i've thought quite a bit about writing this out. i haven't blogged in a long time. and there's reason for that. i guess i just wanted to check my motives for blogging. where was the glory pointed?...that sort of thing. and i think i've come to the determination that if even one person is changed or moved, or a seed is planted by what i write, then it was worth it.
so here's the naked truth. cause by the end of it, i was indeed naked. well, i had on a sports bra.
pregnancy with liliana was so different from my pregnancy with loralai. it was easier, for the most part. and there were some physical ailments, i'll leave those unmentioned, that affected some unmentionables and was just well, unpleasant. but aside from the unpleasantry that occurred, pregnancy with my little liliana was wonderful. i felt her kick early and she never stopped - i don't think she took a break even in the late hours of the night. and this summer. well, this summer goes on record as being one of THE best summers i can remember since being a kid. loralai and i spent at least one to two days a week at the beach with some of the best friends and their babes. it seemed surreal. i was big, pregnant, it was the hottest summer on record, and God had blessed me with life at the beach. and, He'd blessed me with a husband who works at home. todd's job has changed. he's now self-employed. there's a lot about that that we love and a lot that we hate - but having him home, i love. and it made the summer even more rich.
so fast forward to august. i'm OVER being pregnant. oh mercy. i clearly remember sitting on our back covered porch one early afternoon while loralai played in her swimming pool and i...i sat in a chair, with an overhead fan and a floor fan both blowing on high...and i...i was sitting there in my bra and underwear sweating it out to the beat of black eyed peas' i gotta feeling. why? because it made my toddler smile to heaven and back and truth be told, it made me happy too. but way too sweaty. yuck. this summer was a hot one. and by august, i was nearly wishing for a c-section to be scheduled.
but not really. because my c-section with loralai resulted in blood transfusions and a long long road of recovery that i don't wish on anyone. so my heart's desire was a vbac. i wanted to see if my body could do it. i wanted to experience life birthed the way that God had created it to be. and so we waited. we decided that we would wait on the Lord. no rushing. no giving in. just waiting. so we prayed a lot. and we walked just as much. there were many days that i'd walk two times in the day. i kept thinking that gravity had to do some sort of good to pull this baby on down the lady shoot.
by the end of august, though, i was beginning to wonder if this baby would ever come out. why i thought she would come early is beyond me. loralai was two weeks late. so there was no reason for me to wish that liliana would be early or on time. but still, i wished. and i prayed. and i quit going to church. it was just too uncomfortable. and i was just too big. and too hot. and too irritated to sit in a regular chair position for an hour. so for three sundays before the baby arrived, todd took loralai to church and i had the morning to myself. and i have to say, those were some sweet moments alone. it gave me a chance to regroup. to remember who i was aside from being a pregnant mom and wife. i drove in the car by myself. i turned the radio up really loud. and i almost always had to make a mad dash home to pee. i was never gone long. the bladder was a squished bladder by then. but still, the time was glorious.
but that last sunday. three days after my due date, something felt different. maybe it was the extreme nausea i'd experienced the day before. or just some sort of feeling that God gives when the time is near. but i actually blow dryed my hair and put on make up and vacuumed and mopped and clearly remember saying out loud to God "God, i promise to choose to have a good day today." (did i mention being a bit irritable?) and i did.
i went running that morning - prior to the makeup and hair doing - and it was laughable. i remember thinking that surely my butt cheeks were going to detach themselves from the bones upon which they sit. the running, it wasn't so fast, but its purpose was to move that baby OUT! and by 3:30p.m., i was even more antsy and ordered the husband to go on a journey to the local pharmacy and buy some castor oil. but as the Lord would have it in his humorous way, i lost my plug while the husband drove down the road. without the help of the oil, the baby was making her way. within the next hour, the contractions set in at 8, then 6, then 5, then 3 minutes steadily apart.
so we ate dinner and played in the yard and waited to see if this was the real thing. because for the two weeks prior, i'd had nothing but false labor. though this. this felt real. these contractions were painful. and i was happy. it may be the only time a girl is ever happy to be in pain. so i called my mom - and her bags were packed. and then i called a dear friend of mine who was going to be my doula - and she was ready to go. and then i called a girlfriend - and she was on her way to my house. we tucked in loralai and prayed with her and told her that tomorrow morning, she was going to meet her sister. she was excited. we were excited. and it was all i could do to not cry.
