Category Archives: Birth stories

“What you do for the Least of These, You do for Me.”

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Motherhoodcalling

As I have been watching events unfold in Texas regarding the 20 week abortion ban, I am yet again convicted about my role in the abortion debate. My own story has led me to a passionate response to this atrocity our nation allows day in and day out. While I rejoice in the thousands of babies who may be saved by the legislation just passed in Texas, our work is far from over. There are many more babies heading to be killed, and many more Mothers who are in a moment of desperation, and fear.

I have spoken with my husband at length about my burning desire to be of use, to do more than post my testimony on my blog. To be a tangible blessing to another Mom. Even if it is just one. I want to HELP. I want to do more than talk about abolishing human abortion. I want to be an active part in living my life in such a way that my actions are a direct result of scripture. Of Christ’s work. So I talked to my husband about the options, and he had some valuable insights and suggestions. After speaking with him, and a few other trusted advisors in my life, I found some practical ways in which I can serve, and I ask you to help me.

Titus Family Outreach

Some time ago, unable to fathom the idea of *only* serving in my home, I jumped at the chance to try and found the Titus Family Outreach in my church. I meant it to be a homeschoolers group that encouraged Mamas to homeschool, and not to be scared off by pressure from friends, family members, and anyone else who thought homeschooling was one giant crock. Due to lack of interest, the group lost steam, and I was left with a plane that barely left the ground. Oh yeah, and an empty FB page with 4 likes. Fail. So much for my plans. God had other ideas. I still don’t know what they are… but I do know what I’ve got in hand.

So, tonight, as I purposed to follow my husband’s advice, and set up a *new* facebook page to suit these purposes, I was reminded by facebook about my abandoned page. Whoops. Wait a minute…. this is empty anyway! And I am looking to help families… Ok. USING!

So it has a new purpose.

What is the plan?

Those in the Pro Life community know about the concept of sidewalk counseling. You stand outside of a clinic, pray with those who enter, and then pray that they are convicted of the value of the life they carry. You hope against hope that they do not abort. You may direct them to a nearby Crisis Pregnancy Center, which may or may not be an option for them at that very moment, or ever.
I recently read about this ministry I found to be inspiring, and a direct response to Christ’s command to care for “The Least of these.” It is called Save The Storks. In this ministry they park a van that is equipped with the tools needed to do a sonogram, and to deliver the gospel to hurting women. They park this bus near abortion clinics and bring help TO these women, as opposed to directing them to help that may or may not be nearby, or immediately available. This ministry makes themselves available at the place of greatest need. I am not a sonogram technician, I am just a Mama of 4 who wants to help, but doesn’t have the talent or the ability to go it alone. I was inspired though by another Mom who wrote a beautiful post (which I can’t find, sadly!) about how she and her children handed out flowers the week of Mother’s day, with scripture and encouragement, all near an abortion clinic. Her courage, and her conviction was a balm to my soul.

I would like to invite you to join me. I would like to ask you to join a community of women, who are able, and willing, to offer help to those who may consider an abortion, but who have needs that must be met. I want to live out what I know is true. Speaking is not enough, we have to be doers of the word. (James 1)
Christ spoke during his ministry about the importance of serving others.
“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ Matthew 25:35-40

James 1:27 says:

“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”

How will we do this?
By creating a community of able women and families, we can work together to provide tangible help to women in need. I will do the legwork in my city, visiting the local Planned Parenthood on the days they perform abortions, and offering women help. I will ask them what their needs are, and share their testimonies, and needs on the Titus Family Outreach page on facebook. This will be a Pro life craigslist, if you will. We will be a physical resource to women in our community, offering our talents, our abilities, and also importantly, our blessings to share with those in need. We have so much to share, to give, and so many ways to serve.
For example, if I had met 18 year old pregnant me at an abortion clinic, I would find that I needed items for the baby, help meeting baby’s specific needs (nutritional needs, and housing needs.) and emotional and spiritual support. I will be the hands and feet, and you will be the source. I will publish the needs, and as a community, we will try to meet them. I know I have the resources and abilities to be of assistance, I have no shortage of baby clothing, baby items, and a willing heart, and ear, ready to listen, and ready to comfort. What do you have that you can contribute? Will you join me in being that tangible help outside the clinic doors? Will you join me in praying for these women before we meet them? And in being ready, and willing, to help meet their needs as they arise? So many people accuse those who are pro life of not caring for these babies once they are born, let us not be hearers of the word, but let us be doers, caring for the fatherless in their moment of need, and let us be his hands and feet, living out the gospel to those in need.

