger house is that you truly appreciate every little detail and amenity that you have had to learn to live without.

Living in our little home with 7 people has definitely inspired me in my desire to be faithful with the little and I pray that by God's grace I will continue to do so in our bigger space with 8 people now.

There are still a ton of projects to be done and I hope to show you the before and afters, and details of the renovation as time allows.



Painting our new bedroom.


Josh installed, sanded, stained and polyurethaned all of our hardwood floors himself! It was truly a labor of love and one of the most grueling jobs of the renovation!



The state of the house when we moved back in.



Our beautiful new floors and dining area, which used to be our kitchen.



Our new farmhouse sink getting ready to be installed.


Hallway off the kitchen to our new bedroom.


New wood counter tops.


Our big new pantry!


How the back of the house and yard has looked for the past couple of months.


Kitchen plumbing being installed!


Cleaning and trying to get things somewhat put back together.


Installing hardware.




Josh installed the tile for my backsplash all by himself and did a great job for his first time.


Painting the dining area.





A ministry from our church called men of arms spent two Saturdays installing the rest of the siding and putting in our deck! Such a great practical ministry!


The kids got right to work sweeping the deck and playing on it! I can't wait to sit out here in the morning, reading my Bible and drinking coffee and having friends and family over for cookouts!!



The kids new favorite place to be is on the floor in front of our french doors that lead out to the backyard.


Life is still pretty crazy around here as we try to settle back into our new norm, with our new baby and new addition.

It's been about 4 months since we got started on this project and we are just now finishing up this week. It has been a whirlwind for sure and it's hard to believe that this space was so much smaller.

Now that all the hard stuff is mostly done, I am excited to get started on all the other projects that need to be done that we can take our time with. Looking back there are a few things I wish I had done differently( like pick paint, hardware and fixtures out ahead of time) but because of our time crunch, had to make a quick decision on the spot. But of course I couldn't be happier and more thankful for all that he has accomplished in such a short time!

Though it wasn't easy living through construction with 5 kids and being pregnant, I didn't have to do any of the hard work. I am so proud of my husband who worked so hard to make this all possible for us. You can be sure there was a lot of sweat, blood (literally), and tears shed through this whole process.

I don't think the reality has really sunk in yet that this is our new home! I keep having to pinch myself!

I can't wait to show our completed rooms and projects soon!

Linking up here!

Ahava's Birth Story/ Joy comes in the morning

Friday, January 27, 2017

It's hard to believe I am sharing the story of my 6th birth!

Ahava is already a month old and it's taken me that long to write out her birth story. I have been soaking up every minute with her and the days have literally flown by. I have sat down a couple of times and written some of it and finally found some time to finish it!

Having a baby plus 5 kids is all consuming and I wouldn't change it for anything, but other things like this blog have had to go to the back burner; which I am sure you understand.

If you have been following my pregnancy posts you know that everything has gone pretty smoothly and that I have really been blessed to not have any complications.

The last month of this pregnancy was of course the hardest. I wasn't sleeping at night due to insomnia and becoming increasingly more uncomfortable. Not to mention it was a very stressful month as we were finishing the addition on our house, we had to move in with my in-laws and my mom had to go into the hospital. You can be sure I had a couple of breakdowns.

As my due date was drawing nearer and we still had so much to accomplish, I prayed that she would wait a little longer and come late. I usually go late with all my pregnancies so I was really depending on that this time. But you just never know. I knew that no matter what, God would work it all out and bring her in his perfect timing, whether we were able to be back in our house or not.

My due date came and went and my husband was working from dawn till dusk to get things done on the house( which in itself is a whole other post.) So many things went wrong, but somehow he finally got enough done to where we were able to move back in on Monday the 19th of December.

There was still so much to do before the baby came (with Christmas right around the corner) and by some miracle I was able to cross most off most of my to do list!

Tuesday we got things cleaned up as much as we could. Construction dust is the worst. You keep cleaning it up and it just keeps reappearing.

That day we had the plumber and electrician at our house and they hooked up everything in the kitchen and our new bathroom!

The kids really wanted a Christmas tree and I have to admit I did too, so I managed to take them out and get one. It was a lot of fun to bring it home to our new and bigger house. I let the kids go to town decorating it.

