Monday, November 18, 2013

An Incredible Journey: My Birth Story

Have you ever had an experience that you just want to share with the world? As a mother, I know each one of us who have experienced birth in any way want to shout it from the mountaintops!! So, without further ado, here is my fourth birth story. It was amazing, incredible, spiritual, scary and exciting all at once!

I started feeling slight contractions Friday, 15 minutes apart and lasting about a minute each. I thought I was in early labor! I was so excited as Saturday was my due date!

I decided to walk Saturday. My parents graciously took Faithful Boys with them for the day and Mr. Faithful and I took two awesome nature walks throughout the day. It was very much needed for the two of us as husband and wife. We were able to talk, reminisce and share our dreams of what our unborn baby would look like, if baby was a boy or girl, how the boys would react when he or she is here. It was truly a wonderful day! My contractions started coming slightly closer but still not strong at all. I was so impatient at this point...I wanted to have this baby!!!!

Here I am last Saturday (Nov 9th) before our walk.

Sunday we went to Mass. I was miserable. I decided to offer my Mass and day up for God's will to be done. I asked for patience and understanding, for comfort and joy during these last days of my pregnancy. Thanks be to God, He answered my prayers!!

Monday very early morning I was awakened by strong contractions, still only 10-15 minutes apart. I became excited thinking it was the day!! I immediately thanked the Lord for this day, and said out loud before getting out of bed "Your will be done." It was the best thing I could've said on this day.

I felt at peace. I knew Heavenly Father answered my cries for joy and comfort. I was no longer anxious or impatient for baby to arrive. I felt great knowing it was God's timing and not my own. I ignored my contractions and went about my morning. Fed the boys breakfast, started school with the older boys and just relaxed as much as I could.

By 10:00am I called Mr. Faithful and asked him to come pick the boys and me up and take us to my Mom's. This way we'd be closer to the hospital and Mr. Faithful could go back to work for a little longer. 

I spent the rest of this Monday totally relaxed. I sat on Mom's couch meditating, breathing if I needed to and watching my boys. I prayed many Hail Mary's too. I wasn't in pain, my contractions stayed at about 8-10 minutes apart from about 1:00-3:30. By that time I called my sister, who happens to be a labor & delivery nurse, to come to check me to see if I'd be ready to head to the hospital anytime soon. Mr. Faithful got there around the same time as my sister. It was about 4:45pm.

So, she checked me and my bag was bulging! She couldn't get an accurate dilation due to her feeling that my water may break. Even though my contractions were 6-7 minutes apart and I wasn't in pain or feeling that the contractions were that strong, we decided at this point to head to the hospital. 

And so my incredible journey began....

By the time we were about two miles down the road my contractions jumped to 4 minutes apart. They were getting MUCH stronger and in between the main ones, I'd get small intense contractions as well. We had a 30 minute drive to the hospital; we thought for sure we had time.

We were about 10 minutes away from the hospital when I text everyone to pray for a good delivery and that baby was coming today! It was just about 5:40pm Monday. 

Mr. Faithful had a special route planned so we avoided the railroad and the downtown area....for those who know me or live in Illinois, we delivered at Good Sam in Downers Grove. Well, my husband in all the excitement, FORGOT. And guess what? Yep, you probably guessed right....we got stuck in traffic and by a train!!!!!!

At this point I was panting. I was crying and sobbing to Mr. Faithful, "Why did you go this way?!?" As I said that, he (as calmly as he could) said, "Just breathe sweetheart. Calm down. I've got the driving, you concentrate on relaxing." Then we BuMpEd over the tracks. I think I yelled that my water was going to break. 

As he drove, Mr. Faithful was trying to honor what is asked of him while I was in pray. I don't think I have ever heard him recite all our prayers kind of intertwined and like a super fast auctioneer...."Hail Mary full of grace and lead us not into temptation St. Michael defend us in battle..." You get the was hilarious!!!!

He finally approached the entrance and at that point I moaned. Being through 3 previous births, my awesome hubby knew to head to the ER. We pulled up...we walked in. He helped the person there sit me down in a wheelchair and then said he'd be right back - he went to get the van out of the way of the doors.

At this point I yelled, "This baby's coming!!!!!" I knew at any moment my water was going to break. I had my eyes closed and was so focused on trying to keep everything in tact till they got me up to OB. 

Ya....that didn't happen.

I heard the ER staff yelling, "We need OB down here NOW!!!"

They were wheeling me to the nearest ER room. As they did they hit a bump....and - POP! 

Water broke - and as soon as that happened I felt the baby's head in between my my pants!!!!!!

