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judah lion

 

hello friends!

today miss jody is back on the blog! she’s written about her experience with her brand new gorgeous rainbow baby.

if you don’t know the back story on jody, her micro preemies, and her loss you can read about it here, and here

please welcome jody back to the blog!

enjoy,

xoxo olive

 

My sweet little Judah Lion is here. Judah means praised, and we sure have praised God with the birth of this lovely little boy. Lion represents courage and overcoming difficulty. During my pregnancy with this little one I had to overcome difficulty and have courage so many times. Pregnancy after loss is hard, and beautiful, heart wrenching and healing. I had to face fears, look grief in the face, and learn that no amount of research could ease my suffering heart. No amount of reading could give me the answers I was looking for. In the end, I just had to trust. Carrying this little baby helped me to become stronger than I knew I was. But really, it was in times of weakness that I found the strength of Lord. Here are some scriptures that helped me along the way:

Philipians 4:13 I can do all things through Him who gives me strength

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight

Because of the type of cesarean I had with the twins (a classical incision), the rupture rate during a VBAC attempt was increased. So when I consulted with the doctor about letting me try for a VBAC, that ininital answer was probably not, but they would let me meet with a specialist. That specialist was particularily good at being frank and he communicated that although they couldn’t strap me down and cut the baby out of me without my consent, if I came to the hospital in labor, they would coherese me into having a c-section by telling me that my baby was dying. This led me to hours and hours of pouring over research and reading journal article after article that reinforced my belief that a VBAC really was the safest way to go. Especially because they wanted to take my baby by cesarean at 36 weeks, a full 4 weeks early. The thought of a repeat cesarean terrified me. And doing one that early felt CRAZY.

For me, as I dealt with anxiety, PTSD, facing another cesarean, reading scary statistics about rupture and catastrophic outcomes as I had to make choices about his upcoming birth, there were times that were overwhelming. It felt like no matter what I chose, there was no good options. I had to make the right choice so my baby would be okay.

In the end, it was prayer that really got me through. I prayed, journaled, went to counseling, prayed and prayed and prayed some more. Finally, I was given the gift of peace. I scheduled the cesarean for 37 and a half weeks, the latest the doctor would agree to let me go.

In the end, as I was walked into the operating room, I felt joy and excitement as I was getting ready to meet my son. The surgery was hard. I had complications. Judah struggled to breathe at birth and had to be on CPAP and have oxygen. My body reacted to the medication and I was very sick after delivery and for the next couple of weeks as well. I didn’t have the beautiful, healing repeat ceasarean that I had hoped for but I did have a peace that surpassed all understanding. That peace and my ability to trust in the LORD even when things were hard, even when things didn’t go as planned, even when my little guy couldn’t breathe on his own, even when they were worried about my heart function after delivery, even when…

That is when we really learn to trust in the LORD. It’s when we face the even whens in life. So no matter what you are going through right now, I pray that you would have peace.

For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power and love and sound judgement 2 Timothy 1:7

and remember

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philipians 4:6-8

This last one is my very favorite verse in the bible. For me it’s saying, “Jody, go to God with your troubles. He wants to hear. He wants to know. But remember, the most important thing is to come with a thankful heart. Spend your time thinking about what is actually true in your life. Not worrying about the future what ifs. What is true today?J

During pregnancy I would stop and touch my belly, I would feel Judah kicking, and I would tell myself, “Right now, in this moment, this baby is alive. He’s kicking. He’s healthy.

What is true for you today? What do you have to be thankful for?

Today I am thankful for little Judah Lion and I’m praising God that I get to keep this little one and love him everyday.

 

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rainbow baby

hello friends <3

today we are going to read about sweet jody. if you’ve been following along here then you will recognize this mama. if you’re new here, you can read jody’s story about infant loss here.

jody is back on the blog today with her rainbow baby story…

xoxo, olive

 

What is a rainbow baby?

A rainbow baby is a sweet blessing that is born after the loss of a previous baby. The term was coined to describe the hope of what is to come after a family has suffered through and survived the storm of the loss of a baby.

In my case, when I saw the word PREGNANT on that test, I was filled with an overwhelming slew of emotions all at once. There was joy and fear. There was love and sadness. I was afraid that people might think I was trying to replace my son Jack, who died shortly after birth when he and his twin sister Kate were born at 25 weeks. I was also nervous to tell people because I knew that some people would judge us for having another baby and think we were crazy. I was worried about how my big kids would feel and how my husband and I would feel. And I was extremely worried about my own mental health. You see, after Jack died, I was eventually diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. There was a time when I thought that PTSD only happened to soldiers, but then I was living it. The emotional flooding, the sleepless nights, the rabbit holes of thought where I would blame myself for everything that happened and cry out to God wishing I could go back and make a different choice.

And now here I was, pregnant with another sweet baby who was due in March just like the twins had been due in March. So many of these pregnancy milestones would fall right around the same time that they had with my previous pregnancy. I knew without a doubt that this would be a difficult road to walk and I was feeling anxious. However, I was determined not to let this disorder steal my joy. I had a strong desire to be present during this pregnancy and to enjoy my kids and be there to support them with their own emotional struggles. I didn’t want to spend the whole pregnancy living in fear of the unknown and the what-ifs.

So, I poured into my bible. I read and read and read scriptures that helped me remember that my trust belonged with the LORD. I memorized key verses that I could turn to in times when I was really struggling. I sought out a counselor and kept weekly sessions so I could learn how to process my feelings and be present in the moment. I prayed and journaled and I reached out to friends and family and asked for their help on the days when I was really struggling. Being a Christian and living with PTSD while pregnant with a rainbow baby did not mean that I never suffered with anxiety. There were days and moments that were terribly hard. There were times when I was blindsided with emotion. There were times when I woke my husband up in the middle of the night to pray for me or when I called my friends or my Aunt because it was too hard to do it alone. I needed to hear prayer. I needed them to stand in the gap for me. I needed them to have faith when my faith was failing. And they did! I had anxious moments but I didn’t live there. I had hard days but I didn’t let those thoughts steal my joy.

Now as I gaze at this beautiful photo of my daughter smiling down at my big belly, I am filled with thankfulness. Having this rainbow baby has been a hard road but it’s also been beautiful. We are all filled with a joyous expectation as we await his arrival. I feel like love has won over fear. What a blessing Judah already is and will continue to be!

 

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