Saturday, November 23, 2013

Thankful for internal power

Thankful for internal peace.         
               I have experienced three very different types of birth with my four kids. I sometimes wish I was like other women that have four kids and they “know” what birth is like for them. I on the other hand have had three very unique experiences. My oldest was a I-want-a-natural-birth-but-I-am-not-opposed-to-an-epidural birth plan. I didn’t think I needed to prepare at all for this birth. I thought I could just be “tough enough” and if I was tough enough then I could do it without drugs. I knew nothing about the stages of birth or what it might help me be “tough enough.” I ended up with an IV drug and an epidural an hour before he was born. My last birth was an I-am-high-risk-with-twins-so-I-will-do-whatever-the-Dr-thinks-is-best birth. This birth ended up in a very traumatic emergency c-section.
               Giving birth to my second baby though was THE MOST EMPOWERING event of my whole life. Because of my first birth I had decided that I would prepare for a natural birth. I honestly didn’t do much except read the book HypnoBirthing by Marie Mongan. I won’t go into all of the amazing things that I learned but the number one thing I learned was that my body was made for birth and that I needed to trust it. (A lesson I instantaneously forgot when I allowed fear in two years later when I heard my Dr. say, “Having twins is a high risk pregnancy.” The great thing is that I have remembered and I am more empowered than ever—but that is another post for another time.)
               I delivered Max in a hospital but with as little intervention as possible. The Dr. said would let me deliver with little intervention as long as I got a picc line. I relented on this account and proceeded
 to have an awesome natural birth.
               It was a snowy evening at the end of March. It was around 10 pm when I started feeling contractions that were just a little different than incessant Braxton hicks. I labored at home for a little bit but then started thinking that my water broke (I think I actually just peed a little without knowing—oh the joys of being 9 months pregnant.) So Josh and I decided to go to the hospital to check it out. My contractions were about 5 minutes apart at this time. I went in, they admitted me, and I snuggled in—listening to the hypnosis on my ipod. My contractions started slowing down so I stopped listening to the hypnosis, thinking that maybe I was getting too relaxed.
               The nurse came in and said, “well your contractions are slowing down.”
               “yeah, I know” I shamefully admitted. I was afraid they were going to send me home or hook me up to Pitocin.
               “Well, for most women we would use pit but since you want to go naturally, there is something else we can try.” She left the room and swiftly returned with a blanket from the warmer. She put a warm blanket across my chest, and like magic, my contractions returned and progressed into a good rhythm. Because of the snow my Dr. decided to come into the hospital. He came in and broke my water and hooked me up to the monitor for a while. He kept looking at my contractions. I just laid there, went inside and focused on what my body was naturally doing. At one point he did an exam while I was having a contraction (It is pretty uncomfortable by the way.)   
               After he left the nurse went with him. She came back in shaking her head. She then told me that he did that exam because he didn’t think that my contractions were really as strong as the monitor said they were because I was so peaceful.
               I found that I was the most comfortable in the rocking chair. I labored there for who knows how long. The nurse did say that she didn’t want to deliver the baby in the rocking chair so if I felt like he was coming then I needed to hop back up into the bed. As soon as I felt like I needed to get back into bed she went to check me. “I have got to push and I have got to push RIGHT NOW!” I exclaimed and then proceeded to push. The nurse frantically paged the Dr. I then lost all confidence that I could do this. I told Josh, I can’t do this. He then told me that the baby’s head was out and I WAS doing this. That helped me to regain my confidence, push again, and a few minutes later, our precious Max entered this world.

               I found that during my natural childbirth, drawing inside and tapping into my internal strength was very powerful for me. My spirit, mind, and body were able to work together for a common purpose. As I drew within, my fear left. There was never room enough in my head for fear and faith. I had to go inside to tap into that faith, that trust, and that confidence. As I let go of my fear, specifically my fear of pain, there was no pain.

               That is where I have been this last month—internal. Over a month ago I went to see a homeopathic nutritionist to help me on my health journey. I have cut out: Gluten, soy, sugar, cow-dairy, corn, peanuts, tuna, and shell fish. I have so much more to say about all of this. This journey has been a really empowering. I will write more, but for today, the message is—I am so thankful that our Heavenly Father gave us so much power. It is in us, all of us. If we tap into our inner strength there is power beyond measure. 

