amberdover

The High King Lives

Knit Together: Leeland’s Unmedicated Birth Story April 28, 2015

04-IMG_9112

My natural labor story about how God’s timing is perfect. Nothing is impossible with Jesus! Let’s go back a lil over three weeks ago.

Where do I begin? Hmmmm…
IMG_0705
Labor. Expectations and reality. I wasn’t scared about labor, surprisingly. After years of infertility and then God’s blessing of a miraculous pregnancy, you’d think that I’d cherish being pregnant. I thought I would. But I was miserable. I just wanted to have the baby. I was sick of false labor and feeling icky all the time. Plus, I didn’t feel an immediate bond with Leeland while I was pregnant. My husband was smitten with the baby in my womb. I just wanted to cry all the time. Physically and emotionally I was struggling. Labor and delivery was my salvation. I longed to go to the other side of the hospital…that beautiful place where women went in with huge bellies and came out in wheelchairs holding lil bundles of joy. That was my Emerald City…

When I hit 37 weeks (full term these days), I was ready for an early delivery. I ate weird foods and tried strange things to go into labor. I begged and prayed for God to bring the baby during spring break. I prayed for my water to break. I wasn’t worried about natural labor so much. I was more concerned with how I’d bond with Leeland once he was born and how I could parent two kids. The thought of cloth diapering and caring for a newborn overwhelmed me. Would I remember how to do it? There’s nine years between my boys. Would it be like riding a bike?

IMG_0708
38 and a half weeks. I drug myself to the appointment with my midwife, Nicole. I was miserable and she could tell. The false labor had dilated me some but still no baby. It seemed like the baby would never come. Leeland was already bigger than Michael and I began to wonder if I could push out a bigger baby…without pain meds. I couldn’t sleep at night and Leeland’s head had been so low for so long, that walking was difficult and I spent most of my time in the bathroom. Did God care about my prayers? I felt like He wasn’t listening to me.

I cried out to God, in my head. That morning in my devotions I had read Romans 8:28 in the Amplified version. I hoped that it was a sign. Indeed it was one of many that day. God was speaking but I wasn’t fully aware until after.

“We are assured and know that [[a]God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose.” (emphasis mine)

God had heard me all along. He was waiting for the perfect timing. I felt encouraged when Nicole told me that I had dilated more and my waters were bulging during contractions. She told me to go walking to bring on labor. That was 10:30 Thursday morning. I was on a mission. Chris took off from his classes, we grabbed lunch, and went straight to the park. I walked a path of flowers for two hours. Michael walked with me some. We took a break in between to give Michael (our oldest) to my friend Carrie. Praise God it wasn’t spring break, because Carrie was out of town that week and we had no backup plan for Michael.

IMG_0722

Mom got off work and met us at the park (another God thing: Mom was off work). Her and Chris watched me walk. I had my mp3 player on. “Almost There” from The Princess and the Frog came on. Another sign but I wasn’t sure. I took my shoes off. The contractions still felt like Braxton Hicks, but they were coming more frequently. I wasn’t in pain. I just felt miserable and exhausted. “Miles and miles in my bare feet”…a song by the Civil Wars played as I decided to walk in the grass. People stared. A woman pointed to the flowers and said my baby would like them. So I picked some flowers for a keepsake.

After two hours, I was sad that my water had not broken (I’m glad it didn’t now). I had no clue if the contractions were doing anything. It had started to rain. We decided to drive to the hospital and see if labor and delivery would check me. I talked to a nurse and explained. They told me to come on in. I worried that I didn’t look like I was in pain and they’d send me home. Mom said I looked miserable to her. I was dilated to about a 4 and I wasn’t hurting. I had only gotten to a 3 with Michael and that put me in tears. I thought that maybe my pain tolerance had went up significantly. Yeah, little did I know!
LaborWeekLater
I was sad when I found out that I had not dilated any further. I was scared they’d send me home. But I was contracting a lot (which was the norm during my third trimester anyways). The midwife decided to moniter me and then have me walk another hour. Yes…ANOTHER hour. I laid on my back to be monitered and it started to hurt. I cried a bit. I did not hurt so much when I was standing. My mom and hubby walked with me. I was super tired and at times the contractions stopped me in my tracks.