In Response- A Baby Story

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I thought longBABYFEET ISAIAH and hard about this particular post, and was quite inspired by Life In A Shoe’s Q & A post today, and the digging I did through her linked posts, particularly her Quiverfull, and Quiverfull follow up posts. I thought she handled a controversial subject with class, and honesty. And since I have a similar subject on my heart and mind, I shall forge on, and attempt to write with a sensitive heart, to the thoughts and feelings of others, while expressing my own.

So, Yesterday I posted the following on Facebook:
empowerment

There is a story behind why this photo is so important to me, and why I felt the need to share it on my facebook page.

I have felt a renewed passion for the Pro Life Cause since the Gosnell Trial.  In this high stakes case, I was reminded of my past, and what it very easily could have been.
I was a teen pregnancy. My husband and I got pregnant, after our engagement. I will never forget the anxiety of anticipating the responses of my family and friends. I was 18 at the time. I was staring at a future with no job, no health insurance (My Dad’s had discontinued me, and I had the choice to buy a VERY expensive COBRA plan.) and single motherhood.I did go to a pregnancy center, because I was scared. What made things more difficult was the fact that I knew the woman who was counseling there, and she knew my Mother. I was terrified she would tell her. But, I had a negative pregnancy test, and after a stern talking to, and a reassurance that she would stick with their confidentiality rules, I left.
A week later, I had a positive home test at a friend’s house. We prepared to tell my parents the news. I was terrified. I will never forget their faces. My Dad’s jaw dropped. My Mother’s face went white. They couldn’t speak. I could see the anger brewing in my Dad, bubbling silently. We left as quickly as we could, knowing that my Dad had to leave for a weekend camping trip. Unbeknownst to all of us, God had a pretty awesome plan for all of us in this timing. My Father ended up meeting a friend of a friend who came along. And when he shared what had happened prior to leaving, this man shared about his past as an unexpected and inconvenient baby. He encouraged my Father to support me, and my then boyfriend, to do the right thing. He reminded my Dad of the blessing that was already present in the life of this child. He told my Dad that good CAN come of such a situation.
All of us knew at this point, from the very beginning, that abortion just wasn’t an option. All of the anxiety, the fear, the uncertainty, it didn’t matter, this baby had a right to life.

And thus began the journey of 2 years, where my husband and I fought for a blessing. My parents, my friends, my family, all fought for one too. People in my Parent’s church barred my Dad from leadership because of my sin.

Wedding

Sarah, Allen, and I at our wedding.

I will never forget the hurt in my best friend’s voice when I called her. But she stood beside me through it all, despite the loss of a future we’d dreamed of. All of the normal dreams of college age girls with their lives before them. She lost that to the reality of my early Motherhood. I lost that normal young adult beginning, and jumped right into tough adulthood. So did my husband.

Initially I fought for a job that could provide something more than the COBRA I managed to get initially, and at a lower cost. My husband was in college, and to finish his degree we delayed our wedding, and lived with our parents for 2 more years. I will be ever grateful for their sacrifice on our behalf, and for our daughter. Without their support, we would have been homeless. It wasn’t easy for anyone.
2 years after we told our parents we were pregnant, we were able to get married, and to secure an apartment. Then we dealt with the baggage of having began our relationship as husband and wife with all of this past trailing behind.

The point I’m making is that in no way was it ever easy. But we knew that because of the choices we made, we had to give this precious little girl a chance at life. However hard the beginning was. And yes, we STILL have baggage from all of this. This kind of sin DOES cause lifelong changes. Even for our daughter. I still don’t know how we will handle the day when she asks us, as a teenager, why we didn’t wait.