  • Psalms 75:1

    1 Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto thee do we give thanks: for that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare.

Monday, November 11, 2013

So Thankful for new friends

I am so thankful for new friends (including medium length friends)

If you read my last post you know that I grew up with some amazing girls that are still some of my best friends. I also have met some amazing women along the way.

College--Oh how I love my friends from college! There were way too many nights spent laughing and not enough nights spent studying. There were friends for crushing on boys with, friends to go to the dances, friends there by my side as I was "finding" myself. I had friends that supported me in my dreams and goals and friends that would put sprinklers under trampolines (where a bunch of our guy friends were camping out) at 5 am with me and friends that would make exlax cookies with me (wait, those were the same ones!)

Mission--If you have ever been on a mission, then you know. There is something about spending 24 hours a day with someone that bonds you for life. There were friends I met on my mission that lived in MT and WY and there were other missionaries that I even just spent some time with and something clicked. One of my very best friends in the world is someone that I never served with but wanted to! Anyone who is still kind to someone that treats them the way I treated her the first time I met her--that is someone I will always look up to and love!

The "career years"--I don't have very many friends from these years. They were lonely and I spent a lot of time dating. I didn't make many new friends but the few I did make were choice. Of course I met my best friend of all during this time, my amazing husband (but he deserves his own post.)

After Josh and I got married I was really lonely for girl friends. We had moved into my in-laws *ward and I felt like I was visiting instead of belonging. It was a personal problem--I really had a hard time being open to friendship at this time in my life. There were great girls all around me, I just didn't feel like I belonged and couldn't get out of myself. I prayed and prayed for a friend. I prayed some more. I prayed even more.

I was popping out babies like they were going out of style. I was so wrapped up in my tiny fingerprint world it was hard. My visiting teachers and my preschool moms (I was teaching preschool at the time) were my only connection with other women.

Luckily my visiting teachers are amazing. They quickly became new friends. One of them has semi adopted me into her family and invites me to family stuff all the time. I love doing things with her family--they are awesome!

Wardies--My visiting teachers started helping me feel like I belonged in the ward (after about 5 years of living here.) Then a cute girl moved into the ward a couple of years ago and asked if we had a book club. I told her we didn't but I had wanted to start one. I gathered  my few friends, invited some more and we formed a book club. I love these ladies and I have learned so much from them. I love my monthly night out too! I don't feel like I am visiting at church anymore!

My water aerobics ladies--Since my birthday I have been going to water aerobics. I can truthfully tell you that it has #1 made a huge difference in my health, and #2 I wouldn't go as often as I do if it weren't for my friends there.

I have avoided talking about any friends by name since I didn't want to leave anyone out but I have to tell you about my friend Mara. She was so kind to me when I first started. She has become one of my favorite people of all time. Mara and I are as different in many ways as you could imagine. She and I have had very different lives. Yet I feel constantly supported by her in every part of my life. I feel so blessed to know her. It was Mara's FB page that I got that Dolly Pardon and Kenny Rodgers song from. When I watched it I was sad that I wasn't her "old friend." That is when I realized that being a new friend is pretty cool too!

My homeschool friends--Being a homeschooler is a lot like having leprosy in a lot of ways. There are a lot of things from my daily life that most people don't get or understand and we are often separate from other. When I first started homeschooling I had a couple of homeschooling friends but their kids were a lot older than mine and we were in very different places in our life.

My life changed when I was bored one day and decided to take a chance on going to a homeschool park day. I did what I normally do--unleashed my kids and sat back and watched. Luckily for me, this adorable mom walked up to me and asked if I was there with the homeschool group. I was kind of shocked because she didn't "look" like a homeschooling mom to me. We hit it off and instantly started sharing bits and pieces of our lives via email. Later she invited me to be part of a co-op for this year. I went to the first meeting and fell in love with another one of the moms. The three of us ended up hanging out afterwards and I haven't felt so comfortable with people I just met--EVER!