I called my doula/ best friend, Hannah, and she prepared to come if they checked me in. Nicole came in and checked me. I had dilated to a lil over 4. She decided to check me in to the hospital. I praised God that the midwife wasn’t sending me home. My mom got out a list of encouraging scriptures that I had written for labor. She read them to me when I was being monitered and hurting from lying on my back. I walked around the room and got on a birthing ball. I told the nurses and the midwife about the miracle of Leeland, how I was told I couldn’t have more kids. God was glorified and that makes me happy. Hannah had already arrived and she brought a box of coffee for Mom and Chris. What a blessing she was.
bw-14-IMG_9128
The contractions were getting stronger. I talked in between them. It was nice to sit on the birthing ball. It was after nine pm and I had not dilated any further. My midwife was frank with me. I could be there laboring all night and exhausting myself, or they could break my water and see if I’d progress. I was nervous. I didn’t want any interventions and I was scared of opening the doors for complications and a c-section. Once again God’s sovereign hand was in my labor. I asked Nicole and the nurse to step out so I could pray with my support team (Chris, Mom, and Hannah). Hannah prayed. There was a peace in the room but I was still scared of the pain to come and the unknown. My water had been broken with Michael but only after receiving an epidural. Hannah and Nicole let me know that I could use low doses of pain meds to take the edge off if I needed it. The thought was comforting, and I agreed to have my water broken.

I got in the bed so they could break my water. Nicole assured me that this was the least painful part. As the fluid gushed I remembered one of the verses Mom had read. It said God would be with me through the waters. I rolled to my side so the contractions wouldn’t hurt as bad. Then I began to get sick and to throw up. The contractions started to become very strong and painful. It hit me that my pain tolerance was not that great. The real deal had started. The contractions before were nothing compared to these. I could not see these as birthing embraces or waves. I had told the nurse that I was calling contractions “intense” not “painful”. Yeah, that went out the door. These hurt. As I threw up more fluid gushed out. I got scared and I worried about Leeland in there without fluid. Nicole told me that Leeland was doing great. I could hear his strong heart beat.

bw-17-IMG_9133

I started to wimper and tense up. My support team surrounded me. I started to cry out and everyone began telling me to breathe. Nicole kept telling me to relax my forehead. I tried to focus on their voices instead of the pain. I could still talk in between contractions. I asked Nicole what came next and how we’d know I was progressing. She calmly said that my “demeanor” would change as I transitioned into the last stage of labor. Yeah, I’m glad she didn’t explain any further. You’ll see why. Anywho, Hannah encouraged me to visualize to get my focus off the pain. I could barely think of what to visualize. I was not doing well on my own and the online birthing classes weren’t doing much good. I praise God that I had cheerleaders there to tell me how to breathe and think, because I was not able to think much on my own. I did manage to visualize my son Michael saying “I love you Mommy”. I could barely hold on to that image but I tried very hard to focus on it. I also focused on the voices around me. At that point I was able to get through the contractions and rest in between. My midwife left to go to the bathroom and get something to eat. Chris held my hand, Hannah sat beside him, and my mom was on the other side. Nicole had not been gone long when it happened…my “demeanor” changed.

03-IMG_9109

Transition. I could no longer visualize. All I could do was scream. I had never imagined such pain. My vision went blurry. I was in another world. I could hear them telling me to calm down…to breathe. But I couldn’t focus anymore. My insides were moving…convulsing…pushing. There was no thought of medication. There was no time for that. This was happening and nothing could stop it.

I sounded like a banchee. I had never heard such an animalistic cry come from my throat. It was raw. It terrified my husband. It would’ve been bad if my son was in the room. Again, praise God that Carrie wasn’t out of town. I squeezed Chris’ hand as if to break it. I cried out “I can’t breathe!” I screamed “I think I’m pushing something”. And God was there. Hannah knew from her own natural labor experience that I had transitioned. She called the nurse frantically and told them that she thought I had transitioned and was pushing. She said my “demeanor” had changed. I screamed really loud and the nurses could hear me. My midwife Nicole rushed from the bathroom and a whole bunch of people hurried into the room.
05-IMG_9113

The next thing I knew, they were pulling my legs apart and sliding me down the bed. My midwife was shocked that I had already transitioned. She could see Leeland’s head. All of these people (several nurses I didn’t know) were telling me to push. My body kept convulsing and it was like an alien was inside. It was an unworldly experience. I was worried that I’d curse during labor and ruin my witness. That wasn’t a problem. I could only manage to cry out to God and I kept saying “God” and Jesus” and “Help me”. I could hear Hannah saying “He is here. He’s with you. You’re doing it. You’re having your natural birth!” My husband was silent but he held my hand still. My mom kept repeating what the midwife had said before “breathe Amber. Relax your forehead.”