Was it hard? Yep. Do I regret one moment of our journey onward? Absolutely not. I know that we made the right choice, difficult as it was. Does it define me?weddingbandw To a point. What defines me more is the fact that we chose what we did because of Christ’s influence on our lives, however faint it was then, in our estimation. He was working in ways we did not know. But I do know this. I COULD have had an abortion. There, but for the Grace of God, go I. The only reason I didn’t? God’s divine mercy and grace. The only thing that kept me from that was him. Not me. God. By his sovereign will, it did not occur. I do know women who have had abortions, and I do know that they have told me of the forgiveness and mercy they receive despite their choices. God hasn’t rejected them entirely. After all, didn’t he use Moses after he murdered the Egyptian? Or Saul of Tarsus, who became Paul, the biggest apologist of the New Testament, and missionary who spread the gospel to Europe? Paul knew that it wasn’t him, but Christ in him, who accomplished those things. God can redeem us from our past, and use us for his Glory, and he can forgive us in the process. His Word speaks so awesomely of how he forgives, and I know he has forgiven me of my past.

Ava and Mommy

Ava and Mommy, roughly 2 years ago.

So why all of this? And why the title: In Response? Because after I posted that picture, I think that a relative of mine was hurt, and angry, by what I had said. To her I say, I love you, and I am sorry if I hurt you.
This story is why I posted that photo. And do not think I think less of you for disagreeing with what I put on my facebook wall. I love you anyway.
I post what I do on there, and on here, because it is part of who I am. It is part of my journey of sanctification. God has done amazing things in my life, and how CAN I stand silent? I just can’t. I don’t wish to hurt people, but sometimes, when we speak out loud about what we feel most passionate about, it can strike a chord in someone’s heart, and yes, it can hurt.

I post what I do to encourage, not to hurt. To say, No matter what your choices past, God has a future. I resisted that future for years. I ran away from it. Told him to buzz off. And the more I ran away from it, the more discontent, angry, hurt, and awful I felt.

Saraheemaawards

Sarah and Emma with their AWANA awards

Especially when someone told me God’s Word. Boy did it rub me the wrong way! I can’t convince anyone of his power, his grace, his mercy, and for all I know, this will anger some folks even further. But it isn’t my job to change the transparency of what God is doing here in my heart, my home. It is my job to keep living, aligning every area of life with his Word. The rest is up to him. How he uses it. As a result of our past, my husband and I felt convicted by God’s Word. EVERY child is a blessing, and we will take each one given to us, and we will love them, and nurture them, and teach them his word. And we know this will, and has, offended some. Pictures on facebook notwithstanding. Our lives have, by their very nature, become a declaration of God’s work in them.

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The two Dudes, Allen and Isaiah.

Now, that does NOT mean we are perfect, or that we speak for God in any way. We still sin, we still make wrong choices, and have not arrived in any way. Not until we go to Heaven will we have “arrived” And even then, that will be by God’s Grace. I am sorry if my sin has hurt you.

I also have come to realize that the more God works, the more others will respond to what he does. Some with wonder, with anger, with hate, with love, or with a searching heart. I can’t control their response. I can point them one way. To God. Read his word, see what he says, and discuss your heart with him, anger, searching, whatever is on it.

With Love,
Liz

Isaiah Allen has a birth day!

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I know this is late in coming, but we’ve been… ahem, busy lately! 🙂

This is our official blog announcement that we have now moved up in numbers and are officially a family of 6!
We are thrilled to welcome baby Isaiah who was born March 12, at 9:38am at 8 lbs 8 oz and 20 1/2 inches long. He is a beauty, and we all celebrated with a birthday cake! The girls LOVE their new brother, and the adventures have already begun in his first 3 weeks at home!
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Isaiahpost12Isaiahpost14Isaiahpost13 Isaiahpost2OurNewNormalwithIsaiah   Isaiahpost4Isaiahpost1

Birth Story- Ava

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Birth Story- Ava

My last birth story is a bit shorter than the others, clocking in at roughly 3 hours overall. There is a pattern here that generally ends in every woman hating me. But every time, it was preceded by 3 weeks of miserable “false” labor.