I didn't know that you could feel so close to people without knowing anything about them. I am still finding out so much every time we hang out. We have plans to someday have a Mormon amish/hippie commune community. You laugh now, but wait and see ;)

Writing this all out helps me to realized how amazingly blessed I really am. God is amazingly good to me. I am so thankful that He answers prayers. Sometimes it may seem that He isn't, but usually it is because He is preparing you for something more amazing than you can even currently fathom. 
  • Psalms 106:1

    1 Praise ye the . O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Thankful for "old" friends

I saw this video when I was "home" in Prescott. I bawled. I had just spent the evening with two friends that I had since forever. It was during my miscarriage and they both had been through one. They didn't try to tell me it was going to be okay. They didn't brush it aside. They told me how much is sucks and how sorry that they were.

I was really blessed to live in the same town my whole life. I have friends that I have known since before I could make memories. Let me tell you folks, these women are among the most elite women in the world. They are strong, they are smart, they are plain fabulous. I often am so thankful that I had the privilege to grow up with some of the most amazing women that I know.
And we get to be "old friends" until we really are old! I love that it doesn't matter the distance, we will always be "there" for each other.

  • Psalms 30:12

    12 To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Thankful for trials

Two weeks ago I was in AZ with my parents. I had a great time being with them. I went to a) spend time with them and b) for some dental appointments and c) to see some people that would help me progress on my health journey. It was so awesome and I am sure that I will write a lot more about it. It was such a life changing experience.

One of the biggest experiences is though, is that the week before I left for AZ my “monthly cycle” was late. The day I left to go to AZ I took a pregnancy test and the second line was really faint. I decided to take another test in a couple of days. The day after I got there, I took another test and it was unmistakably positive. I was so excited. My husband and I had been trying to get pregnant for over a year. I was hundreds of miles away from my husband and I didn’t want to tell him over the phone. So I kept it a secret between God and I. It was so fun! I did have to tell the healthcare providers I saw while I was there and one night, during a mental breakdown, I told my mom. It was fun having a little secret.

I was so excited for this baby! I had calculated when I was due, I was thinking of it being a part of our lives. A couple of days before I came home I saw what no happily pregnant woman wants to see. I started miscarrying. At first I hoped it was spotting but as time went on, I knew it was a miscarriage. There was a small hope that I had been pregnant with twins and was only miscarrying one. Not that I would want to miscarry any—I just hoped beyond hope that I was still pregnant.

I was pretty sure that I wasn’t pregnant yet I took a pregnancy test yesterday just to make sure. It came back negative. That is when the pain really started to hit. It was final, it was over. I really have faith that I can get pregnant again. I have faith that what happened was for a reason. I know that the next time that I get pregnant that I will be healthier. It still hurts.

I had cried a little bit in the prior weeks, but last night I really let myself grieve. I really cried and cried and cried and bawled and cried and then I cried some more. My husband just held me and let me cry. It hurt. And due to my new food restrictions, there was no getting ice cream and brownies. I couldn’t turn to food for my comfort and it was amazing that because I didn’t try to comfort myself, I really could just feel the pain—and it was good.

That is what I am thankful for today, I am thankful for pain. I am thankful for hurt. I am thankful for loneliness. I am thankful for trials. I am thankful that life just sucks sometimes.

Because of this pain, I am more thankful for my children. I have four beautiful children that came to me in four years. I am so thankful that I was blessed, for a while, with abundant fertility. I am thankful for the days when I feel befriended and loved. I am thankful for the days when I feel complete and whole. I am thankful for the days when I feel content. I am thankful for every little baby that my friends are all bearing right now. I am thankful that God is good. I am thankful that God gave me emotions to FEEL, and I am so thankful that I didn’t try to push them away this time. I am so thankful that I am able to grieve. I am thankful for happiness. I am thankful for THIS mortal experience. I am thankful that next time someone tells me that they had a miscarriage I will be able to have more compassion and understanding. I will have more of an emotional response instead of thinking, “well there must have been something wrong with the baby so it is a good thing.” It doesn’t FEEL like it was a good thing to “have something wrong with the baby.” I get that now.  I truly am so grateful for this experience.

God is good—even when He allows us to feel pain. It makes the happiness so much sweeter.

Psalms 30:12
To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.