I kept screaming and pushing back on the bed. Then the strangers started fussing at me. They couldn’t safely get the baby if I was lifting my bottom off the bed and pushing away. They told me to hold my legs and push.I kept wondering why they couldn’t hold my legs for me. Why were they so upset at me? Why were they telling me to calm down and to stop screaming? Didn’t they know I was in pain! Then Nicole said something that helped. She told me to take all the energy I had from screaming and put it into pushing…to focus…that I was going to have this baby. And somehow I grasped onto her words. Despite the pain, I began to channel my screaming into pushing. And then…

11-IMG_9123

The ring of fire I had heard about. It’s real. The baby’s head crowning…coming through the birth canal…ready to come out. It got stuck there for a moment as I rested. It WAS like fire. The verse came to my mind…that God would be with me through the fire. Leeland’s head came out and I heard everyone talking about it. Labor really was work (pun intended)! Surely, I was done. He was here. But no I was not done. They told me on the next contraction to push out his shoulders. I couldn’t believe there was more. I was tired. I didn’t have any more to give. Jesus is our strength during weakness. One more push and I felt Leeland come out. I actually felt him. I had not felt Michael much because of the epidural. The feeling was a rush of relief. It was like a sigh…a cool breeze in a sweltering desert. And then they put his little body on top of mine. And we bonded. I fell in love completely. No more fears. This was my child. I had went through fire for him. I’d die for him. I had survived. I was in awe. My body actually reached that threshold of pain and I survived. I knew instantly it was all God. He had carried me through. I was weak but Christ was my strength.

IMG_0738

Every birth story is different. Many women say that natural birth leaves you feeling like super woman…like you can conquer the world. I did not personally feel this way. Immediately afterwards I flinched as the midwife massaged my uterus. I still cringe at needles. I was not stronger. I still felt weak. Instead, I knew that my God can do anything. I knew that God had never left me. He was there all along orchestrating every step. The God who created the stars, had knit my baby inside my womb. He had delayed my labor until I was in the hospital where I felt safe. His timing is perfect.

It was a blessing that my water had not broken at the park or at home as I tried to naturally induce labor. Here’s why: I delivered only an hour after my water was broken. Everyone was surprised by how fast it went. Had I been anywhere else when my water broke then I would not have made it to the hospital in time and I would not have had my support team to get me through. God used my team (Mom, Chris, Hannah, & Nicole) to help me labor. They never once offered an epidural or acted like I couldn’t handle a natural birth. I held on to their voices for strength.
IMG_0727

Leeland was born at 10:47 PM, about 12 hours since my prenatal appointment that morning. Hannah had time to go home and breastfeed her own baby. Mom was able to go home and get decent sleep before work the next day. Leeland was 7 lbs and 1 oz. He was 19 and a half inches long. I was able to breastfeed right away and it almost brought tears to my eyes. God causes the barren womb to rejoice. He brings life where there was death. Miraculous!
15-IMG_9130
16-IMG_9131

Leeland was swollen from birth. He slimmed down a lot later.
IMG_0731

Mom held Leeland then had to leave. Poor kid looks like he was in a fight.

IMG_0737

Well, I looked like I had been in a fight too. Compare the after pic of this birth compared to my medicated birth with Michael. I recovered faster though than I did with the medicated birth. Also I didn’t tear where most women tear. I only needed three stitches but in a different spot. I was given an episiotomy with Michael but not with Leeland. I had a lot more energy after my unmedicated birth. So although I look rough, it was better later.
BirthComparison

Hannah was awesome and ran to Krystals to buy me a meal. I savored french fries and being able to drink Coke again! 🙂 Hannah thought that was funny. Hence the picture of me eating fries. I am so thankful for my “doula”. Hannah was such a blessing to us all. Her experience gave me the courage to pursue a natural birth.