I had been really wanting to get a pedicure before I had the baby but hadn't had a chance since Josh was so busy working on the house. It might sound silly, but I felt I could face labor better knowing my feet were pretty and manicured. It just so happened my girls life group from church was meeting that night and we were all going to be given pedicure/manicures by one of the ladies who did nails!

After the pedicures I stopped by Target since I didn't have the kids and picked up some things that I hadn't been able to get yet. After a busy and hectic week it was so nice to walk around Target without any kids. It was so therapeutic! Target...with no kids..can I get an amen!?

Wednesday I was determined to get all the Christmas gifts for our family wrapped and put into gift bags. Thankfully I had gathered everything ahead of time and was able to put them all together. The last of the gifts I ordered on amazon came and those got wrapped also.

I also got the kids bags packed up for when they would have to go back over to Papa and Grandma's.

While I was busy getting things put back as much as possible in the house and cleaning up, Josh was installing the rest of our countertops and cabinets. He went to the store to get us some frozen pizzas for dinner when I started getting some steady contractions. Before the pizza was even done the contractions were coming on stronger and closer together. I wanted to wait a little longer at home before we set out for the hospital but he was adamant that we leave right away since my last birth was really fast and the hospital was 45 minutes away. This was happening!

Thankfully Papa and Grandma live not even 5 minutes away, so as soon as they got here we were on our way. We were both really excited to finally be meeting our baby girl and were so relieved to be back in our home. The kids were also so excited as we left. Ellie said she was so excited she was shaking!!

We made it to the hospital around 8:30pm and though my contractions were getting stronger and still steady I was only 3cm dilated. In the hospital they won't admit you unless you are 5. The midwife on call asked if I wanted pitocin to which I declined and I also told her I didn't want my water broke. Because of the speed of my last deliveries and because I had had them all come very smoothly on their own, I didn't want any intervention.

The midwife said they might be sending me home if I didn't dilate any further. Noooooo!!! I started to panic as I did not want to be sent home. My worst fear this whole pregnancy was that I would have the baby in the car. One of my midwives said at an appointment that I should have towels in the car and be prepared since all my other births came so fast!!! What!!!???

I explained to my midwife that we lived 45 minutes away and that my last birth was really quick and shared my concerns about having the baby in the car. Thank goodness she let us be admitted and told us to get some rest and call her when things started to progress. So by now it's around 12pm.

We got settled in another room and tried to lay down and get some rest. Around 3:00am my contractions started getting much stronger and I definitely could not sleep. They were getting to the point where I had to really breathe/ moan through them. I knew I must be more dilated by now. The nurse on call began to monitor the contractions and the midwife came in and said she would be back in a little bit. It seemed like forever before she returned, so I asked the nurse if she could get her to come back and check me. I was really wanting to get in the birthing tub and labor in there.

Now I have to admit that the midwife on call was the one I was hoping I wouldn't get. I honestly did not like her. There are 4 midwives at the practice I go to and 2 of them have delivered my babies before. The other new one I really liked, but this particular one just rubbed me the wrong way. She just wasn't very compassionate or helpful...so of course I got her.

She finally came back and checked me and lo and behold I was 8cm!! I was getting so frustrated that I wasn't in that tub yet. If I was going to do this naturally... I wanted my tub!

I was really surprised that it was taking so long for this baby to come. I was sure I would have had her by now.

I finally was able to get in the tub around 4:00am. The contractions were still coming on really strong and I was exhausted and had already thrown up a couple of times. Fun! So glad I didn't end up eating that pizza!

 I knew I could do this but I felt like I was going to die. I literally started weeping through the contractions. The stress of the week and everything else just hit me full force. I didn't know if I could go on. My midwife was so comforting(I'm being sarcastic) to tell me that this baby was going to beat me and that I was pretty much not going to be able to do this. I was so mad that I waved my hand at her; dismissing her negativity. Josh had my back and said, "You got this honey."

As I was in so much pain and things still were not progressing, my husband suggested I get my water broken.(As I said, my midwife was no help.) I was just afraid that I would go into intense labor and not have any break in between contractions. Even though my contractions were not letting up I did have a breather in between them to recoup. I finally told my midwife to break my water and just as she was going to with needle in hand; I got a really strong contraction and "POP" my water broke all on it's own! As I tried to eek out what strength I had left to push, so many emotions flooded through me. I literally sobbed and groaned as she finally came out of me! (at 5:18 am)

What relief!!