I screamed I think the loudest I've ever screamed, "The water broke - baby's head is OUT!!!!!!! GET THESE PANTS OFF OF ME!!!!!!!!" They at this point had my arms and legs spread like a at my right arm tugging at my at my left trying to get a hep lock in...and one on either leg pulling my shoes off - all the while I'm lifted fully in the air and they are trying to get me on the bed. No one was listening to me and I couldn't get out of their grasp!!! I yelled what I feel was like 20 times "Get these pants off!! My baby's out!!!! Baby is in my pants!!!!!!" 

They FINALLY got the dumb pants down and I hear the doctor say, "Baby's head is out."

No duh!!!!!

At this point my poor husband comes in...looks at me, drawn and quartered....looks down and sees our child's head...turns as white as a sheet and puts his hands to his head. The TWELVE ER staff members pushed him to the side as it was MASS CHAOS!!!! 

They told me to push...I never needed to. I moved my legs ever so slightly and the baby just slid out ha ha!! No pain at was wonderful yet the scariest experience of our lives!!!!

IT'S A GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

After almost 7 years of boys, a little girl!!! We are proud parents of three boys and a beautiful sweet GIRL!!!!!!

God's will be done!!!!! Praise You Heavenly Father!!!!!!!

I have more to add to this story so stay tuned for the next addition of my incredible journey!!!!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Reflected in His image

As I approach childbirth, I am reflecting more on my Savior, Jesus Christ. If you don't know me personally, I pray at least one rosary a day. Yesterday, as I prayed and meditated on the Sorrowful Mysteries, Mama Mary revealed to me how we women are truly a mirror of His image! 

Praise God for allowing the Heavenly Queen to visit me and guide me to her Son's Sacred Heart! I now know how we are reflected in His image as women...a true femininity that is wholesome and loving in a way only God can reveal to us through His Holy Spirit!! 

If you are pregnant and want to try this, I highly suggest trying new forms of meditation to keep your focus on Jesus through childbirth. 

Here's my take - Mr. Faithful will be reciting the mysteries with my reflection as well, then I plan to pray with him each decade as well as I can. I hope this brings me comfort and helps me focus on Jesus rather than the pains of labor.

The First Sorrowful Mystery: The Agony in the Garden

Heavenly Father, You created woman in Your image uniquely during childbirth. Mirrored in Jesus' suffering, we ask that You reveal to this woman how much You love her during her pain and suffering.

Like Jesus' agony in the garden, she knows fully well what she will undergo as this labor progresses. Help her through with Your mercy and love.

(Recite 1st decade)

The Second Sorrowful Mystery: The Scourging at the Pillar

Sweet Jesus, You accepted Your Father's will in spite of knowing the pain You would endure. The hurtful blows were unbearable, yet You were strong enough to take these waves of horrific pain through Your trust and love of Your Father.

Give this woman the strength to withstand the waves of contractions especially when they feel unbearable. Help her to know and trust in You, Jesus, that these waves are but a small sacrifice for God's greater glory.

(Recite 2nd decade)

The Third Sorrowful Mystery: The Crowning with Thorns

Although nothing could compare to Jesus' crowning with thorns, as this woman feels her precious child crowning, help her to remember Jesus' pain as she feels the "ring of fire" and help her to offer this pain as a sacrifice and mortification for what our Lord endured. 

(Recite 3rd decade)

The Fourth Sorrowful Mystery: The Carrying of the Cross

Jesus, Your cross was so heavy to carry. You carried the sins of the world on Your shoulders. Thank You, sweet Jesus, for taking this burden. As this laboring woman feels the heavy pains of her child entering the world, help her to be humbled and silent. Help her to know this is all for Jesus Christ.

(Recite 4th decade)

The Fifth Sorrowful Mystery: The Crucifixion 

For love of us, dear Jesus, You gave Your last precious breath on that cross. We thank You for carrying this woman through childbirth. Help her to reflect on the death of her pain and continue in thanksgiving for Your unending mercy. 

I also plan to use an amazing litany that a fellow blogger wrote. Here's My Feminine Mind's link:

She's a fellow Elizabeth Minister and an amazing writer! My husband will be reciting each saint while I focus on the "pray for us" parts. ;)

I have come to a place in my spirituality and my love for Christ that I want this labor to be all for Him. I plan to receive the Eucharist and pray pray pray!!! I'm blessed to have Mr. Faithful by my side as my partner and he is fully on board with my wishes for what I hope to be my best birth. 

All for God, I offer myself and my child. I pray for a healthy precious child of God and I promise to raise him or her to fall in love with Christ just as my other children are. 

Thank You, sweet Jesus, for Your unending love for me!!