20150403_005346

Chris, my sweet hubby, with Leeland.
20150403_003734

So are you wondering about natural birth? I’d say if I can do it then anyone can but that’s not exactly right. It’s better to say that with God anyone can do it. Here are the three most important things that got me through an unmedicated birth, and they have nothing to do with breathing and meditation.

12-IMG_9124

1. A close relationship with Jesus~ God gave me strength. I was comforted each step of the way as I prayed and in the last bit, as I cried out to God. The Lord spoke to me in lil ways through out the experience. He used His word, other believers, and the beauty of creation to help me along.

2. A good birth team ~ I was super blessed to have my favorite people with me for Leeland’s birth. My mom and Chris were there for Michael’s birth as well. They are my heroes and have always encouraged me. Then I had my best friend Hannah as a doula. Her experience was a huge help. It’s very important that the people on your team actually believe in and support your natural birth. They need to be positive people who will cheer you on rather than pity you or bring you down. They need to know how to cheer you on and to make sure that the don’t offer pain meds at the first sign of discomfort. My team did mention low dose pain meds as an option but they never talked about the big stuff like an epidural. They knew I was opposed to that. All of them were aware of my birth plan. My midwife Nicole completed the team. She never tried to push me into anything. She respected my wishes. She wasn’t afraid to instruct me even when I was in so much pain I didn’t want to listen. She showed tough love. Her lil tips like relaxing my forehead and focusing my screaming energy into pushing, gave me what I needed to succeed. I held on to those little things. She broke through my bubble and helped me focus.

3. A safe place~ Whenever animals give birth they find a nice quiet and safe space. My safe place was the hospital. I felt most comfortable there. I had toured the hospital many months before and I loved everything about it. The staff were friendly. We were able to warm the room and adjust the lighting. It felt like a spa. I would not have felt as safe at home or anywhere else. It was quiet and peaceful.

01-IMG_9107

So those are my three tips. Do you plan on having a natural birth? Have you had one before? What was your experience? How did you feel afterwards? Please leave me some comment love. If you’ve been encouraged by this post I’d love to know.

IMG_0742

Would I have a natural birth again, even though it was painful? I think so. If God wanted us to have more kids. It’s not easy but I believe it’s worth it. There was something supernatural and very spiritual about feeling the whole process.
06-IMG_9114

I feel like I have a fierce and strong bond with Leeland because I walked through fire for him. I have a strong love for Michael as well. I’m not discounting his medicated birth or anyone elses for that matter. Every birth is beautiful and unique. I’m just saying that my experience with Leeland was special. I had never went through so much pain for another human being before. It made me think of Christ’ sacrifice for us. Unmedicated labor is the closest I’ve ever gotten to fellowshiping in Christ’ sufferings. I’m still in awe of what God did.

07-IMG_9118

Not every woman experiences so much pain in labor and some people don’t feel pain at all. I’m not sure how. But I definitely had pain. It was pain with a purpose. I didn’t have to worry about the cascade of interventions because of meds. I didn’t have to worry about pitocin leading to a c-section.

We stayed in the hospital two nights. I wanted to stay longer. The room was nice and the food was great. Carrie brought Michael to see Leeland the next day. He’s such a good big brother, and he really loves his lil bubba.

IMG_0746

Carrie holding Leeland.

IMG_0749

We are so blessed with our friends. My three closest friends (Carrie, Hannah, and Erin) all brought meals the week we went home. We had friends from church bring a meal too. God’s provision is amazing. He keeps remindng me and showing me that He came to give me life, not take it away.

My guys
IMG_0756

We’ve had a couple issues but not many. Leeland was jaundiced for a bit but it’s went away. He also had a tongue tie which can cause breastfeeding problems and a number of other things. Thankfully we were able to have it clipped last week.

Finally home! Leeland with Daddy.
IMG_0770

It was strange taking Leeland home. I was scared at first. Also the drive was anxiety producing. I was so glad when we finally made it there. We had many sleepless nights though Leeland is an easy baby. Still, I’m exhausted and I feel like I haven’t quite recovered. But I’m thankful and overcome with the blessing of Leeland. At 3 weeks we are starting to get into a routine. It’s been nice to be able to eat the things I want. I can actually drink milk! Yaaa :). I’ve been eating cereal like crazy.