I was so glad that period of pain and waiting was over and that she was here!  I was also so exhausted from being up all day and night and was so thankful for God bringing us this beautiful baby. It really was overwhelming!

I have never cried with any of my other births. Yes, they have been painful but nothing like this.

I was so so glad and thankful she was here! I kept saying, "I am so glad that's over!"

Now for those of you who have never yet birthed a baby and are starting to freak out at the thought of a natural birth from this story, please go and read my last birth story because it was the total opposite. It was the best birth possible! Though not without pain;)

Just be glad I didn't show any pictures of during the birth...which I don't have anyway;p

It just goes to show you how different things can go. Each birth is so unique and different. I of course was hoping that it would have been much easier, but we both made it to the other side and I have so much to be thankful for.

That moment of going from such pain to utter joy and amazement is truly indescribable. After all that hard work, anticipation and waiting; it's so amazing to be finally holding that precious little life you have been carrying around for over 9 months!  What joy and relief flooded me as she was placed on my chest!

We had never completely decided on what her name would be. I knew I really liked Ahava( Hebrew for love) but we didn't even decide on a middle name. But when she came I just knew her name needed to be Ahava Joy!

After I got out of the tub and was soaking in her newborn goodness. I was able to to nurse her right away. As she nursed,  I gazed at this beautiful baby of mine; still in awe that she was finally here. She pooped all over me confirming that yes, she was here! Ha!

I was so weak and exhausted. I felt like I was 100 years old. I could barely move. I also had the chills and could not stop shaking.

After I birthed the placenta and got cleaned up, they moved us to a different room. The nurse we had was so great and just let us sleep as long as we needed without poking and prodding us. I was so tired after being up for over 24 hours that I conked right out with my baby snuggled against me.

I slept most of the day away and but for a few feedings so did the baby. One of the main reasons I like having my babies in the hospital is that I can sleep and recuperate before going home. I really need those 2 days of rest and just snuggling my baby. And I don't mind being waited on hand and foot with room service. I am sure it would work out if I had to go home early but it's so nice not to have any of the distractions of home and just focus on getting rested.




After the 2 days I am more then ready to get back home to my other babies. One of my favorite moments is when the kids came up to see the baby in the hospital. They were over the moon! I loved watching their expressions as they saw her for the first time! So sweet!

We were released from the hospital on Christmas Eve, and without out a doubt it was one of the best Christmas' ever!!

After having a rough couple of months it was so amazing to come home to our new home with a new baby!

One of the days I was in the hospital Josh was able to come back to the house and finish our new room. He got us a new mattress and set it up and put up curtains and blinds. Not only that but a sweet friend of mine who has a cleaning service came and cleaned the house.( as much as she could with everything all over the place) Talk about the best gift ever!!

When I got home it felt like I was staying at a luxury hotel. A bathroom in my own room!? I felt so spoiled!

The week after I had her was like a babymoon. Josh was home and I just got to rest and love on my new baby and family. The kids were all so sweet! They would come in our room in the morning and just "oooo" and "ahhhh" over her.

After all the craziness leading up to her birth and the difficulty of her birth it was so good to rest in God's goodness and just stand in awe of all that he had done.

The day after I had her, as I was laying in the hospital snuggling her, this verse came to my mind:

              "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning." Psalm 30:5

This birth did not go as I had planned or expected; I literally wept as I brought her into the world. It was painful, hard and exhausting. Looking back I am sure there were some things I could have chosen to do differently that might have sped things up and helped ease my pain.

But you know what? Joy really did come in the morning, our Ahava Joy. No matter how painful and exhausting it was birthing her, I would do it all over again. After having gone through that hard birth it makes me appreciate holding her in my arms all the more.

No, I didn't have a pain free birth or a great midwife, but I gave birth to a beautiful healthy girl in God's perfect timing.  And the thing about labor and birth is that it doesn't last forever. Of course while I was going through it I was thinking I never wanted to do this again or that I should have got an epidural, but it's over and the joy of giving birth to a perfect little baby outweighs the pain of childbirth. (After experiencing losing a baby before Ahava; I treasure the gift of being able to carry and give birth to her all the more)

None of us wants to go through pain or hardships but it is often through these things that God shapes and molds us into who he wants us to be.  He is glorified when we give him our hopes and dreams. He takes the ugly and hard things (like the reality of childbirth) and turns them into the most amazing and beautiful experiences; even if they are not how we had envisioned them.