Friday, October 25, 2013

On Fire Yet So Tired

Have you ever felt so on fire with something dear to your heart yet so exhausted that you think you may just sleep the rest of your life away? Hmmmm, I don't know if that's even possible but this is how I feel lately. Being 38 weeks pregnant, caring for my three handsome boys, homeschooling and ministry work has started to take its toll on me. 
Yet amidst my tired and achy body I am on fire for Elizabeth Ministry work! If you've followed me, you know I lead this ministry at my parish. It's an amazingly beautiful ministry and I am so grateful to Jesus & Mary for guiding me to it. 
I've had so many spurts of spontaneous brainstorms of what we could do, how we could help parishioners, and what we can do differently to make the ministry really shine. Oh the possibilities!!!
So, while my body makes me rest before labor & delivery, I must keep these brainstorms as a day dream....until next year. ;)
Make it a faithful day!!!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Home Stretch!

So here we are, within the last weeks of pregnancy 4! As of today we are only 20 days till the due date. How fast time flies!!!  Our Lady has been with me these last few months (noticeably so) just like she stayed with Elizabeth for her last trimester before giving birth to John the Baptist. As an Elizabeth Minister, this passage from the gospel of Luke is one of my favorites. I can just image how elated Elizabeth must have been to see her young cousin, and the first to understand how important Mary was as she carried our Savior in her virginal womb...Jesus' first tabernacle!!!

I am so excited to go through labor and experience the awesome miracle that God grants us!!! It is truly a gift and not a right to birth a child. So many don't understand the difference. Life is a precious gift given to each of us by our Heavenly Father! Thank You Christ Jesus for this incredible gift!!!!

So our three Faithful Boys really think this one is a girl. This whole pregnancy they all have said "She" and "Her" and "Sister" hmmmm I wonder if they are right?? We have not found out, same as each one. Mr. Faithful & I adore surprises and what better surprise than the gift of a son or daughter ?!?!!

Boy or girl this time? You decide! (This pic was taken at 35 weeks gestation!!)
Make it a faithful day!!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Back to {Home} School

Today was our official first day of the school year! It kicked off with a wonderful devotion to Jesus and Mary given by my three precious little boys, a morning offering and many prayer reviews. What better way to start the day than with prayer?! We are teaching 1st grade and preschool this year and boy, if the first day is a precursor for what this year will be we will have a blast!! I love how children LOVE to learn! I am blessed to have Mary's guidance as a mother; I'm definitely learning patience with this but it's totally worth it!!!

Are you happy with your child's schooling? Have you looked into options if you're not yet at the point of starting school?

Mr. Faithful and I have made a lot of dumb mistakes in our lives. This is one choice we KNOW we did right in making!!

St. Therese, the Littleflower, patroness of Little Ways Academy (our homeschool), please pray for us!!!

Happy 2013-2014 school year!! May all your children be blessed with however you choose to school your babes!!!!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Living Grace

Boy it's been a very long time since my last post! I slipped away from blogging and became consumed with the craziness of everyday life. Diving deeper into my faith and intimacy with my lover, Jesus Christ; becoming more of a trinity with my earthly lover, Mr. Faithful, and our Savior; homeschooling, quitting my job as a swim instructor, getting more active at my parish and lastly, becoming pregnant with baby # 4!

First and foremost, what a fabulous gift we've been given!! My husband and I are so blessed to introduce yet another miracle into this world!! We have fully accepted God's will for our marriage and family. Jesus, we trust in You!! Our newest addition will be born into this world sometime mid November!

Our first year of homeschooling was a HUGE success!! My son passed kindergarten with flying colors and I couldn't be more proud of him!! We have decided as a family that we will continue next school year, so we will have a 1st grader and a kindergartner here at home attending Little Ways Academy. Mr. Faithful and I are excited to attend our very first homeschool conference this summer.

Mr. Faithful and I have become more intimate with our prayer life. Wow how amazing it is to share an intimacy with my husband and share this with Jesus Christ! We are truly honoring our blessed sacrament of marriage and are always trying to fulfill our promise to God within our marriage. This is real marriage, this is what God has intended for us! Praise You God!!! We recently celebrated our 7th anniversary and couldn't be more joy filled in this life God's granted us together!

Along with our shared intimacy within our home, we both have become even more active in our parish. We absolutely feel driven to serve the Catholic Church and love our family there!

It's amazing how different life can be once you fully accept Jesus into your life. The trials and tribulations, the anxiety and stress all seem to fade once you set your eyes on the Sacred Heart of Jesus. If only some of my family and friends knew what they are missing!!! Sure the obstacles are still there, the lack of finances and the bills, the screaming kids and frustrations, they're all still there...but they just don't seem as detrimental or stress filled as before. All I say when I'm feeling overwhelmed is, "Jesus, I trust in You." or I say a Hail Mary and ask her to place her patient heart in me. It truly works!!

I'm happy to live gracefully and joy filled in Jesus & Mary's loving arms so that my children will have nice thick and strong Catholic roots. I pray everyday that the Holy Spirit lead them, Mary holds their precious hands to guide them to her Son and that they each discover their vocations and follow that path!!

Make your life a faithful one!!