IMG_0765

IMG_0932

Here’s a more recent pic of Leeland. You can see he’s thinned out. His personality is really starting to shine through.
IMG_1027

Well, God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover

PS: When it all began…

https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2014/08/19/a-miraculous-surprise/

 

Leeland’s Owl Baby Shower March 16, 2015

In this post: Hannah throws me an owl baby shower for Leeland, and 35 weeks prego pics.

babyshower

Hello dear ones! Well, I’m 36 weeks prego now and just waiting for Leeland to arrive. I’ve had some false alarms and it’s a bit frustrating. I just pray that the timing will be right and I’m choosing to trust God to help me.

Meanwhile, my best friend Hannah threw me an owl themed baby shower. You may remember that I threw her a tea party baby shower last year. Here’s the link for that:
https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2014/02/08/a-tea-party-baby-shower-for-hannah/

I have plenty of pics to show you. First, Chris and I took my 35 weeks prego pics in our back yard. Chris’ parents came in for the shower and his mom helped us out. It was nice because up until this point we didn’t have any pics of Chris kissing my belly. Chris is smitten by our lil one and it truly shows in these pictures. So without further ado..here they are.
IMG_0454

IMG_0453

IMG_0452

Now, on to the shower...

Thanks again Hannah for the awesome job! And thanks to my mom for having it at her place.

First, the adorable invite
IMG_0361

A sweet set up

IMG_0465

Yummy! Punch and owl cupcakes!

IMG_0464

IMG_0462

My mom put this awesome collage together of me and my hubby as babies.

IMG_0460

In the living room. I added Leeland’s ultrasound art.

IMG_0456

Favors

IMG_0457

More owl goodness…
IMG_0467

IMG_0468

IMG_0471

Mua

IMG_0469

IMG_0472

Remember the shower I threw for Hannah? Well, it was for Miriam, the lil bundle of cuteness Hannah’s holding in her arms. Miriam is a one year old now!
IMG_0474

My dear friend Erin, who watched over Miriam so Hannah could set up. She also makes the best chocolate cookies…just sayin’.
IMG_0476

My mom in law Peggy and my mom. Two very special ladies.

IMG_0475

Let the present opening begin…
IMG_0479

IMG_0480

until my blood pressure suddenly drops and I have to take a break. Fun…

IMG_0486

But that doesn’t stop me from winning the baby shower word scramble!

IMG_0493

Yummm…these owl cupcakes turn our teeth and everything else blue. Someone thought this was funny…
IMG_0487

A very special wishing tree to encourage me during labor and delivery. What a beautiful idea, Hannah!
IMG_0491

IMG_0490

What sweet thoughts from everyone. This inspiring quote is from Hannah. You may remember it from my chalboard art.
IMG_0509

My darling mother

IMG_0498

My lovely mom in law
IMG_0499

My bff Hannah and her Miriam. Hannah truly blessed me! And my dearest ones that came to the shower encouraged me as well. I am so blessed.

IMG_0492

Baby stuff everywhere! We’re ready :). Come soon lil songbird!
IMG_0503

IMG_0508

IMG_0501

Cloth baby wipes that Hannah made for me.

IMG_0502

Well, God bless & remember the High King lives!~Amber Dover

 

2015 Bucket List & Remembering 2014 December 31, 2014

Hello dear ones! Do you have resolutions for the new year? I’d love to read them in the comments. We had quite the year in 2014. Last New Year’s I skipped the bucket list, but we still had some bucket list moments despite that. I was able to mark off a few things from my 2013 Bucket list, and there are things that I would’ve never put on my 2014 bucket list or expected. They happened anyways. God is so full of surprises. His plans are better than mine! The whole year is a testament to the goodness of God. The fact that he’d take someone like me who deals with chronic pain and was declared barren…then allow me to have this adventure…is just amazing. He took my anxious heart and gave me boldness when I needed it. I could not have done any of this without God’s hand. Nothing is impossible with God!

IMG_6242
https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2012/12/31/2013-bucket-list-the-best-moments-of-2012/

Remembering 2014

          • Saw the White House (took a road trip to Washington D.C., saw monuments & museums). (On 2013 bucket list)

IMG_3975

https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2014/06/07/colonial-road-trip-part-4b-washington-d-c-monuments/

            • Ice skated under the stars.

IMG_4201

            • Played in lots of snow.

