Category Archives: Motherhood

The End of This Pregnancy Was Only the Beginning

By EMMA BARLOW, Staff Writer

Who could of ever known that your whole future could be determined by a stick that you pee on?

The moment you look upon the positive sign, a mixture of emotions come over you like a wave knocking you over in the ocean. You feel jubilant, anticipation, worry, even terrified. But one thing is for sure, after one glance at this evidence of life, you know you will protect this little miracle with every ounce of your being.

So, the very next day you are out buying your copy of “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”, and a baby name book too. You’re determined to start this pregnancy out right, and get a head start on name choosing your little bundle of joy. You sign up for Lamaze classes, about seven months in advance, but you want to be prepared. You skip on the caffeine, sugar, and sushi. Well, you pretty much survive on plain bread and juice the first couple months while enduring the ever so sweet morning, noon, and evening sickness. You search books, magazines, and the Internet for hours searching for knowledge on what not to do, and make an endless list of both normal and bizarre questions for your doctor, who hopefully answers you with patience and understanding. Basically, you do everything in your power to help nourish and protect the new life growing inside of you. But what happens when the unexpected comes? What happens when the person you’d do anything for is in a situation where you can’t do anything at all to help them?

With my second son, my pregnancy was a smooth one from the start. I had absolutely no morning sickness, which shocked me because I couldn’t even look at a pizza commercial during my first pregnancy without running to the bathroom. All my ultrasounds and tests came back with perfect results, and I did my best to not cave into my Lucky Charms craving I frequently had when pregnant with him. I prayed for my little kicker’s health and made a birth plan with my doctor. Little did I know, things would not go as planned.

After a seemingly normal night, and about five weeks before I was due, I went to sleep after experiencing some feelings of pressure which I assumed was the baby dropping. I was very uncomfortable, but figured a good night’s rest would do me good. At about 3AM, my water broke and all my plans came crashing down…and fear crept in, no, really it crashed into our lives.

After a day of tests, the doctor determined that our little guy would be delivered the next morning, and that we should be prepared for some complications. So, when he was born and was wheezing, a sign of immature lungs, it was very hard as a mother to look upon him and be absolutely helpless to do anything for him. So, we did all we could do — we prayed.

We called others to ask for prayer. We sang a whole lot of “Jesus Loves Me” to him…mostly to remind ourselves that He did, indeed, love our little guy too. And that even if things didn’t go as planned, we could be assured that our faith in Jesus could take us through any storm. Miraculously enough, after only one hour and hundreds of people praying for our baby, his wheezing completely stopped. I have never been more grateful for anything in my life as I sat in the NICU watching other parents look upon their sick babies, and knowing the fear and the feeling of being useless in the situation. We still had a long road ahead of us, though, and many more prayers were to be said for his health.

Our little baby stayed in the hospital for two weeks. When you are on a vacation, two weeks goes by in a flash. When you have to leave your child in the hands of others every night and return to your home without a piece of you, it drags on forever. During this time, he had to maintain his temperature, learn to eat, because his sucking reflex had not yet kicked in. He also had to gain and maintain his weight. My husband and I had to learn a whole new way to care for him, a premie, while keeping our emotions as level as possible for our two-year-old at home who still needed our care and nurturing. It was tough, very tough.

The day we brought our newborn home was joyous, we reveled in his presence. The whole experience was not an easy one. We lost hope at times, we worried, and I sure cried a whole lot. But in the end, our faith that whatever we went through we wouldn’t be alone. Our faith in Jesus and being in His presence in every situation, good and bad, held us together even when we felt as though we were about to fall apart. I think that is the beauty of faith, taking hold of hope in a situation where there seems to be none, and holding on to it no matter what happens.

Romans 8:28 “…But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait patiently for it.”

And that’s my giving a hoot.

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Emma is an extremely busy and proud mother of two young, strapping lads. She lives in the Phoenix Metropolitan area with her husband of six years and is an active member in the faith community.

More from Emma:

»Being Charitable In Modern Times

»Sanity During Motherhood Requires Having Fun

»Moms Need a Timeout Too

»No Such Thing As A Novice Mom

Afterwards is back this Friday for Part 9!  CATCH UP NOW: »1  »2  »3  »4  »5  »6  »7  »8

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Sanity During Motherhood Requires Having Fun

By EMMA BARLOW, Staff Writer

Whether you are a stay-at-home mom, or a working mom, you are working hard.

And just like any nine-to-five job, sometimes motherhood can get tedious. With dishes piling up and butts to be wiped, I find myself looking forward to my kid’s bedtime. This is when I can do my laundry in peace and quiet.

Okay, most of the time I say ‘forget that laundry’ and turn on The Bachelor while devouring a half-pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream…hey, don’t judge me. But as every one of our mothers will tell us, my children’s adolescence will be gone in the blink of an eye. After a week of being in robot-mommy mode, I catch myself. Then I remind myself to let go a little and let some fun during the day.

Some days, I am in no mood for fun. I peer at my list of things to do and start itching to check off a couple, or sometimes I am just being plain grumpy. I don’t always choose to forget the list, but I find that when I do, my kids and I are so much more fulfilled at the end of the day. Our day runs smoother, and everyone is happier.

When I get down on the ground to play trains, help fight off dragons, or even get the starring role in “Save the Princess”, I am reminded of why I wanted to be a mother in the first place. Getting down to their level to finger-paint and crazy-dance to ridiculous music is also very therapeutic. It certainly helps my sanity to get a few laughs in once a day!

We all have busy days. I am not even close to a perfect mom, sometimes I just have to force myself to play when I am not in the mood…and I never regret it. Some moms work, and have to go to a job, and then come home and have less time in the day to complete their list. Our children know we love them, and even if we can give an hour of play, or even just twenty minutes going through their bedtime routine, and reading them a story before bed, you will be filling their little hearts, and yours, with love. Love is what this is all about anyways.

And that’s my giving a hoot.

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Emma is an extremely busy and proud mother of two young, strapping lads. She lives in the Phoenix Metropolitan area with her husband of six years and is an active member in the faith community.

More from Emma:

»Moms Need a Timeout Too

»Being Charitable In Modern Times

»No Such Thing As A Novice Mom

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