Miss Ava came into the world in a HURRY. I woke up, 3 days past due date, at 7:30 am, thinking to myself. “I’m staying in bed, this isn’t it, because I feel NOTHING.” 7:45, a pretty big contraction hit. A bit nonplussed, since labor hadn’t ever made itself noticeable before I went into the Hospital before, I began to time them. By 8:15 I’d had quite a few contractions, and had timed them. Some were 10 minutes apart, some were 12 minutes apart, some were 7 minutes apart, but they were really spontaneous and erratic. My Doctor told me to come in to the office to be sure it wasn’t false labor. I knew it wasn’t, but I humored him.

At 9:00am my Mom showed up to take our two girls with her. My husband and I arrived at the Dr’s office at 9:15. I was panting and laying on the receptionist’s desk, telling her over and over “Can I just please go straight to the hospital?” She recognized how far along I was, and told me
“Honey you SHOULD be going straight in! I’ll tell the Dr. you’re here.”
The Dr. saw me, he ordered me placed in a back room, hooked up to a monitor, and told me
“We’ll let ya cook awhile…”
My husband was fuming, but I told him
“You know they are pretty erratic, maybe he’s right, lets just chill out.”
We sat there 30 minutes, by which time I was doing labor breathing. It HURT. My husband went out and told the Dr. to see me NOW.

It took him 15 minutes to come my way, at which point he discovered I was 7 cm dilated. He told me to head to the hospital NOW, and that he’d be along shortly. The hospital was only 15 minutes away, but with traffic and all, we didn’t arrive there till 10:15am. My husband thought we would have Ava in the car and was shouting at the traffic. Little good it did us, but it helped him out!

We got there, and I was about ready tackle someone for a bed and some painkillers. It HURT! We stood at the reception desk, but the lady was on the phone with the ever important “WAIT!” finger wagging in our direction. I was doubled over with contractions, and my husband was ready to take the phone out of her hand when she FINALLY said “Well… Someone is here, I guess I GOTTA go. Ahem, Can I HELP you?!”
My husband informed her I was in labor, and needed in the maternity ward NOW. She let us into the maternity ward, and we were given a bed quickly.

Once there and settled, I told the nurse, on no uncertain terms (remember, I’m a rude laborer… some shirt grabbing, shouting, and maybe a bit of teeth baring and growling was involved.) that I needed an epidural NOW! She told me she’d put me on fluids first. Within 15 minutes she came back to check on me to find me pushing. She delivered the baby halfway til the resident came in. (3 pushes really) The resident did the rest of the work, at which point the anesthesiologist waltzed in and announced “Guess you don’t need me!” and wheeled the table back out.

At that point, I did NOT care. I was holding a beautiful baby within a minute. Miss Ava was 8 lbs even, with BROWN hair, like me! Finally! A little Sicilian baby! All told, this adventure clocked in at roughly 3 hours overall, and resulted in a sweet little Ava Grace. The best part? Recovery was a cinch compared to the other two! I’m thinking the epidural isn’t so great after all!

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Birth Story- Emma

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Birth Story- Emma

With Emma, I also suffered three weeks of “false labor” but had enough sense this time to forego 5 or more hospital visits that were unneeded. A few days before she was due, I went in for my normal prenatal check up in the early morning. Thanks to checking my dilation, I started to spot. The Dr. told me that at 3 cm dilated with spotting, he’d be surprised if I didn’t go that very day.

I went home to “wait it out” (this is why I love my Doctor!) and promptly decided that NOW was a fantastic time to re organize ALL of the closets in my house! I ripped all of them out, put them ALL back together. Still I was spotting! at 4pm the Doctor called to find out how I was doing. When I told him I was still spotting and cleaning out my closets, he told me to get to the hospital NOW considering my quick labor during the last pregnancy.