IMG_3285

            • Learned to use the metro.
            • Started the second book in my trilogy.
            • Overcame the fear of driving/riding after my big wreck in January.

Wreck 2014 & Japan 062

https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2014/01/15/the-wreck-selah/

IMG_3208

        • Raised chickens & gathered our own eggs.

https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2014/02/14/best-hens-vs-the-hateful-hawk-a-valentines-story/

IMG_6675

          • Made new friends.
          • Had some great date nights.

IMG_3555

https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2014/03/25/the-hunger-games-date-night/
https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2014/02/25/valentines-2014-inspired-by-the-dating-divas/
https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2014/12/15/christmas-date-ingredients/

            • Went on a Missions trip & flew overseas to Belize. First time flying overseas.

IMG_6137

https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2014/07/06/mission-minded/

          • Walked the Mayan ruins.

IMG_6161

IMG_6175

          • Kayaked in the ocean.
          • Shared the gospel with hundreds of kids in Belize & through VBS.

IMG_6215

          • Led worship on a pier early in the morning.

IMG_6239

          • Saw wild iguanas & parrots.

IMG_6329
IMG_6303

          • Ate chicken foot.

IMG_6259

          • Trekked in the jungle.

IMG_6309

          • Saw a pineapple farm & other tropical fruit growing in it’s natural setting.

IMG_6274

          • Put on an Easter play & a Nativity play for our homeschool group.

10011460_10152363875063588_3998276468661075785_n

https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2014/05/11/easter-week-jesus-our-passover-lamb-easter-drama/

https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2014/12/17/jesus-our-precious-gift-an-interactive-christmas-drama-2014/
10846235_10152914152153588_8813549096976953822_n

            • Taught a huge year long history study on Creation through the 1800’s. Had fun parties, ate good food, and did several neat crafts/experiments.

IMG_5572

IMG_6102

(We were actually half way through by Jan 2014. So I’ll give you the link for the middle ages & the last link of the year. You can hop to the other posts from these.)
https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2014/02/08/middle-ages-week-1-celts-anglo-saxons-king-arthur/
https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2014/07/21/the-1800s-week-6-heading-west-the-final-week/

IMG_3182

IMG_5351

IMG_5756

          • Had several fun themed parties.

https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2014/04/09/a-complete-chronicles-of-narnia-marathon-party/
IMG_4642
https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2014/05/17/hobbit-marathon-party/
IMG_5371
https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2014/05/23/once-season-finale-party/
IMG_5693
https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2014/02/16/hilarious-birthday-celebrations-with-mom/

IMG_3380

                • Threw my first baby shower, for my bff Hannah & met her new baby, Miriam.

https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2014/02/08/a-tea-party-baby-shower-for-hannah/

Hannah'sBabyShower2014 027

              • My sister got pregnant and had her first child. Saw my nephew on Skype.
              • I became pregnant after 8 years of infertility. Felt life inside of me and saw it on ultrasounds.

https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2014/08/19/a-miraculous-surprise/

IMG_7455

            • Found out I’m having a boy. His name is Leeland Patrick Dover :). Due April 12th, 2015

https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2014/11/29/gender-reveal-pink-or-blue-baby-2/
Leeland21weeks

          • Shot a bow (on 2013 bucket list)

IMG_7349

Did you have any major unexpected events in 2014?

2015 Bucket List

(not in any order)

          • Give birth naturally & have a healthy baby.
          • Breast feed and cloth diaper.
          • Be in the moment with my family.
          • See my husband graduate from college. Support him as he starts a new job.
          • Pass Michael from 4th to 5th grade in homeschool.
          • Have more dates & couple time with my hubby.
          • Have margin (breathing room) in my finances, relationships, and time.
          • Have a deeper intimacy with God & understanding of the Bible.
          • Simplify.
          • Practice contentment with Godliness.
          • Meal plan better, save on groceries, and prepare healthy meals with more variety.
          • Commit more to my book and to bettering my blog.
          • Volunteer again and give more.
          • Be surprised by God and follow wherever he leads. Enjoy the journey.

Well, this bucket list is smaller and less detailed. Lord willing, God will fill in all the details. If we are given the future, our family has many changes coming. I have no clue what adventures are coming our way. I just know that God’s plans are far better than mine and they always blow my mind.