the thought of getting to hold our sweet liliana seemed to be too much. i couldn't wrap my mind around being the mom of two. of our family not just being the three of us anymore. of God redeeming September.
to the hospital we drove. and todd missed the turn to the hospital. and i cussed. we were off to a grand start. we were a little frazzled and looking back, it was funny.
we got to the hospital around 8:30-9 and were admitted around 10. by midnight, the contractions had intensified though they stayed every three minutes apart for the next fifteen hours. and for those fifteen hours, i breathed, and clenched my jaw tight, and listened to my husband and friend (ovella) talk, and got in and out of the birthing tub, and moaned and groaned in pain and wonder how much longer. how much longer Lord? i remember being completely angry with Eve and being ticked that this is how life has to come into the world - through pain. but then ovella would pull me back to center and another hour would tick by.
though admittedly, by the 12th hour or so, i was done. i was exhausted and in so much pain. i had a baby who was turned sunny side up and was pressing down on my pelvis and nerves were shooting like lightning rods and i felt paralyzed to move though forced to breathe and desperate to run away from my body. i wanted an epidural and i wanted it now. but now was 14hours + and now was too late. i remember begging and pleading for the pain to stop. and i remember getting really short and rude with the nurse, mary, and telling her to PLEASE BE QUIET! and i remember todd kept talking while i was having contractions and i wanted to do bodily harm to him. and i remember thinking that i couldn't do this. and i remember wanting to die. truly just let me die. it would be better than this pain.
but then it happened. somewhere in the middle of the song Faith by Jason Upton, the holy spirit grabbed me just long enough to send the enemy running and let Truth enter my heart. it was just long enough for me to distinctly remember thinking "i can do this. i was made for this." that feeling came and went in the wind. but in the midst of the height of the pain - and words can't describe the insanity of the pain - i could hear and recall that. and i knew, despite my fear (because i was scared of the pain. it didn't come to play.), that i could do it. and while ovella held me close to her chest and prayed over me, i knew that my baby would be in my arms soon.
i never imagined the pushing of it all. i just didn't. i knew i'd have contractions and that laboring through would be tough but i didn't think about pushing. and when it was time, i seemed to be stuck on my side. however the baby was positioned, it made it nearly impossible for me to move as with every move, it felt like my pelvic wall was going to crush into a million pieces. it felt like my lady area was going to break. and it was.
so with force, the nurse and todd and ovella pulled me onto my back and the pushing began. ovella was amazing. truly. she is amazing. God has blessed her with an ability to walk someone through pain and help them to see the purpose in it, more than anyone i've ever known. she was absolute light when it seemed utterly dark. and the noises that came out of my body in groans and shreaks and cries - they surprised even me. my body was doing something without my permission. it was beautiful and terrifying and exactly how it should be.
and as her head started to crown, i remember todd saying, "i thought this would be weird. but it's not. this is awesome! keep going baby!" he was so excited to see his baby girl enter the world. and all i could think was, sweet jesus get her out! the pain. Lord Jesus, the pain. but a few pushes later when that sweet liliana joy slipped from my womb and up into my arms...the pain melted away. literally. i didn't care. i was staring into the face of someone i had loved for months - or maybe even always.
she cried and i cried.
and it was labor day, september 6, 2010. it was my 31st birthday. and it was liliana joy's birthday. of all of the days that the Lord could pick to bring forth my second daughter, he chose my birthday.
it was redemption. because for years, september seemed to go all wrong. my parents separated, my dad was a no show or no call on my birthday, a long time boyfriend broke up with me, i found out my grandad had terminal cancer, my parents divorced, my childhood home sold...for a long time, i found myself cringing when september rolled around. i was just sure that something else was looming in the dark, waiting to crush the hope that was september. and when i got married, todd started rewriting september. he would do everything he could to make my birthday special.
but it was the Lord himself that redeemed it. it is He that only can redeem anything. and when he took my birthday and made it my daughter's, He gave me a new focus. september is so sweet now. i'll never see the sadness in it. never. all of the pain of all of those years were worth the sadness - it was in the sadness that hope grew.
and now i look at this blue eyed girl and my heart rejoices. for so long we waited for the Lord to restore something that seemed impossible. but he showed us that it was possible. somewhere in the quiet of the early morning hours of september 6th, God reached into my heart and reminded me that i was created for this - for this moment. and from my womb, he made new precious life - again.
and i love her. she is a joy.