My husband had just gone to work (at the local deli,) and so I called him, all frantic
“Honey the Dr. says I’m in labor! Hurry back home, it is time to take me in!”
“Ok! I’ll clean up and be there in ten minutes!”
I waited. 10 minutes…
15 minutes…
I called my Mother in Law to tell her to come get my 22 month old, Sarah.
20 minutes…
I called again. My husband answered.
“What are you STILL doing there?!”
“Well, a lady came and ordered a hoagie, so I made it for her, and my coworker said I gotta find a replacement before I leave, so I found one, she’ll be in soon.”

Needless to say, that isn’t where the conversation ended, I was in labor and I was MAD.

After that unpleasant scene, I hung up the phone.  I promptly grabbed my 22 month old, the hospital bag, and in a huff of indignant fury, I began to WALK, carrying both! I walked a mile down a hill, and a man from my workplace passed me in his car. I hid my face, knowing full well he would try to pick me up and give me a ride. NOT in the mood for that right now! I was headed to the Hospital! When I had just made it a mile down the road, both my husband AND my Mother in Law showed up. My Mother in law took our 22 month old, Sarah, and my husband popped me in the car.

We went straight to the hospital, where I asked for an epidural IMMEDIATELY. I was NOT skipping out on one this time!  I was roughly 5 cm when we got there. 4 hours and 10 minutes later, we had a healthy happy Emma weighing in at 7 lbs 8 oz. She had beautiful Blue eyes and Blonde hair. heart

 

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Birth Story- Sarah

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Birth Story- Sarah

Over the next three weeks I’ll be doing a “Birth Stories” Series. Each Thursday one of my birth stories will be posted!  Feel free to share YOUR birth stories in the comments! Then, by March, I’ll have a whole NEW birth story posted!

First, a little Background. When I was pregnant with Sarah, I was a very young 18. I turned 19 halfway through the pregnancy, but I was terrified of being a Mom so young. As you can tell, by God’s grace, I’ve grown quite a bit  since then, and Motherhood suits me just fine! In fact, I enjoyed it so much, that since my husband I got married (slightly after Sarah’s first birthday.) we’ve managed to go on and have a few more children! Each one is a special blessing in our family, and hold a special place in our heart.

Someday I will write down our whole family testimony (in parts, it is too long to do in one post!) for you all, but until then, hopefully you enjoy the birth stories! Sarah’s is the shortest and most to the point, because my memory of it is a bit blurred due to the meds they had me on. I’ve heard stories about some of the exclamations I made regarding child birth, and women who went on to have more than one! It is funny now, but at the time I was quite scared, and quite inexperienced! As a result the entire memory of the experience is blurry, and filled with a general taste of fear. So here goes!

Our first baby, Sarah, was a week late. The Doctors didn’t want me to ruminate too long in pregnancy. I went in to be given pitocen, but thanks to weeks of “False” labor, I was already pretty far along without even knowing it! (5cm dilated.)

During the many “false labor” scares in the three weeks prior,we had a lot of runs to the hospital with nurses and doctors shaking their heads in amusement, and sending me home. But when it was for real, we were all surprised! I didn’t even feel the contractions that were registering on the machine. But, I wasn’t moving along at a fast enough pace, and so they broke my water, and gave me the pitocen.

Shortly after that the contractions were whoppers! Between contractions my husband (then fiance) and I played rummy, and just hung out. At one point in the game, exactly ONE hand from me winning (I had a decent lead.) The contractions got so bad we had to stop the game. My husband I dispute this part of the labor. I insist it was the ONLY game of Rummy I have ever beaten him at! After all, my score was higher, and we had to stop to have a baby! He maintains that since the game wasn’t completed, he maintains his tidy record of undefeated. This piece of family history may well remain in dispute until the day I die…  😉

I was determined NOT to get an epidural, but within an hour of the big bad pitocen contractions showing their faces, I was requesting it, and none too politely either… (during labor, I am not a very nice person…) I finally got the epidural, but to my chagrin, it wasn’t working! Within minutes of getting it, I had dilated to 9-10cm, and it was time to push! Within 15 minutes, Sarah was out! She was all of 9 lbs 7 oz. (Which I never let ANYONE forget!) The epidural kicked in, just in time for labor clean up. Oh the irony.