I pray you have a blessed new year! Please leave me some comment love if you will. God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover

 

Pregnancy Realities, Expectactions, and Hanging Up the Cape October 3, 2014

singingBaby

Hello dear ones, I am still alive. It’s been awhile. I have indeed been in another world. It’s called morning sickness hell. I’m nearing the end of my 12th week of pregnancy. So I’ve finally got some updates and hey, even a few words of wisdom…or something like that. Here it goes.

So above you can see my lil song bird’s picture. I adore this baby inside of me, but I hate pregnancy…atleast thus far. There’s over 8 yrs between this and my last pregnancy. We were labeled infertile. So this lil one is a miracle. Over the course of my infertile years I dealt with failed fertility treatments and a failed adoption. I spent the hardest years fantasizing about pregnancy. I bought baby clothes as a hobby. My sims had big families and I smiled and thought “How cute!” when the lil avatar threw up in the toilet. Sim morning sickness only lasts a day. I was sick and depressed during my first pregnancy. My Mom took care of me while my husband was deployed. No, that won’t be me next time, I told myself. If I ever get pregnant again I will cherish every second. Even if I’m sick, I’ll just push on. I’ll force myself to get out of the bed. I’ll take medicine and eat crackers if I get sick. I can sooo do this again. I pictured me, all aglow, still doing everything as if I wasn’t pregnant. Yep, I’d keep a clean house, cook homemade meals, and school my son like normal. Somebody go back in time and slap me, please!I

I am super thankful that I didn’t get pregnant all the times I begged for it. I can’t imagine throwing up 24/7 while taking care of a toddler. I know some moms do it well but not me. Some women have easy pregnancies. My sister has mostly been like that. This has not been my lot though. Bad morning sickness, low thyroid, and a surprise biopsy have been my lot. In a couple days I’m being checked for a lump in my abdomen. Just call me “Lumpy”.

The toilet and the bed have been my best friends. Even my mom barely knows me these days. I’m a recluse. My house is a mess but my husband does his best, while he juggles school and work too. I don’t cook or clean. I heave. I haven’t been taking care of my 8 yr old. He takes care of me. Seriously, Michael is wonderful at making toast and hot tea. I haven’t been to church or really anywhere. I’m starting to feel like a heathen. And as fun as watching reruns on Netflix is, I hate living this way. I actually WANT to clean my house.

Yes, I’m probably going insane. Maybe it’s the uncontrollable crying, and the hormonal fits of rage if I don’t get some dang Cocoa Puffs. Seriously, when I’m have a craving I will kill for it. Okay, maybe it’s not that bad. But I did have evil thoughts when my hubby made me wait a night and half a day for that chocolatey goodness. And he just lay there sleeping soundly while I was suffering with the worst case of insomnia…grrr. Cravings aren’t as bad as the aversions though. Just thinking about McDonalds make me want to vomit. Hello, I used to know the cashier there by name! I am changing into something unhuman….no, something un-Amber. Pretty soon I’ll be howling at the moon! My guys are probably scared of me but I’ve assured Michael that mommy won’t always be so mean.

IMG_6849

Anywho, so my expectations were not realistic. I am happy now though. I’m eating my fourth bowl of Cocoa Puffs and it feels so good to be able to eat. I’ve lost a lot of weight from this ordeal. I need to pack on the pounds so the neighbors don’t mistake me for the Halloween skeleton. As horrible as this all sounds and as much as pregnancy stinks for me, I have had plenty of time to reflect on my life. I’ve decided to hang up my super woman cape. I’m coming to grips with reality and it’s starting to be okay…

You see, things weren’t perfect on the other side of the fence. I played the part of Super Mom/Woman very well. For several weeks, I mourned hanging up my cape. I missed how I used to “do it all”, how everything had it’s place and time. True, we’ve had some awesome times, but I know now that everying “I” did was because God gave me the strength and mental ability to do so. It didn’t take much to completely reduce me to a bedridden grouch. I wasn’t very joyful as Super Woman. Honestly, I was stressed and angry. My theme song was “Human” by Christina Perri. I went around lamenting that “I’m only human!”. I was mad that I was juggling everything, and most of it came out on my husband.