Monday, November 4, 2013

So thankful for water

This morning I was in heaven swimming laps. There is a lady that comes to water aerobics that whenever I ask her how she is doing, as she is getting in the pool, she always says, "better now!" She and I have something in common--water makes everything better. I love water.
I love to look at it, I love to hear it, I love to swim in it.
Most of all, it happens to also be my favorite drink! I am so so so thankful for water--and that I get to have this wonderful creek run through my back yard. I am truly blessed :)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

So thankful for children

Last week in church, I was sitting on the stand with sixty something children. It was the annual *primary program for our church. I looked out at the hundreds of people there to watch—Moms, Dads, Grandmas, Grandpas, neighbors, and the general congregation of our church. I was overwhelmed by special spirit these young children brought into the chapel. I admit that I teared up—multiple times. Okay, I was practically bawling for the first half! I have to admit that I absolutely love children.

I have loved children since I was a child. Baby-sitting was my absolute favorite thing! A couple friends and I even tried to start our own babysitters club. Most girls grow tired of babysitting after a few years. It seems like once they start getting good at it, they get interested in friends and boys! Yet I never really grew out of it—I baby-sat all through college and that was after I would get home from working at a day care teaching preschool.
I love the innocence, their capacity to love, their quick ability to forgive. I love their imagination, determination, and curiosity. I love their creativity, tenacity, and sponge-like ability to soak up knowledge. I have so many awesome memories of babysitting, teaching, after-school programs, and the such. I am so grateful to be able to teach *primary. It is by far the best calling in the whole church.

I haven’t always felt this love of children since I became a mom. I was overwhelmed for a lot of years with so many young children needing my attention 24-hours a day. I was so stressed out, burned out and just ready for something different that I lost my ability to see just how special these little ones are. I forgot for a while. I am so grateful that lately I have been able to see again. Maybe it is because my little ones are growing up too fast, or maybe they aren’t as needy, or maybe because I am taking better care of myself. All I know is that today my heart has been brimming with a love of little children. I am so thankful for children.
I have always loved children. So much, that when I graduated from college, my mom gave me a small porcelain version of this statue as my graduation present. 

This post is one of gratitude of all children. I am sure that there will be a post about being grateful for MY children but this isn’t it. But on that note, Turner did rock his scripture in primary today. The scripture he shared was Doctrine and Covenants 98:1   “Verily I say unto you my friends, fear not, let your hearts be comforted; yea, rejoice evermore, and in everything give thanks;”

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Oh how I love Thanksgiving month

I have got so much to write about! Life is good--really really good right now :) God is good! I love the idea of posting something everyday that I am thankful for. Yet sometimes I feel like I am bragging--ya know cuz' life is just so AMAZING ;)! Last year I tried to curb it by being thankful for common everyday type of things that we can all be thankful for no matter our life circumstances. They are so many, and we should be giving thanks for them.

Yet this morning I was helping my son learn a scripture about gratitude for *primary tomorrow. The assignment didn't have a specific scripture with it so we were looking up scriptures to do with gratitude. I came across this scripture in Psalms:

  • Psalms 105:1

    1 O give thanks unto the Lord; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people.

    His deeds are different in my life than in yours. Yet The Lord has worked miracles in all of our lives. So I am going to make known His deeds in my life. I probably won't write everyday--that is a hard order to commit to in my life right now. Yet I would like to! 
    My greatest desire is that it doesn't come off as boasting but if it does, here are the words of one of my heroes--*Ammon" 
      • Alma 26:36

        36 Now if this is boasting, even so will I boast; for this is my life and my light, my joy and my salvation, and my redemption from everlasting wo. Yea, blessed is the name of my God, who has been mindful of this people, who are a branch of the tree of Israel, and has been lost from its body in a strange land; yea, I say, blessed be the name of my God, who has been mindful of us, wanderers in a strange land.
      So today we will start off with the fact that I am thankful for the scriptures. I am thankful that we have the dealings of God with people for thousands of years. I am thankful to have these stories of truth. I am thankful that truth is timeless and that I can find help for my latter-day life in them. I am also thankful that I believe that God speaks to me. He uses the scriptures, at times,to tell me the things I need to know.