A natural birth is a wonderful and beautiful experience but the reality is that it is also painful, bloody, messy and exhausting. Though I have experienced great births, not one of them was without pain and exhaustion.(and I have had 6!) There is a lot of pressure out there for women to have a perfect, pain free childbirth with no complications. Also there is the expectation to have a perfect, healthy baby, which in very many cases does not happen in this fallen world.

Although I am an advocate for a natural birth experience, I don't think that we should pretend that birth is easy or uncomplicated. Things can go perfectly or they can often go perfectly wrong. We don't always have control over the outcome, but what we do have control of is our attitude, our perspective and where we place our hope.

We can have joy because of the pain, and all that we have gone through to get to that sweet moment of holding our baby in our arms!

"When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for the joy that a human being has been born into the world." John 16:21 

This verse is so true and though I do still remember the pain to a point... it has left me. As I hold my baby in my arms I know that I would do it all again to experience this baby bliss. It goes by way too fast and I absolutely love newborn babies. They are just the most perfect little people that God has gifted us with.

I hope my story didn't scare you away if you are considering a natural birth, but I want you to know that though it is hard, God has given us the amazing capability to do it. YOU CAN DO IT!!! It is possible, it doesn't last forever and joy really does come in the morning!!

I am not ready for this babymoon to be over and you can be sure that when I get a chance I will be updating you on Ahava's growth and the progress of our home, but until then you will find me getting in as many newborn snuggles as I can, smelling her sweet milky breath and cherishing this time with my kids. Having a newborn really makes you aware of how fast time passes and I don't want to miss out on a minute of it!

What was your birth experience? 

Did you have a almost pain free birth or a really hard, long birth???

I would love to hear!!! ( If you have written your birth story please share it in the comments!)

Linking up here!




She's here...

Saturday, December 31, 2016

I am so excited to announce the arrival of our much awaited sweet baby girl!!

She was born at 5:18 in the morning on the 22nd of December. It's hard to believe a week has already gone by!

We have been soaking up every minute with her! We can't get enough of her sweet newborn smell and snuggles! We are all in baby heaven!

Thank you so much for all your prayers and kind words during this pregnancy! God has been so gracious to us.

I can't wait to share all the details of her birth with you soon!



And for those of you who are wondering; her name, Ahava, means love in Hebrew.


How I prepare to give birth...naturally (from the archives)

Sunday, December 18, 2016

My due date has come and gone, but I am totally fine with that. If you have been keeping up with all that has been going on over here with the addition of our home,  you understand why.

Haven't had too much time to blog so I thought I would share an older post that I wrote right before I had Luke.

If you are pregnant or hoping to be someday and want to have a natural birth, I hope this post will help give you some ideas of what to expect and what you can do to prepare yourself mentally and physically.

I know it helped me to read through this again as it's been 3 years since I gave birth to my son Luke.
No matter what I know God will give me the grace and strength I need but it's always good to be prepared!

Today is due date for  my fifth baby! Of course that means my senses and body have been on high alert for the first signs of labor. I have gone overdue with all of my children. My last one was only 2 days late which was pretty much like coming early. The one before that was 12 days late!!! I could have been induced but would much rather have them come when they are good and ready if there are no complications.

It sure got old though hearing everyone ask, "Haven't you had that baby yet?" It's an estimated due date people! It's not like the baby has to come on your due date. So if you see a weary pregnant women in the end of her pregnancy don't ask her if she is ready to pop or drop yet...believe me she is!

Though I look forward to finally seeing my long awaited baby, I usually dread the labor part. Yes, I don't enjoy pain, but when I have been waiting for almost 42 weeks I'm ready for the pain to begin...bring it on!

So how do I get my mind and body ready?

Determination

First you have to be determined that you are going to do this naturally! If you have second guesses or aren't sure, once those snake tightening contractions start you will want to say, yes give me that epidural!( Confession: along with not wanting an epidural for the most natural birth possible, I can't stand the thought of a needle going into my back!! yikes!)

Positive Support

Surround yourself with people who encourage and support you in your decision! Now I know this isn't always possible but turn a deaf ear to those who don't understand or try to tell you what they think you should do. There is nothing like the encouragement that comes from someone who tells you," Yes, it's hard...but YOU CAN DO IT!!!