Something happened when I got sick. I didn’t have the energy to juggle. My husband had to take up the slack. For the first time in ten years of marriage, my hubby really started taking care of me. He brought me roses and gave me a foot rub. I quite enjoy my daily foot rub. It’s not paradise though. Things pile up quickly and it’s getting stressful for my hubby to do everything. My prayer is for middle ground. I don’t want to go back to doing it “all”. I think it’s good for my guys to do more. But I want to do some things too. I miss all the time I spent with Michael. He’s played way too many video games lately. I miss my own cooking. I appreciate my husband’s efforts but watching him try to cook a full course meal is stressful. I miss my version of cleanliness. I miss church. I miss driving to Walmart anytime I feel like it. I miss my friends.  Pampering isn’t that fun when you feel like crap. I’m ready to start living.

Cosplay of superheroes

I know that life won’t ever be the same. Homeschooling may never be the same. My blog will probably change. Heck, who knows how I’m gonna parent baby # 2. I have plans for trying different methods…cloth diapers, unmedicated child birth, breast feeding longer, and baby wearing. But if all those plans fly out the window I know I’ll still be a good mommy with God’s help. I won’t ever be perfect. I never was. I just thought I was “super”. I wasn’t. My God is the only super one.

Before I found out I was pregnant, I was doing a Bible study on the book of Daniel. There’s a story in there (Chp 4) about Nebuchadnezzar. He was a Babylonian king who thought he was the stuff because Babylon was a great city. He didn’t recognize that God had given him everything. Because Neb boasted and idolized himself, God took away his sanity for 7 years. The man left his palace and roamed the wilderness like an animal. When the 7 years were up, Neb humbled himself and recognized God as the sovereign over the kingdoms. Neb was only king because God allowed him to be. Neb’s kingdom was then given back to him.
William Blake - Nebuchadnezzar (Minneapolis)
I feel like I’ve had a Nebuchadnezzar experience. My insanity has been pregnancy, but I pray that things are starting to get better. I’ve still got pride issues but I’m a work in progress. Praise God, pregnancy doesn’t last seven years! 😉

General updates:

    • Weeks before I got pregnant, we gave our hens away to my friend Erin. They are very happy in their new home. It would’ve been so hard to take care of them at this time. Thanks Erin for being a blessing!

IMG_6675

    • A week ago our guinea pig Snowball went back to the pet shop. We had no time to give her the attention she needed. Hey! More room for the new baby :).

IMG_6790

    • My big sister will be having her baby boy any day now. I can’t wait to meet my nephew. My Mom is thrilled to have an abundance of grandchildren!
    • The ultrasound tech gave us a hint on the gender of our lil song bird. I’m not telling though, not until we know for sure. Chris and I are still haggling over names. Yeah, we had 8 years to think of names, but all those don’t feel right anymore. Back to the drawing board.
    • The baby is very healthy. I’m not throwing up as much so maybe I will be too someday soon. My baby is super active and puts on a good show. I love my lil song bird.
    • My best buddy Hannah wants to throw me a shower and she’s going to be my doula. She’s given birth completely natural twice and she’s a La Leche league leader, so I’m in good hands. I’m still confused about cloth diapers. Hannah is like a stinkin’ cloth diaper genius. Maybe I should buy a doll and practice.

Blue Stuffed Animals Alva Baby Cloth Diaper

  • I’m loving the midwives I see. So far my experience has been ten times better than my prenatal care my first pregnancy. The midwife works with the hospital so I should be giving birth at the hospital….just unmedicated. I’ve been told this hospital is like a nice hotel.
  • My hubby graduates in May, Lord willing. Pretty soon he will be applying for jobs. Please keep us in your prayers. Our lives are changing dramatically.
  • I’m not sure when this blog will get to some form of normal. I’ve had a few ideas floating around. We’ll just have to see. If you’re still subscribed, I thank you. That encourages me to continue.
  • My book…hmm. This was supposed to be the year of the book. It looks like the year of the baby instead. My book is still important to me. Family comes first though. My NaNoWriMo plans will depend on my health and sanity.
  • Crafts and homeschooling…yeah, one day at a time. Our school may not be as hands on as it used to be. Still, I’m sure I’ll have something to share every now and then.

Thanks again for reading. Hopefully I’ll write again soon. God bless and remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover

PS: We actually did some pretty kewl things for our Summer bucketlist before I got pregnant. Although it’s Fall, maybe I’ll get around to posting those adventures. We’ll see…

IMG_6664