All told, that was 5 hours of labor, 15 minutes of pushing for Miss Sarah, She had GORGEOUS Red hair and BIG brown eyes.
I have a lot of toddler pictures, but not a lot of “baby pictures” on digital copies yet: Here is Sarah the toddler!

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Pregnancy Update: We’ve reached the Halfway Mark!

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Me and my girls

I’m not meticulous enough to do weekly updates on this current pregnancy, pregnancy number 4, but every now and then big stuff happens, and who am I to ignore it? Blogging is the way to go! So get comfortable, you’re gonna hear a pregnancy update!

We all know Pregnancies are pretty much one big development after another, so, today’s big development number 1: We’ve reached the halfway mark! 20 weeks! Yay! You may now pull out your togas and umbrella drinks and celebrate with me briefly. Don’t worry, I’m against party hats, so you can forego that ridiculous discomfort…

Part of the whole halfway mark is the biggie: The lets-see-if-we-can-tell-the-sex-ultrasound! Unfortunately, my husband and I really had issues with this particular milestone this time around. He didn’t want to know, and I did. Why?

Let us just say in our not so distant past, prior to, and part of the culmination leading to a huge change in our hearts regarding God, his Will, and his Word, we had a bit of a control issue with our whole procreation thing. I constantly wanted to NOT have babies, and my husband wanted to keep trying for that elusive boy. When we found out that Ava was a girl, it was difficult. He was disappointed that his prayers for a boy were not answered, and I was desperate for him to not be disappointed. At one point our marriage hit such a low point that I was sure it would not survive it. But by God’s grace, it was this that pushed us to a turning point. When you see a sinful, selfish person looking at you from the mirror, you realize the need for change. He blessed us with a beautiful and *very* delightful and vivacious Ava! 🙂 We have been SO blessed! It took that moment of bottoming out, however, to show us that our idea of family was very very short of a good family, and that on our own, we could not be perfect, or even good. Sin always kept us from contentment, peace, victory. When we sought God’s Word, his Will, life changed into something we never knew it could be. It became GOOD, satisfying.

So this time around, Allen said something like “I will not spend my time obsessing over what I want, I will wait and see until baby is born, and fall in love with him/her then!” But, I had a feeling it was a boy, and I felt we needed to know, considering that 3 daughters later, we are just shy of painting our house Barbie pink, as we pretty much are up to our eyeballs in that color. Boy things do not exist in this home! I needed to know so we would have what we need, and know what we don’t have! We agreed that I would find out, and he would not know.

Today was the big day! I would find out, tell the world, but keep the secret from him. We were agreed on this point. I went to the ultrasound with Brooke (the best moral support a friend can be!) and all three girls. We waltzed in there 20 minutes early (not like we were anxious to know or anything…) and FINALLY they called us for the ultrasound. The tech told us the baby was healthy, good, measuring well, good, and….. A BOY!

I was so excited I could have jumped out of my skin! The girls were so excited, and there were quite a few “Can we keep this secret after all?” dicey moments. We went out for a bite to eat, and to acclimate ourselves to this lovely new realization that God was blessing us with a son, brother, and whatever else God has planned for this precious little boy’s life. We hope it is to be a man of God, unafraid to speak God’s Word. It is fitting then, that we had chosen the name: Isaiah Allen. The girls were still jumping out of their skin at the prospect of having a brother. They were so excited that Brooke had to take them outside to do somersaults so they wouldn’t do them in the Doctor’s office, or just cause they were energetic, but I’m positive it was the excitement!

Nonetheless, we finally got home. Allen walked out the door, and I couldn’t help myself. I smiled.

Whoops. Now he knows! I smiled!

And so he does know. No secrets around here! I was too excited to keep it under wraps! That smile did me in! 😀 But we are excited beyond belief, all of us, to invite little Isaiah Allen in March.  As part of a count down to his very exciting birth, I will be sharing birth stories of each of my little ones, and I’d love to hear all of yours! Feel free to link yours in the comments below. 🙂