Do What Feels Best To You 

I never went to any birthing classes or had a doula but I am sure they would have been helpful so look into your options but remember your body was made to do this... listen to it! Do what feels right! Whether that means moving to a different position, moaning and groaning( yes everyone does it)and breathing.

Exercise!

Of course talk to your Doctor or midwife first, but if you have already been exercising you can usually keep it up in a modified form. Since I had already been working out when I found out I was pregnant I was able to keep up my routine, just not at the same intensity. Though of course I have gained weight, it feels good knowing I haven't lost all my muscle that I have worked so hard for not to mention it's a great outlet.  Join a bootcamp or find a friend to keep you accountable, it's a lot more fun and easier when you are with other women and have someone to tell you what to do.  Along with the benefit of staying in good shape, exercising will help prepare you for the physical demand of labor and give you a head start on getting back into your clothes once you have had your baby!

Be Prepared

I don't know about you but when I reach the last couple of weeks of my pregnancy I get a little crazy. I have to have everything ready, clean and organized at home or I can not rest. I gain new energy and start to nest like a mad women. I think all the projects that I have been putting off all year get done in those 2 weeks. I do not want to come home with my baby to a big mess, I want to relax and enjoy my baby. Of course the baby won't care what your house looks like but at least you will feel better knowing everything is ready for your new arrival, at least I do. So be prepared!

Rest

Try to cut back on any extra activities. Get as much rest as you can! Though I admit that is hard for me to do at times when I have so many things going on and little ones to take care of; I can't function if I am overtired. I don't want to go into labor exhausted and stressed. Life is busy and unexpected things happen that you can't foresee but as much as possible give yourself some slack knowing that you have a big job ahead of you and you need to be rested and relaxed.

Check Out Your Options

If you are opting for the most natural experience try a water birth! It doesn't take away the pain but it sure helps! After having my first flat on my back, I had a water birth with the last three and much preferred it. Its warm, soothing and easy to move around in. Its also a more natural transition for the baby who has been swimming in fluid during his growth in your womb. Talk to your midwife or doctor about your options.

Hold On To Scripture 

Ask God to give you a scripture to hold on to. The word of God is so powerful and comforting! Here are some I like to meditate on:

 "My flesh and heart may fail but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." Psalms 73:26 

 "I love you , O Lord my strength. The Lord is my rock, my  fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge." Ps. 18:1-2

"Do I bring to the moment of birth and not bring delivery? says the Lord." Isaiah 66:9


One that I feel God has given specifically for this upcoming birth is:

"I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being." Ephesians 3:16-17

Not only do I pray for physical strength but even more; spiritual and emotional strength. I want Him to strengthen me in my inner being to bring this new life into the world.

The Pain Will Not Last Forever 

 Know that it is going to be painful and difficult but that it will not be forever. Believe me I pray that it will always be as painless as possible but I know there is going to be pain. I know there are people who say they have had painless natural births; which if so good for them, but I have not experienced this euphoria.

 The Bible says, "I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children." Genesis 3:16

We don't unfortunately live in a perfect world, we live in a fallen; sinful world where we experience joy alongside pain and sorrow. Our pain and sorrow in this life is only temporary and is going to be exceeded by a far greater joy when we are reunited with our Risen Lord. I love the example Jesus gives of this:

"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 has been born into the world." John 16:21

This experience of going from such pain to such joy is indescribable!  Though I must admit that the painful memories of giving birth have unfortunately not completely left me. But here I am again and I am looking forward to it because the sheer joy of bringing a new life into the world supersedes all the painful memories.

10.) Whatever you ideal birth experience looks like remember that sometimes things don't always go as we plan. Yes, have great expectations but  know that you are not a failure if things didn't go as you hoped, it's not your fault. You don't have to compare your birth story with someone else's. Though all of us pray and hope that things will go as smoothly and quickly as possible we are still stuck in sinful bodies in a sinful world that doesn't always cooperate with what we want. The most important thing is that we are healthy and the baby is. This trumps everything else.

 Every experience is different and special! Embrace this precious gift that God has given us as women! This has been what I have experienced for which I am so grateful but remember that each experience is different and to do what you feel is best for you and your baby!

Have you had a natural birth? 

What would your advice be to giving birth naturally?

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